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Old 01-01-2016, 12:29   #1
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Hot water

Hello,
Could somebody explain me how the hot water system works in the helia 44? How big is the boiler? Is it run by gas or electricity? Does it use the heat of the engines or genset? How long does it take to heat up the boiler to let's say 60C?
Would it be possible and make sense to retrofit water heating solar panels?

Thanks and best regards
Mariachi76
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:20   #2
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Hot water

Here is the water system on the Helia 44

#8 is the hot water tank. It has an adjustable electric heating coil #9 that is either 220 or 120 volts
It also has a heat exchanger that heats water when the engine #10 is running

The Helia 44 has 1 hot water heater 40 liters (10.5 gal)

Takes 45 minutes to heat up to 49C (120F)

It is possible to heat hot water with solar panels using a 12 volt to 220 volt inverter
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:02   #3
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Re: Hot water

Ziptie, thanks for your detailed reply.
Isn't 40L capacity very few for lets say 6 people who want to have a shower in the morning? If you heat it up to 60C, you get about 80L of 40C water (assuming that your cold water has 20C). At 5L/min, this gives about a quarter of an hour for showering. That seems rather few to me.
I assume that during that 15 minutes, cold water is coming into the boiler and it continues heating, which might extend things a bit.

So how is it in real life if several people want to have a shower and the engine is running?
Would it be possible to fit a bigger boiler?

best regards
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:27   #4
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Hot water

I agree that 40 liters (10.5 gal) Hot water tank is very small for this size boat.

If you have the engine or generator running you will have plenty of hot water for 6 to 8 people showering.

Very easy to add another hot water tank if you feel you would need that.

Quick B3 40L Round Water Heater
500 or 1200 watt

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Old 03-01-2016, 21:24   #5
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Re: Hot water

If you look through the Lipari Pages I did post an article I wrote on fitting Solar hot water to our Lipari. Works a treat provided you have the real estate to mount it. If you cant find it PM me and I'll send you a copy. You have to remember that the tank is much hotter than you would use straight, there is a temperature mixing valve on the tank so even though its 40 ltrs (ours is 25ltr) you get plenty of hot water for sensible showers. With the solar hot water panels we can just stagger the timing. If all 6 people want to shower at the same time them no way but if you stagger it over the day it works great, and plenty for washing up at night without running engines or generators.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:17   #6
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Re: Hot water

Sorry, i couldn't find your post. Any chance that you could post a direct link?
Regards
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:38   #7
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Re: Hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipTie View Post
Very easy to add another hot water tank if you feel you would need that.
Excuse me for intruding, but doesn't FP install a water heater on each engine as standard? This seems like a no brainer. Since you can easily motor with a single engine, why not have two water heaters to preclude any incentive of favoring one engine over the other resulting in an engine hour imbalance - plus get twice the hot water capacity to boot, just by swapping engines?

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Old 05-01-2016, 09:59   #8
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Re: Hot water

EDIT: What I should have said was, "A water heater on each engine is really a good idea...." Re-reading my first post it sounded critical of FP which wasn't intended.

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Old 05-01-2016, 13:37   #9
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Re: Hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariachi76 View Post
Sorry, i couldn't find your post. Any chance that you could post a direct link?
Regards
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Published in Cruising Helmsman magazine here in Australia
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Old 05-01-2016, 15:12   #10
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Re: Hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Excuse me for intruding, but doesn't FP install a water heater on each engine as standard?
Mine only has a water heater on the port engine.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:48   #11
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Re: Hot water

Thanks everyone for chiming in here, I've been wondering how the heater works. Our heat exchanger for the generator recently went out, so we only get hot water at the moment through the port engine. I've been impressed with how long the water stays hot in the tank. In the Carib, the hot water will last us plenty - no one wants hot water to shower when you've been sweating all day.


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Old 07-02-2016, 12:53   #12
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Re: Hot water

We find that the hot water tank lasts for about 4 showers before it starts to run cold. If we've five or more on board all wanting showers, we'll run the generator while everyone is getting cleaned up, and it's able to replenish the hot water quick enough to ensure everyone gets a warm shower.

I don't know of a way (at least with the FP design) to get the hot water tank to heat through the inverter (i.e. from solar panels/12 volt batteries). Which might be a good thing, as I think it would run down one's batteries quite quick.

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Old 07-02-2016, 13:17   #13
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Re: Hot water

Thank you everybody for contributing your experiences.
One more question: When using hot water, the boiler starts to empty. Is that water immediately replaced by cold water, or only below a certain level?

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Old 07-02-2016, 15:58   #14
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Hot water

Water heater stays full at all times, drain an ounce out, and an ounce is replaced.

PS it's not a boiler as water temp should never get that high, just a tank.


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Old 29-02-2016, 20:54   #15
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Re: Hot water

I don't know of a way (at least with the FP design)

Does the heater not have an AC heater element in it to heat water when on shore power. If so you just use inverter supplied AC to heat water, that is how we do it. Have a 1 hour timer switch that is operated when Batteries are up to 100 % SOC and Solar panels are still able to supply power, this will heat up a 60 lt tank to a satisfactory temp. That way drain on Battery is only Heater load less the supplied current from solar panels.

eg: heater on inverter draws 125 amps for 1 hour, solar can supply 90 amps so only draw 35 from batteries for 1 hour which will be replaced easily in the following 1/2 hour.

This IMO is a lot easier than having dedicated Solar hot water, because you can never have to much power available.
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