Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dual battery setup....

.....was necessary after I added the Edgestar fridge. The system consists of a continuous duty solenoid hooked up to my charging system and a marine dual purpose battery mounted in the cab. When I turn my van on the solenoid closes and my alternator charges both batteries. When I turn the key off the second battery is disconnected from the starting battery (but still connected to the fridge and all my interior lighting). I can run this battery all the way down and still start the car with no issues. I intend to add a second house battery for longer periods of not charging but for now I need to run the motor at least a half hour a day to keep my house battery charged to run the fridge. The fridge has a neat feature for saving the house battery too. Since it is bad for a battery to run it too far down, the Edgestar cuts out when the battery reaches a certain voltage. Although it is still possible to kill the battery this makes it a bit more idiot proof. Also, since the house battery is a dual purpose, in a pinch I can jump my main battery from it if I ever leave my lights on.

Some future refinements will be adding a second house battery, hooking my solar trickle charger up to the system and wiring my car stereo to the house battery system instead of my starting/car battery so I can listen to the radio into the night. I am going to add some running/fog/off-road lights to the car battery and maybe some exterior flood lights to the house battery. Since the van had running lights and side markers on the running boards (both of which I removed) the switches and wiring are already there. Should be pretty easy.

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