Originally Posted by Tellie
I don't know about that....
But if you still insist on a large producing AC watermaker for your boat I'd a wait just a little bit longer, there is some new stuff coming out that will be worth the wait that just might make the big pumpers obsolete.
Of course I was making fun with that AC vs DC statement but you must admit there's some truth in it.
However, you clearly don't understand why an AC watermaker must be a big one. The real reasons are that a diesel
genset (and you better have that, no Honda
2000i's for this) wants a good load when it runs and a big watermaker helps. Also, we want to run the genset as little as possible so we want to produce more water in less time. It's the other way around with a DC WM.
Also, I don't understand your issue about not being able to run the WM when the genset breaks down. Surely, the AC WM owner thought about that and has the inverter to run it and the alternator(s) on the main engine(s) to provide the power for the inverter. Battery
bank capacity is not an issue. Also, it doesn't matter what capacity the WM is for energy consumption
. It is the energy-efficiency that matters (not that small AC units are very efficient).
On to the systems that use water. Yes, I admit we have fresh water flush toilets and a washer drier. The fresh water flush toilets save us money
, nasty smells and time consuming maintenance
jobs. The washer drier aboard is more energy efficient than the coin operated one ashore and much closer by... especially when you're at sea or anchored far from laundromats. I take your remark about letting faucets run without concern as a joke because I know no cruiser who does such a thing.
Let me describe our routine for running our 6 kW genset: It warms up for 5 minutes or so before we switch the 16 kBTU A/C unit on. Next is the 50 gph watermaker and next the battery charger
. This brings the genset to 80-90% load so it really heats up and that heat is used for the water heater which is plumbed into the coolant
circuit. Soon (15 minutes), the load comes down a lot because the batteries are full (solar power) so we get the vacuum cleaner out (3 cats aboard...) which takes 1500W again. Vacuum cleaning
is nice with that A/C unit blowing around our heads. Meals
are cooked which is also nice with the A/C on and by now it produced a couple of gallons of condens water already which would otherwise be somewhere in the boat stimulating mold
and mildew gardens. An hour after we started the genset, all gets switched off, meals
are served in the cockpit
and a nice cool cabin
is waiting, plus 50 gallons of water for the 3 hot showers tomorrow (must be another joke ;-)
So, what does this cost us? 0.5 gallons of diesel
, let's say $1.20 plus an hour run time on the genset. Good deal isn't it? We do this like once a week normally. Sometimes less when it rains good (we catch rain water too) and sometimes more when it rains long (more A/C and more power needed for entertainment). We do it daily when on passage
for too many reasons to list.
Before all this we had DC watermakers. We had a lot of trouble with them, that's all I (want to) remember. But imagine this: you can't have the A/C luxury, can't play loud rock music
(not enough power because the AP and navlights need it all), have to cook lousy meals (cans are on the menu mostly) etc. We did all that and we were happy. But we're happier now!
Now, tell us about that new stuff that's coming out!