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Old 06-05-2014, 17:52   #121
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by markv View Post

We will be ordering 16 x Calb 400Ah batteries, coming in from Poland - they fit in the space where the batteries currently fit

Also ordering 6 x 330W Benq Sunforte Solar Panels. .
One of the following seems to be the case:

Either
1. My math is really bad
2. I'm misunderstanding something here
or
3. You have an unlimited budget

I'm following your build with much interest! We are building a similar sized cat with hopes of having 1000-1200 watts of solar and I thought that was a lot! I have dreams of 1600-2000AH of batteries and I thought THAT was a lot. Then you come along with almost 2000 watts of solar and (am I reading this right?!) 6400AH of batteries! My boat is a hybrid with the option of using electric motors to power her, plus no propane...all electric boat. So I'm amazed and flabbergasted at your set up. Jealous too! I think it's great...just not sure how you can justify the huge cost of that much Lithium. Solar is cheap really...and finding the space without making your boat look odd is the biggest challenge it seems.
I guess I'm really just shocked at your numbers because I've never seen anything like it. Kudos for thinking outside of the box.
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Old 06-05-2014, 18:16   #122
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

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Originally Posted by markv View Post
@D&D - I just noticed the solar panels you have are 1559x1046, which makes for a good array for us of 6 panels - it gives a total width of less than 4.8m including the frame which is what I was looking for..a bit more extended out the back but not much.. where did you get your panels from and how much were they?..I am having a problem sourcing Sunpower panels at the moment
Sorry for the tardy response here. Been doing some sailing (!) and prepping for our upcoming Winter Exhibition Cruise.

We are a SunPower 'Partner'/supplier...and we are also a bit (a lot, actually) embarrassed by the seemingly constant reports of difficulty sourcing SunPower panels. Happily, there are no supply problems here in Australia, nor -- We understand -- in the USA, although the latter seem to be all very large installations with some (many?) of our Stateside collegues appearing uninterested in the typically much smaller vessel installations.

Anyway it sounds like your panel decision is already made, but if it's still relevant the SunPower options we can suggest from here are either (1) buy ours and arrange shipping or (2) we can find the nearest SunPower Partner to where you need the panels. Our panels sell for A$649 -- Cf SunPower E20 327W Panel, Floating Impressions -- and we can surely vouch for their outstanding performance, especially -- This where SunPower really 'shines'! -- in limited light and awkward sun angles.

Finally, we join the chorus of others here in saying your installations sound excellent! Well done indeed...and we wish you fair winds and following seas to accompany all that electricity!!
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Old 06-05-2014, 22:27   #123
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

@bryguy67 - Sorry..I should have said, 16 x 3.2v 400Ah CALB Batteries, so wired in series and parallel to give a total of 12v / 1600Ah. The batteries are $523 each at the moment and they have stock in Europe. I can buy a similar thing from Balqon at US$440 each but they would have to get shipped over to France where there is 20% VAT, or to Gibraltar..so not too much difference and I can order 4 or 5 days before delivery instead of 4 weeks from USA.

For the solar panels, the array we used to have spanned the width of the bimini on the Lagoon 440 and held 4 solar panels of 160W each. That was done in 2007 and we never had a problem with them or the array and we were in winds up to 50+ knots. The 450 bimini is now 5.4m wide, so having an array of 4.9m x 2.2m should work ok, some of that overlaps the bimini top and the supporting back poles will not go right to the back this time. Planning on 38mm SS tubes to build the array, total weight of tubes is about 40kg, and about 115kg for the actual panels.

We did use a lot of power on the Lagoon 440 before, and ALWAYS had problems with the generator (Fischer Panda) in one form or another. I remember being in the Marquesas with a bust generator starter motor, 2 broken alternators, 1 engine with cylinder head problems, and no marina to run to. What saved us was the solar panels, and on a cloudy day we borrowed a 2kw honda portable generator to get the batteries charged a bit more. After all this was over, the battery bank was not so healthy as it had gone down past 50% too much..We were stuck there for 3 weeks waiting for spares which never arrived, and we limped to Papeete on solar power and manual steering for a few days. So this time, will do it with LiOn combined with solar power, and a portable generator just in case.

As for the look of the boat, we hardly ever noticed it on the last one, and it added shade and rain protection.

@D&D - I think Sunpower are just concentrating on working with installers for houses and industrial setups. I got a couple of emails back from offices of Sunpower saying, sorry we have no installers in Gibraltar, no installers in Philippines where i live. I tried the resellers, they say sorry we cannot ship without installing. I don't want an installer, I just want the panels..lol. I live an hours drive away from where they are actually made here in the Philippines, and I cannot even buy them here and ship somewhere. However, the BENQ panels use the same Sunpower cells, so instead of 327, they call it 330..same dimensions, same cell efficiency and I can buy them for 350 Euros each in Europe (about AU$520), and have them shipped to the boat in 3 or 4 days. Thanks very much for your offer tho, seems the dealers understand the problem better than the parent company... But if you can let me know of a dealer in France or UK that can supply Sunpower E20 327 panels, that might be a good backup just in case BENQ is out of stock.
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Old 06-05-2014, 23:00   #124
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Found a couple pictures from the Lagoon 440 we had, showing 4 panels added to the back...
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:36   #125
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Mark,
Next time you post photos of the panels could you maybe get some pretty scenery in the background? Wow. Makes me want to get out there NOW.
Your story of getting caught in the middle of nowhere with mechanical charging issues really makes one appreciate that a cat has the redundancy levels that it has (2 engines/alternators/etc). Our boat will be equipped with 2 hydro generators (Isara 45 hybrid) so we could have sailed the boat in that situation vs borrowing a generator.

I've seen 440's with the solar set up like yours and it looks okay to me...I've always wondered about wind issues but yours did fine by the sounds of it.

Our panels will be on the cockpit roof behind the raised helm but that's not enough space for the 1000-1200 watt goal I have. I'm hoping to do an additional array of walk-on panels on the flat area in front of the helm that is used as a large sun pad. We likely won't be laying in the sun (rather will be hiding from it), but want to be able to have pads there when we have guests visiting. If I put walk on panels there I can still walk to the mast if I need to, and can also snap in the pads over top of the panels when guests want to lay in the sun. It's not ideal since I need MORE power when we have guests, but the amount of time they will want to lay in that spot is probably limited. And I won't have to add additional tubes/poles to hold them. It should be a nice clean look. It's not a final decision yet...I need to price the walk-on panels and I know they are more expensive and put out less power for the same size panel that can't be walked on. So we'll see.

Seems that the Lithium batteries are about 3 times the price of non-lithium...roughly speaking. Many advantages and I'm still pondering that upgrade. We'll see.

With the 440, how long could you stay at anchor without using the generator or alternators to charge?
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Old 11-05-2014, 16:12   #126
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

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Originally Posted by bryguy67 View Post
With the 440, how long could you stay at anchor without using the generator or alternators to charge?
With 654W of SunPower....

...and sunlight (and even light cloud cover) we could stay at anchor indefinitely without using the genset. With solid sunlight, we can cruise days indefinitely without using the genset. If we're sailing overnight, we would probably use the genset for an hour or two, although our 960 Ah gel batteries were probably beaten up a bit before the solar panels arrived such that a better battery bank would perhaps take us through the nights' sailing as well.

We do not, however, carry some of the bigger power-suckers like air conditioning or a water maker. Our consumption at anchor would comprise 2 x frigs and 1 x freezer; an 8-speaker stereo; plenty of 'office' electronics (computers, printer, etc); and a few galley appliances like a juicer and ice cream maker.

When cruising we would add the chart plotters and autopilot and power winches to the power consumption.

We need the genset if we want a hot shower (and haven't been using the starboard engine at all)...and we'll take advantage of any time it's running to use the kettle and/or toaster as both of those are too high wattage for our inverter.

On balance, we still use the genset, but far, far less than before...and, in most situations, not at all.

Fair winds!
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Old 11-05-2014, 22:23   #127
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Got lots of pictures of the boat, but not a lot of the solar panels..I should have taken more at the time..hindsight...

We were energy hogs, using a lot of water as we often had guests who had no experience of water management. Before we changed all our lights over to LED, we had to run the generator, usually at dinnertime when everything else was getting used. Depending on what what we were doing, that was needed less. Before the solar panels, we would find that in the morning the batteries might have dropped to 55% and had to charge up again...but with solar panels we didn't have to do that. We only had 640W of power..giving max of 35A an hour...but I think our daily use was about 450 to 500. This time, we will have a few other things and a larger watermaker (85l, 44A and hour Aquatec), so I want as large an array as I can and hold that charge for a few days if not so sunny. Still unsure of the wind problems, as this array is larger than the last, but playing with mounting options at the moment. The array will be bigger than a pool table at 4.9m x 2.2m and 1980W of power..


Might investigate hydro generators as well, but only if the solar is not enough. The iskara looks nice, plenty of ideas taken from the 440 and 450 models?.., what's the base price on that then?
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:47   #128
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

D&D, that's awesome. Everyone will have a different answer I suppose depending on their power usage and habits. Sounds like you've blended yours just right.

Mark, honestly I don't know what the base price is on the Isara 45. I've heard that it has been adjusted for the many changes and upgrades to the base boat. Yes, the layout is similar to the L450 and Helia 44 in many ways, but also different than most in other ways. I'll post drawings when I'm allowed to...it's getting exciting.
As for hydro generators, they would help in the situation where D&D describes needing to run his gen while under sail. The other use would be to leave the anchorage and go on a day sail to charge up if it's been hot enough to run the air or if the water maker or washer/dryer need to be run. Our boat won't have a stand alone generator, but if I had one on a conventional set up I think it would be hard to justify the cost of a hydro generator just so you don't have to run the gen here and there.
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Old 13-05-2014, 07:09   #129
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

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Originally Posted by markv View Post
...



We have ordered a Quattro 12/3000/120 that will replace the 2 factory installed chargers, along with a VE.net monitor.



We will do some of the work ourselves, but hoping Robin Marine will be up to speed when the boat is commissioned in July and that they can work with us.



Any comments most welcome...learning as we go.

You can leave the Cristec chargers and connect them to a new shore connection. The Cristecs are multi-voltage so you can plug in everywhere. Works well on my friend's 450.

Robin Marine twice installed VHF antennas that failed during the first Atlantic crossing due to failure of the bracket and the antenna being very heavy. I had told them about the failure of both antennas on my first boat and then had the same problem on the second boat.

With lithium - most electrician have no clue. They only want to do what they always do. That makes the money. They can certainly do the work, but may need your direction.

The boss of Robin Marine, Thierry Chevillon, is quite easy to work with. His English is quite good.
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Old 13-05-2014, 11:16   #130
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Rolf -

We may work on the battery system ourselves with oversight from a marine electrician there, depends if we can get the CALB batteries in there and also the BMS that we need.

What BMS did you decide to use to manage the 8 x 700 cells? From wiring diagrams we need to connect the BMS positives to each positive on the batteries (16 of them), and one negative to the negative terminal of the bank. I am assuming that the shunt goes between the BMS negative and the negative terminal?

If we use the BMS (at the moment looking at the Orion Junior), does that mean we don't have to hook the all up in parallel to balance them when first charging them?..THE BMS should handle it.

The outputs from the Flexmax will connect to the charge bus, along with the alternator output and the Quattro and Cristec chargers and any loads connected to the load bus. Does that sound about right?

Quite a bit of this will be installed by the electrician anyway so is there anything we should keep in mind when swapping the batteries out for the CALB 400Ah cells?
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Old 19-05-2014, 10:06   #131
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

I am just returning from my installation on a friend's L450 and subsequent delivery from Annapolis to Grenada. All systems are fine. Sitting at the airport with a decent internet in a while.

I do not use a BMS on any of my 4 installations.

First, you have to connect the cells in parallel then in series. That way you only have four cells to monitor and weak cells are helped by the strong ones. Doing it the other way is asking for trouble.

I use a programmable voltmeter from Lightobjects.com and it controls a charge-solenoid and a load-solenoid. If you have a combined inverter/charger then hook it up to the load bus bar and trust that the charger will never overcharge the LiFePo cells. I use Victron inverter/chargers and they are programmable I use a Junsi Celllog just for visually checking the individual cell voltages.

I balance the cells in one of two ways at the install time:
1 - hook them in parallel to a bench top power supply and increase the voltage to 3.65V keep it there for at least an hour.
2 - I install the batteries and set the charger to 14.6V. As the voltages in the cells go up I watch the differences and use a long pice of cheap electric cable for homes (all three conductors twisted together and the outer insulation removed for better heat dissipation) to "short" the high cells to let the lower ones catch up.

The way we use the cells in house banks you should never have to rebalance them or maybe every 3 years. All my systems are still well balanced.

I do not charge higher than 13.8V under normal conditions, balancing exempt.

I do not change anything on the alternator system. Just make sure they are temperature regulated. In my experience the Hitachi (Yanmar) and Mitsubishi (Volvo) are temperature regulated. That means if they get hot they throttle back.

I leave the alternators connect to the house and starter battery. That way if the charge-solenoid disconnects them the extra current spike goes into the starter battery and the diodes do not get damaged.
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Old 21-05-2014, 23:42   #132
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

I went with the recommendation from Peter at CALB in Europe, as we will need some help and advice when installing it all in France and he's very responsive to emails and questions etc, even on Sundays....so we have ordered 16 x 400Ah CALB (pre balanced), wired in 4P4S, with a Ligoo BMS and 4 active balancers. That gives us a 12v / 1600Ah bank. Will leave the LA starter batteries in there as Rolf suggested..

I mentioned on another thread about our solar install, we are putting in 4 x 435W Panels to give us 1740W Total, with 2 x FlexMax 80 MPPT controllers (one for each pair of panels), a Mate 3 monitor and an Outback HUB.

The array on the back, I have attached some diagrams, but it is very simple - using 38mm tubes, it is still fairly light. Total weight of all panels is 114kg. Also bending the tubes in the middle slightly so the panels slope to the center, and we will add a rain gutter in the middle with a hosepipe connector to collect rainwater. The back of the boat will have some rain shelter as there is an overlap. We will attach to the existing 16cm round plates that are the top of the large poles supporting the cockpit roof. Will have the panels delivered to Gibraltar, and have the SS array made there as well, as it is fairly inexpensive...abut 1200 Euros.
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Old 29-06-2014, 14:19   #133
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

This new bimini design looks great and I like the idea of being able to climb on to it for sail access. My dealer mentioned it to me but we had already spent a lot on the previous model.

The dealers are having a conference in July to discuss the best and worst of the L450 and so what to improve. I gave him a list of lots of small stuff but the two items that stands out as being a big hassle and reducing the ease of use are the stack pack (very poor made, rips. A hassle to undo the cover flaps, flaps around and untidy when sailing unless a bigger crew ties it to the boom and that is hard to do.) and the reefing (yes it works but the ropes almost always tangle, usually around the boom and the forces are huge)

To any new L450 owner maybe consider an in boom furler?
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Old 27-12-2014, 09:04   #134
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

Here's a few pictures of solar array we finally had done in the canaries...been in use over the Atlantic and now in caribbean...working very well - 1.9kw solar array, 2 flex max 80, 1600A/12v calb lithium pack (16x400amp). The extra shade is great..and the water collector works well too.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 28-12-2014, 01:53   #135
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Re: Lagoon 450 Modifications

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...I am hoping Robin Marine have the expertise to install it all together with our array...
From my experience, you might watch carefully on their work.
I had several problems with their work in 2011.
Perhaps they do more careful work today.
Samples of their work on my boat (there were more issues):
1. Installed several 12v outlets without connecting the wires to the outlet.
2. Installed solar panels, but failed to put in the fuse on the way to the charger.
3. Installed the Raymarine MFD with an old version of the software.
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