Electrical Diagram Block Diagram Starter RelayElectrical Panels Balmar Alternator Yanmar AlternatorElectrical System PhotosThe electrical system on Sea Dream has undergone many changes. Refer to the Complete Electrical Diagram (above) for an overall view of what is installed. The stock alternator was replaced by a Balmar 100A dual output alternator coupled with a Balmar MC-612 regulator.After determining that it was impossible to charge different sized battery banks with a dual output alternator both outputs are now tied together. The House Bank consists of four 6v Lifeline AGM batteries (Model GPL-4C) which gives me 420 amp-hrs total. A Balmar DuoCharge 3-stage charger senses when the house bank is being charged and automatically bleeds off some current to charge the engine starter battery under the galley sink (Group 27 AGM).Solar Panels/Bimini RackIn 2009 I added four solar panels which I mounted on top of my bimini after having my bimini bows custom welded to create a “roof rack” over the cockpit. I added in adjustable struts to completely stiffen the bimini frame and the arrangement works out quite well. MAKEFAST makes these strut components. Click here for the invoice of the parts I ordered.The four panels charge the house bank through a Blue Sky Systems MPPT charge controller and creates around 80 to 100 amp-hours of power a day back into my battery banks. WARNING: The solar panel MPPT charge controller and my Balmar alternator regulator do not work well together. You will need to ensure that you disconnect the MPPT output when running the engine or almost no charging will take place. The MPPT charge controller will back off when it senses the Balmar alternator output increasing, but then the Balmar regulator will back off as the MPPT ramps back up again. I installed a relay that connects to the engine oil pressure sensor; so when the engine is running it will automatically disconnect the solar panels from the batteries and when the engine stops- it will automatically resume charging.The entire system is monitored using a Xantrex Battery Monitor (which supports two battery banks). This allows me to see exactly what the charge levels are in my batteries at all times and also allows me to understand where my power is going so I can manage my consumption. I think this unit has been discontinued. I’d get a Blue Sea Systems Battery Monitorto replace it.Shore power charging and Inverter is supported by a MasterVolt Combi unit (installed in the aft cabin locker against the engine room bulkhead) that will charge the batteries at the dock as well as provide a 2500 watt (Surge to 5000 watts) inverter to provide power for the 120v appliances on board when not plugged in. I have had two Xantrex inverters die over the years that could not be repaired, this is a much better unit. It will autoswitch at the dock from shore power to inverter automatically in 20 MS. Yanmar 4JHE - Intermittent starting problem & FixA few years ago my engine stopped starting reliably. When I turned the key the solenoid seemed to stick, but after 6 months of testing and changing parts it became apparent that the wiring harness was just old and the extra internal resistance in the wire between the key switch in the cockpit and the starter had reduced the voltage to the solenoid to the bare minimum. While within acceptable limits it was enough to cause the starter relay to not always engage especially when the motor was hot. The solution was simple. When you turn the key in the ignition now- instead of directly powering the starter solenoid- it now energizes a simple 30A high current relay (available in any local auto parts store). The relay is located right next to the starter solenoid, and the relay draws power directly from the battery cable bolted to the starter, and when the key is turned - the relay contact sends power directly to the starter solenoid, so there is NO voltage drop anymore. This is completely put an end to all of my starter problems for years now. See diagram (Starter Solenoid Relay Fix).