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Old 08-11-2009, 20:19   #1
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24vdc Help for HUGE Anchor Windlass

Electickery has always been a bit out of my league.

On my current build I was planning on having a full 12 volt system and a 12 volt windlass but after a bit of consultation and thought on this thread Anchorlift WindlassI have decided that bigger is better and am now looking at the next winch size up Anchorlift - Windlasses: 55-90 foot Boats which is a 24 volt 2500 watt beast, bit of overkill on a light 50 footer but its in keeping with my 3.3 litre 65 hp engines.

The question of course now is ,how difficult will it be to have, I would assume, 2 x 12 volt batteries in series being charged by the engines when the winch is in use and then charging the rest of the 12 volt house bank when the windlass is not in use?

Or should I just consider an entire 24 volt system?

add: The engines have 80 amp alts on them

All help gratefully received, thanks.
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Old 08-11-2009, 22:41   #2
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Just keep it at 12V because most "24V" is much more expensive. We have a 12V Maxwell 3500 which works just great. I believe it's 2200W.

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Old 08-11-2009, 23:04   #3
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Just keep it at 12V because most "24V" is much more expensive.
Any examples as to why?


Quote:
We have a 12V Maxwell 3500 which works just great. I believe it's 2200W.
Well this would be the point

Over here a maxwell 3500 will cost around $3700
The anchorlift with the US worth what it is will cost me around $2200

$1500 cheaper and a more powerful winch with 5 year warranty
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Old 08-11-2009, 23:41   #4
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24 volts is better. Higher voltage = less amperage for the same power = less power drop, less heating up, etc. through your cable runs and generally better efficiency.

But the only way to mix 24v and 12v is to have a 24v system with "droppers" -- 24v to 12v voltage dropping transformers for the 12v stuff = inefficient.

So maybe not worth it just for the one windlass. Our boat has separate 12v and 24v alternators, but the 12v system is just for engine starting. Everything else is 24v except electronics, which get the droppers. It's really worth it on our boat because besides the windlass we have four powered winches which likewise benefit from 24v. Autopilot is 24v, even lighting gains efficiency from 24v.

Converting your whole system to 24v would be pretty involved and probably not worth it, however. Creating a separate 24v system just for the windlass would require an additional 24v alternator and a separate battery bank. Might be worth it if you at least had winches and so forth, but for just a windlass I reckon I would stick with 12v.

You'll need some big-azz cables for 2200 watts at 12v; you might consider a separate battery bank in the bows. This will shorten the cable run and also dampen the voltage shocks in the system.
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Old 09-11-2009, 00:04   #5
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24 volts is better. Higher voltage = less amperage for the same power = less power drop, less heating up, etc. through your cable runs and generally better efficiency.
This is what I was led to believe as well
Quote:
Converting your whole system to 24v would be pretty involved and probably not worth it, however. Creating a separate 24v system just for the windlass would require an additional 24v alternator and a separate battery bank. Might be worth it if you at least had winches and so forth, but for just a windlass I reckon I would stick with 12v.
As yet, nothing electrical has been purchased apart from the 80amp alts on the motors, but they are just normal automotive Bosch, not balmair or anything silly cost wise.

No wiring is in, she is a clean slate.

I was thinking if you could start the wiring and systems from scratch what would you go 12 or 24.
This is where I am at.


Quote:
You'll need some big-azz cables for 2200 watts at 12v; you might consider a separate battery bank in the bows. This will shorten the cable run and also dampen the voltage shocks in the system.
Yep, already doing this


Thanks so far.


Just to clarify

If there is no wiring in and you had a choice of 12 volt or 24 volt, which way would you go and would it cost much more to do?
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Old 09-11-2009, 00:12   #6
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Well, if you're starting from a clean sheet of paper, I would go 24v, myself. It's more expensive, but it's better.

You'll need separate 12v alternators and batteries for starting circuits (unless you can source 24v starters for your engines), but that's useful redundancy (much better to charge different battery banks with independent alternators anyway, rather than through diode splitters). Your 24v alternators will be pretty expensive. The 24v lighting and stuff is about the same cost. You'll need droppers for electronics -- some extra cost and trouble. But all in all -- it's better.
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Old 09-11-2009, 00:13   #7
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P.S. It's much harder to find LED lighting for 24v, than for 12v.
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Old 09-11-2009, 00:23   #8
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Holy monster Cat. That is a big winch even on the acherage you have up the front of your beast.

We seen many boats that have both 24 and 12v systems through out. 24 for winch and a few big power sucking items but 12 for the everyday sort of stuff. Bit of extra work but could pay off nicely at the end having the best of both worlds as they say. As mentioned the availability and cost of lots of 24V gear isn't as good as 12V.

And PS. a 3500 Maxwell will pull a bigger load than that AL. And both are heading into the overkill zone a bit. But you can be sure you wouldn't be pushing either hard, that's not a bad thing.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:25   #9
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I think the money you save on the 24V winch would be quickly eaten up in the higher cost of every other DC powered item. 12 V is just more common and therefore cheaper than 24 V. So every bilge pump, water pump, light bulb, alternator, radio, radar, autopilot and every other electrical item will be more. OR you have to go for dual systems which will also add cost and complexity.

24 V is certainly more efficient, uses smaller cables for long and high power runs but sometimes limits your other options.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:03   #10
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Cat,

Try "Marine Electrical Suppliers" , part # MES-3173M, Delco # 1119845.
Been a long time since I wired one of these up on an ex-military 6-71 grey marine.
I think at that time, I got it from Transpo or WAI
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:37   #11
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There is no reason you can't mix and match voltages. Charge the 12's with your alternators and create a 24v tap for your windlass. We also use a Maxwell 12v and are very happy with it but all the winches, bow thruster, auto, and fridge are 24 volt.

One advantage to 24v is a lighter power run.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:12   #12
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Quote:
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There is no reason you can't mix and match voltages. Charge the 12's with your alternators and create a 24v tap for your windlass. We also use a Maxwell 12v and are very happy with it but all the winches, bow thruster, auto, and fridge are 24 volt.

One advantage to 24v is a lighter power run.
Sounds like me Joli

Have you a link or any info as to how this "tap" is done?

I can find plenty of 24 to 12 but not anything that great on 12 to 24



Thanks
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:26   #13
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I’d possibly (more information required to be more certain) install a 24 Volt system with 24 volt alternator & charger (+solar?) Charging a 24 Volt battery Bank made up of 12Volt Battery pairs (series connected).

Your “standard” 12Volt Electronics & Etc could be operated through a (500 Watt*) 24V ➛ 12V DC/DC Converter.

* The converter starts to get expensive above about 500W (35Amp).
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:55   #14
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Cat man do: We are a 64' boat and our every-day-anchor is 176 lbs on 350' 3/8" G7 chain. I am so convinced that the Maxwell 3500 will outperform the other windlass you are looking at. Yes, it is serious money for the windlass but it will still be the cheapest solution in the end. Our cable run to the windlass is 4/0 and we use the regular house bank which is 24' away from the windlass (so electric circuit is 48' of 4/0 cable) and this works just fine. Separate batteries in the bow will not save weight.

We also have 12V powered winches: big Lewmar #66 primaries and two smaller deck winches (#58 and #48) and they have enough power too, even at their single speed setup.

You can't make a 24V tap on a 12V battery bank. You can make a 12V tap on a 24V bank.

Many arguments for 24V are valid: you get half the current for the same power so can use smaller wire. But most boats end up using 12V for almost everything so not much is saved then. Indeed LED lamps cancelled much of the advantage of 24V.

The added cost and complexity (24V alternators, 12V tap on house bank, DC-DC converters for all "light" 12V stuff, just try to buy a 24V VHF, still need 12V bank(s) for starting engines and gensets etc. etc.) isn't worth it imo because it just works fine on 12V too.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:08   #15
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This is just an idea so feel free to pooh-pooh it at your leisure.

What about a two battery bank in series just to run the windlass that is charged with a 24 volt charger off a standard inverter and separate from your other systems.

It doesn't seem like you would pull a great deal from your battery for most anchoring applications and the inverter powered charger could run on your house 12v system and top off the anchor batteries when needed. Pretty inefficient but for what you would be using it for maybe a cheaper and simpler way to go?

Would this even work?

Jim
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