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Old 24-05-2011, 15:19   #16
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I see Tellie had some input on this thread.
I followed his advice through cruisers forum and viz email together with Kent from Just Catamarans in Florida.
I installed a spectra Newport mark 2 12v water maker with z brane technology. Tellie - thanks my man - best advice I ever got!
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Old 11-04-2014, 20:35   #17
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Re: PRO Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Amps are everything, and there are hundreds of variables when deciding the right watermaker for your personal use and your boats capabilities. If you have a generator, a 110/220 watermaker is no problem. As soon as you consider running one with 12/24v you will limit yourself to the size (gallons per hour) of product water made. Forget using a inverter. The energy cost to each gallon of water made will be too great. The cost of getting the used amps back into your batteries will far, far outweigh the cost savings of a less expensive watermaker. I also agree with Zydecos second post. Buying the right basic DIY watermaker with all the parts is a huge time saver well worth the difference in cost.
I'm looking at buying a professionally built modular, simple watermaker that I can maintain myself in the middle of nowhere (will be crossing Atlantic & Pacific oceans) so pressure recovery units, electronic control panels etc aren't even in my equation. Problem is I'm stuck on deciding between 240v and 12v. I can get, at a reasonable price (reasonable being a relative term in the watermaker jungle), a robust 240v unit with a lower power 5.4 amp motor (drops water output about 15% against the 9.5 amp unit). This will give me about 60 litres per hour (16 US gallons) but I don't want to buy / run a petrol gennie. My alternators are 115 amp x 2 on 30HP Volvos (it's a FP Lipari cat). At moderate 1600 - 1800 RPM revs one alternator seems to be happy to put out about 60 - 70 amps and I only use about 1.3 to 1.5 litres of diesel per hour. It might put out more if asked but assume the regulator limits that to prevent cooking the batteries when charging, but don't know what it does if there is a very large current draw from the batteries happening simultaneously.
Think that drawing 5.4 amps at 230-240v through my 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter converts to about 103 - 108 amps at 12v (in an ideal lossless world). I typically motor for about 2 hours per day so if I ran the watermaker for about 2 hours daily I could get about 110 litres of water (120 less 10 for flushing) and I would draw about 76 - 96 amps out of the batteries which I can put back in with some more engine running plus solar. 110 litres is far more than I currently use per day but assume like expenses and wages the usage will rise to meet the available amount. (maybe I should insist on short haired crew).

If I go 12v then for a comparable unit I will get about 50 litres (13 gallons) per hour (less say 10% for flushing water) and draw about 38 amps. I will still be running my engines anyway as 38 amps exceeds my solar capacity of 18-22 amps and my delicate daily power balance (I very, very seldom start my engines currently just to charge batteries) so will end up with surplus power and don't see that I will need to run the watermaker when at anchor as I can last a week on my tanks even with a full crew.

So is the extra 10 litres per hour worth going the 240v route? You seem very anti using 240v unless you have a generator i.e. you don't seem to recommend the inverter option.

Would really appreciate your thoughts as you seem to have worked your way through the watermaker jungle the long, hard bitter experience way

TwT
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:18   #18
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Re: PRO Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Zydeco View Post
Tanks Capden, keep us posted.

After reading some of these posts, I'm now not sure if our 2000 watt generator can run the PRO 500. The generator is the Honda 2000i which I think can put out 16.7 amps max, but is only rated at 13.3 amps continuous. The specs on the PRO 500 says it draws 15.2. I've emailed the company to see if that's peak or continuous or what. No word yet..

Nope...Honda 2000 wont be able to run it....
13.3A is the Honda's max continuous load and then there is the starting load...been there...tested that.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:42   #19
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Re: PRO Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Toys_with_time View Post
I'm looking at buying a professionally built modular, simple watermaker that I can maintain myself in the middle of nowhere (will be crossing Atlantic & Pacific oceans) so pressure recovery units, electronic control panels etc aren't even in my equation. Problem is I'm stuck on deciding between 240v and 12v. I can get, at a reasonable price (reasonable being a relative term in the watermaker jungle), a robust 240v unit with a lower power 5.4 amp motor (drops water output about 15% against the 9.5 amp unit). This will give me about 60 litres per hour (16 US gallons) but I don't want to buy / run a petrol gennie. My alternators are 115 amp x 2 on 30HP Volvos (it's a FP Lipari cat). At moderate 1600 - 1800 RPM revs one alternator seems to be happy to put out about 60 - 70 amps and I only use about 1.3 to 1.5 litres of diesel per hour. It might put out more if asked but assume the regulator limits that to prevent cooking the batteries when charging, but don't know what it does if there is a very large current draw from the batteries happening simultaneously.
Think that drawing 5.4 amps at 230-240v through my 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter converts to about 103 - 108 amps at 12v (in an ideal lossless world). I typically motor for about 2 hours per day so if I ran the watermaker for about 2 hours daily I could get about 110 litres of water (120 less 10 for flushing) and I would draw about 76 - 96 amps out of the batteries which I can put back in with some more engine running plus solar. 110 litres is far more than I currently use per day but assume like expenses and wages the usage will rise to meet the available amount. (maybe I should insist on short haired crew).

If I go 12v then for a comparable unit I will get about 50 litres (13 gallons) per hour (less say 10% for flushing water) and draw about 38 amps. I will still be running my engines anyway as 38 amps exceeds my solar capacity of 18-22 amps and my delicate daily power balance (I very, very seldom start my engines currently just to charge batteries) so will end up with surplus power and don't see that I will need to run the watermaker when at anchor as I can last a week on my tanks even with a full crew.

So is the extra 10 litres per hour worth going the 240v route? You seem very anti using 240v unless you have a generator i.e. you don't seem to recommend the inverter option.

Would really appreciate your thoughts as you seem to have worked your way through the watermaker jungle the long, hard bitter experience way

TwT

If you are not going to run a generator then yes in my opinion using a inverter to run a watermaker is highly inefficient for a smaller boat whose daily amp budget is limited. Yes you have your alternators for power but then you are limited by your engine run time and fuel budget. It's no problem when you are motor sailing as you are using you engines for propulsion. But in reality, and you might be the rare case, most people don't use their engines as often as they will want to operate their watermaker. You may sit at an anchorage for weeks because of repairs, because you enjoy where you are at, waiting for weather windows, etc. With 18-22 amp solar capacity The only watermaker that would make sense is Spectras dual feed pump Cape Horn Extreme. Running both feed pumps you can make 14gph at 18 amps or with one pump 8gph at 8amps. You don't state how much water you budget per day but if you ran this watermaker every third day for three hours you would make 42gallons minus 3 gallons for a flush or about 9.5 gallons per day using 54 amps every third day for making water. Your solar capabilitiy now of 18-22amp panels on a bright day at peak hours would more than make up for what this watermaker used. Of course if you are motor sailing run the watermaker, if you are charging your batteries, run your watermaker. If you are at a beautiful anchorage and it's a bright sunny day go diving for a few hours and run your watermaker. Though an AC driven system is going to be able to make more water faster it's going to do it at a huge power demand in your situation. A 12 volt system like the Cape Horn is always going to give you a lot more powering options and not limit you to a generator or an inverter, which if either fail you are out of watermaking capabilities. Of course this is an every third day scenario. If it is within your daily amp budget to run the watermaker every other day for three hours then you'll have almost 20 gallons of water to use per day which for most cruisers is a lot of water. You also don't tell us how much water tankage you have. This can be an important factor as well. Most cruisers should not and will not let their fresh water tanks go empty and will use their watermaker to top off their tanks not waiting to fill them from empty. If for example you have 100 gallons of fresh water tankage you would want to run your watermaker when you are usually no more than half way empty and top off the tanks. This is even more important if you are in far out of the way places or certainly making a serious crossing which you would top off well before the half empty point. So running a watermaker for hours on end doesn't make much sense. But in the case you do drain your tanks you can still operate the watermaker to fill them completely.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:55   #20
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Re: PRO Watermaker

Small amount of water = Power-Survivor 80 (12 LPH)
All the water you want : engine driven (HP pump runs out of 1 diesel engine's pulley
Both solutions rugged,safe,cheap,light,serviceable anywhere.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:11   #21
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Re: PRO Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Fix View Post
Small amount of water = Power-Survivor 80 (12 LPH)
All the water you want : engine driven (HP pump runs out of 1 diesel engine's pulley
Both solutions rugged,safe,cheap,light,serviceable anywhere.

Except they are not. A PS 80E is about the same cost as a VT150, half the production twice the amps needed. So actually twice as expensive in the long run, and engine take off watermakers are a lot of headaches if not done right, ARE NOT for any and all engines, and will void many engine manufactures warranty. I've been through that crucible before.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:19   #22
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Re: PRO Watermaker

Other 12 VDC solution : Little Wonder LW 200 . 15 years old very simple (single piston HP pump),no energy recovery devis,no electronics,just a switch
Engine driven : nothing more simple than that .Instead of driving big alternators that fill batteries that drive electric motors,simply drive the HP pump with 2 pullies and 1 belt.
Yes speed must be kept constant during production,yes the pump must be attached to the engine,inline with the camshaft pulley.Taking 2 HP from main engine is not risky.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:49   #23
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Re: PRO Watermaker

Engine Driven Water Maker = Headache for most Cruisers.

Sure I sell them, but I also try to talk almost every buyer out of going engine driven. The engine driven water maker has a mythical lure to us Do It Yourself boat guys. We can make more water per hour, not have to worry about power usage, and the numbers we pencil out on paper make it look cheap. Then the ugly thing called reality hits. I say I try to talk out "almost" every buyer and here is why. There are the cruisers out there that owned a machine shop, have years of fabrication experience, and frankly know what they are doing. This just isn't most cruisers. They hear how easy an engine driven unit is on an internet chat room and boom...they then have this 15lb pump and clutch in their hands that they must mount and allign on their their ships most expensive piece of equipment, their diesel engine. Mounting the pump/clutch isn't something that just anyone can do in a weekend with a harbor freight welder. I have seen broken mounts, blown Hp pump bearings and even damaged engine cranks from bad installlations. If you have to hire a professional fabrication guy because brother Leo leaves you hanging, expect to pay around $1500 for an engine mount project. Fabrication guys are not cheap and it will take multiple trips to the boat and multiple dry fits to get it right. I've seen less and I've seen more.



The reason I try to talk people out of it is simple...so when they call me later asking if they can return the engine driven pump/clutch and exchange it for a 1.0Hp motor driven Hp Pump I'm not the "bad guy" when tell them I can't take it back...but I can sell them a new pump and motor.

There's also this false idea about "free water" while running the engine. We put 11,000nm under our keel in our 4 years in Mexico and for the vast majority of time we were sitting at anchor (like everyone else). Sure we also motored and motor sailed a LOT more than we thought we would...but that time was still a small fraction of the time. Cruisers spend more time sitting, relaxing and enjoying than moving their boats. The last thing I would have wanted to do would have been to run my diesel engine at anchor to make water or be forced to leave the anchorage because I needed to make water if I didn't want to run my engine at anchor in 100-deg heat. If I needed and wanted a high output water maker, why in the world would I want to put hours on my 15K engine when I could just fire up a $950 Honda 2000 generator at anchor and make 20 or 30 gallons per hour and run it for 5 hours on a single gallon of gas? Want simple....heck that is simple...not the myth of an engine driven water maker. If you dan't want to run a generator, then I tell people to buy a Spectra. A high amp usage 12v unit just doesn't make sense when you run the numbers.

Of course I just sold an engine driven water maker last Tuesday to a guy in Seattle, WA. I gave him my warnings and after he though about it knowing all the true pluses and minuses he went ahead anyway. But in my experience, most people don't look at the engine driven water maker with eyes wide open, which is all I'm really trying to say here.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:32   #24
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Re: PRO Watermaker

I just visited your website.Very clean,easy,pro,no sweat.
Your products quality is good : using GP pumps ,good SST hardware.
You're nursing your customers,which is compulsory for watermakers,aircons, fridges.
I am trying to do the same here in France (for 30 years)
If your customers need any service on this side of the ocean,feel free to send them over
I agree with your statements on engine drive.Brackets have toi be made by pros ,on saildrives,shock mounts might need to be replaced by harder ones (just because of more weight) ,
Yes running a diesel at anchor is a PITA (for yourself and neighbours)
But ity is sensible to use 1 diesel engine on a catamaran that has 2,for all power supplies (instead of installing a 3rd one)
It is sensible to drive a HP pump with 2 pullies and 1 belt instead of alternators,relays,contactors,DC motors,big leads,regulators etc.
All that said,we do sell energy recovery systems to OEMs here in Europe (Sea Recovery) ,and customers are pleased with them.They like push-button systems with automatic fresh-water flushes.
We sell also touch screen controlled Aquamatic (installed on 50/60" Lagoon Cat)
Individual sailors and charter fleets don't have the same requirements.
We manage to serve both
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Old 02-05-2014, 20:31   #25
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Re: PRO Watermaker

[QUOTE=Fix;1531697]Other 12 VDC solution : Little Wonder LW 200 . 15 years old very simple (single piston HP pump),no energy recovery devis,no electronics,just a switch


Keep trying. Little Wonder 200 12V 17amps. VT200 12V no electronics just a switch 8-9amps about 1k less.
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Old 02-05-2014, 21:40   #26
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Re: PRO Watermaker

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But in reality, and you might be the rare case, most people don't use their engines as often as they will want to operate their watermaker........You don't state how much water you budget per day but if you ran this watermaker every third day for three hours you would make 42gallons minus 3 gallons for a flush or about 9.5 gallons per day using 54 amps every third day for making water...... You also don't tell us how much water tankage you have. This can be an important factor as well. So running a watermaker for hours on end doesn't make much sense.
Thanks for your as always comprehensive reply Tellie. We use about 20 - 30 litres per day currently but assume that will increase to around 50 with a watermaker. We have 600 litre water capacity in 2 tanks plus 180 in bottles. One tank only feeds a single filtered low pressure water tap on the sink so figure that using this just for drinking and cooking water we can last about 3 weeks if all else fails.

Heard someone say the other day that we no longer live in a binary world - in the old days your choices were often limited to A or B or, in Henry Ford's case, any colour as long as it was black. These days research via the internet opens up endless choices and options and life becomes much more complicated. At least I have now crossed off engine driven (S/V Third Day's comments helped there) and 240v. That narrows the choice down a bit.

Takes out coin to help with making informed, logical decision..............

TwT
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