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Old 09-08-2013, 23:00   #1
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12v system for everything?

Hello all,

Been reading up about electrical systems, inverters, etc. Is there any reason why I couldn't go with only 12volt? Only things I can think of that wouldn't be pure 12volt would be a TV or two, power tools, etc. Can you could use a small inverter to convert over to this?

For what reason do people go beyond normal 12volt?

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Simon
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Old 09-08-2013, 23:15   #2
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Hello all,

Been reading up about electrical systems, inverters, etc. Is there any reason why I couldn't go with only 12volt? Only things I can think of that wouldn't be pure 12volt would be a TV or two, power tools, etc. Can you could use a small inverter to convert over to this?

For what reason do people go beyond normal 12volt?

Regards,
Simon
Much easier these days with so many gadgets being charged via USB. But there's always something, I only have a small inverter and it's very seldom used these days.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:10   #3
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Re: 12v system for everything?

true 12v is also expensive and not really easy to find.

but yes... you can, with some effort, go all 12v.

-steve
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:22   #4
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Re: 12v system for everything?

The 230V AC kitchen appliances we have include turbo oven, toaster, kettle and small hot plate.

And a large fan for summer.

Among the AC tools I've three drills (including a drill press), router, circular, mitre and jig saws, Dremel type tool and a grinder.

Even those tools that use a battery must be charged from AC.

As you may have guessed I'm in a marina, but AC power is just so easy and convenient.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:56   #5
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The 230V AC kitchen appliances we have include turbo oven, toaster, kettle and small hot plate.

And a large fan for summer.

Among the AC tools I've three drills (including a drill press), router, circular, mitre and jig saws, Dremel type tool and a grinder.

Even those tools that use a battery must be charged from AC.

As you may have guessed I'm in a marina, but AC power is just so easy and convenient.
That's more than I had when I lived in a house
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:07   #6
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Re: 12v system for everything?

12 volt 19 inch TV and DVD player slot in the TV, All the usuall Gizmo connections, XD card slot, Etc Etc Etc, $200-00 Retail,

Buy a 5000 watt 10000 Watt 12 volt Pure Sine invertor for Less than $500-00, It runs all your big electrical stuff, Drills, Grinders, Etc,

I think the TV was Korean or Chinese, Who cares, what isnt Chinese these days,

My RV has the same systems as my Boat, But my RV has a lot more equiptment on it,

12 volt equiptment is out there and relatively cheap,

Buy it from an RV store or 4X4 store, or camping accessories outlet, or online,

Dont buy it from a, anything Marine shop, You will pay through the nose for it,

Marine is a luxury item, Expect to pay triple at least,
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:08   #7
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Re: 12v system for everything?

Trying to run as much as possible from 12v is a great idea. It is almost always more efficient.
However, it is difficult to get suitable 12v DC to DC converters for some things like camera batteries. Devices like soldering irons are also hard to find in 12v with the features you want.

The other problem is some of the DC to DC converters are a bit fragile. I think most of this stems from design assuming a car supply of close to 14v. Voltages in the low 12's tend to generate a fair bit more heat.

For these reasons many boats carry an inverter as well. It is a good back up for the slightly unreliable DC to DC converters, means that you don't have to fuss trying to get suitable converters for infrequently charged items and guests can bring their laptops etc.

I have two inverters, but they are are used only once a month a so, and if necessary I could do without them without any great hardship. I am only plugged in to shore power every couple of years.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:25   #8
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Re: 12v system for everything?

Boracay, I beg to differ with your regarding the battery operated tools. I bought a full set of 18 volt makita tools and was able to find a 12 volt charger set for them as well. I do not have any interest in Makita, I like their tools. I for one, am using 12 volt in as many applications as possible. While I do have a generator, due to the expense of fuel, I want only to run it when I start putting fish aboard, for the freezer. I am also planning on employing as large a solar array as I can fit on the vessel. Currently I have a small 42 watt unit just to keep the batteries up while the boat sits.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:39   #9
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Re: 12v system for everything?

There are chargers that will charge virtually any rechargeable battery irrespective of the chemistry,size, or voltage, directly from the 12v boat supply.

This one is mine. Its gets used every second day or so.

They are useful on board a boat providing you are careful when charging lithium based batteries. They are also more efficient than the AC based charger, but generally a small inverter is the easiest way to charge infrequently used appliances.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:19   #10
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Re: 12v system for everything?

One reason is cost.
The cost of running 12v wiring to power a particular load is more than running 110 or 220 volt wiring. This is because the size of the wiring needed depends upon the amperage. For any particular load, the amperage increases as the voltage drops. Just remember P=VxI, power equals volts times amps. So a 12 volt circuit is 10 times the amperage of a 120 volt line (for the same load).
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:01   #11
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We do pretty good on 12V on a day-to-day basis and rarely miss AC. The one thing I miss is the ability to run my high speed drill and jigsaw at will.

It's all about your lifestyle. I suspect the 12V route is only practical for smaller boats with relatively simple needs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:18   #12
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Re: 12v system for everything?

It seems like some of the cruisers here have a pretty extensive 110 volt / 220 volt collection of toys. I keep hearing about the mircowaves, AC, and so on. I am not geared that way. I have an interest in keeping things and systems as simple as possible. There is a role for 110 volt on my vessel, but that is for auxiliary purposes rather than as the mainstay. I have learned since being here that there are a wide variety of perspectives on this issue, I can only sail my own boat, and satisfy myself. If you are a bit creative you can get most of what you want and all of what you need without using too much current.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:23   #13
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Re: 12v system for everything?

Depends on the amenities one wants. We have a 32" TV, electric coffee pot, microwave, 8cuft self defrost fridge a 4cuft self defrost fridge on the aft deck plus other 120vac stuff. Even my davit crane operates on 120vac. If I had been able to find a 120vac windlass, I might have purchased it instead of my 24vdc Maxwell HWC2200. Oh, we also have a 7.5KW generator along with 4 145 watt solar panels. If I can make room, I might increase the solar to 6 panels.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:23   #14
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Re: 12v system for everything?

It makes no sense to remove mains AC devices from a boat, whether you provide that AC circuit from a genny, shore power or inverter, its still mains AC and very useful it is too.

for example , when plugged in to shore power ( and increasing option) I can easily run parts of the boat without stressing the batteries.
Dave
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:45   #15
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Re: 12v system for everything?

The only things that I can think of that you would need AC for is a microwave, air conditioner, and also maybe a fridge, since DC fridges are much more expensive than AC ones.
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