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Old 31-01-2010, 07:18   #1
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Abby Sunderland's Blog: Not Enough DC

1/31/10 Abby Sunderland writes:

"The fact is I am just not able to generate enough power with my solar panels and wind generators to keep up with all of my energy needs. We didn't budget enough fuel for me to run my two alternators as often as I have been needing to so....A new battery or two and more fuel will be put on board in Cabo."

Is adding one or two batteries and more fuel going to stem the tide for enough dc?
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Old 31-01-2010, 07:50   #2
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I wonder if not enough prep will continue to plague this trip, I hope for her sake they get it all together after this little shack down. Still wishing her the all best
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Old 31-01-2010, 14:29   #3
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More batteries is not going to give any more DC, just more storage. If she is using more than she is making, all you have is a bigger empty container.
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Old 31-01-2010, 14:48   #4
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Before anyone makes the jump to solar and wind power they have to first determine there usage. If you don't this is the situation you find yourself in. Calculate the maximum you will use, then build a solar/wind system to meet those needs based on real world input and not manufacturers published numbers. If you can't or don't meet those figures, than you will need to use either a generator or the main engine to supplement the difference. More batteries will not do it, but more fuel and engine maintenance with additional run time will as long as the charging system on the engine is up to the task. WG
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Old 31-01-2010, 15:00   #5
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Originally Posted by Windsun View Post
More batteries is not going to give any more DC, just more storage. If she is using more than she is making, all you have is a bigger empty container.

I would agree, but if she can make more dc and have more batteries to store it, she will have a surplus she can tap when she needs it. I didn't see anywhere on her site what she has for a solar system, and I think there are two wind generators, but she does indicate heavy usage of alternators and a need for more fuel to run them. I think they need to rethink a bit here before she plugs on.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:39   #6
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Wind generators are notoriously over rated, so if she went by the published specs on those, that could be a large part of her problem.


One good example is the common Air-X. It was originally rated at 400 watts, then the new version (Air Breeze) dropped that down to 200 watts, then after some real life testing it was dropped to 160 watts.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:47   #7
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wind generators are also not very efficient on a reach and especially on a run, as they work off apparent wind.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:08   #8
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I work as a marine electronics engineer. More often than not I see people (both on comercial and and leasuere crafts) upgrade their battery and charging capacity at great cost and usually with unsatisfactory results. I'm a dedicated beleiver in the other path; Decrease power usage!

* LED running lights
* Interior LED lights in places where you don't need or want warm light
* Turn off the instruments you don't absolutely need on long passages, at least during daytime
* Make sure all cables are well maintained and well dimensioned to eliminate voltage drop
* Use a modern fridge, if you absolutely need one. On long passages the fridge can usually be shut off as soon as the fresh food is gone. I also like to buy frozen food to put in there. A pound of frozen meat will reduce power consumption, and it tastes good

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Old 01-02-2010, 07:20   #9
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I'm a dedicated beleiver in the other path; Decrease power usage!
I think the power consumption on these publicity driven single handers is enormous as theyre constantly videoing, blogging, etc ppp; having said that, Ive just had a look, unfortunately they don't specify the amount of solar wattage but from looking at the photos there's LOTS on there.

Btw, how's the refit Hampus? Your blog has died
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:21   #10
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I think the power consumption on these publicity driven single handers is enormous as theyre constantly videoing, blogging, etc ppp; having said that, Ive just had a look, unfortunately they don't specify the amount of solar wattage but from looking at the photos there's LOTS on there.

Btw, how's the refit Hampus? Your blog has died
good point!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:06   #11
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She's had very light air going down so those wind generators probably weren't creating the anticipated output. But , then again there's going to be a number of light air zones that she's going to pass through.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:11   #12
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There has not been too much wind during these days, and cloudy, a reason why they have not generated so much power. They probably want have more storage for such periods, and more fuel so that there will be enough power during the entire trip. According to PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers there is not so much wind forecasted for the next few days. Abby's team also want to repair the wind meter which failed after a day.

Jessicas team has chosen a more conservative approach. She brings all fresh-water needed already from the start. This makes the boat more heavy. There is an emergency hand operated water maker. Jessica also uses a mechanical windvane a lot.

Abby has a faster boat with an electric watermaker. She has no windvane, only electric autopilot. She has no fridge, and no hot shower, only cold shower.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idpnd View Post
I think the power consumption on these publicity driven single handers is enormous as theyre constantly videoing, blogging, etc ppp; having said that, Ive just had a look, unfortunately they don't specify the amount of solar wattage but from looking at the photos there's LOTS on there.

Btw, how's the refit Hampus? Your blog has died
Hehe. Refit is coming along nicely although at the moment the boat is frozen in ice

The blog isn't really dead but I can't continue writing about our plans (caribbean, leaving in 5 months) as I havn't revealed them at work yet (hope noone reads this). We're selling the apartment or subletting it, whichever is easiest. But as we can't afford to both go cruising and keep paying for the apartment I want to wait before I drop the bomb at work, until I know that we can really cut the moorings. I really hope noone I know reads this...

Anyway, my fingers are itching to write another post there

/Hampus
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:31   #14
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Wind generators are notoriously over rated, so if she went by the published specs on those, that could be a large part of her problem.


One good example is the common Air-X. It was originally rated at 400 watts, then the new version (Air Breeze) dropped that down to 200 watts, then after some real life testing it was dropped to 160 watts.

I'm glad somebody finally agrees with my opinion about wind generators, in particular, Air-X! I had one, and was greatly disappointed with it and promptly sold it, and then bought another 135w solar panel.
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