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Old 16-08-2005, 03:39   #1
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Question Ammeter Sizing

I just installed an Airex wind generator and want to install a simple/cheap analog ammeter to monitor output. Blue Sea has one that reads up to 25 Amps and that is the range I'm most interested in monitoring. At high wind speeds, the generator can put out about 40 AMPS, but that would be a rare occasion. Would the high amperage during high winds fry the ammeter or just peg it out. Higher range ammeters requite separate shunts, are more expensive and more complicated to install. What do you think?
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Old 16-08-2005, 06:14   #2
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What the higher amperage would do to the meter is a good question but my advise is go with the 50 amp. It may be no more expensive because you'll have to run large diameter wire rated for 40 amps to your panel with the un-shunted meter. With the shunted meter you do not have to bring the large cable to the panel. I believe the sense wires are only fused for 1 amp.
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Old 16-08-2005, 10:41   #3
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Or if it is scale accuracey you are after, then go digital. It will give you far greater accuracy than analogue.
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Old 16-08-2005, 13:17   #4
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50 Amps from a wind generator is extremely high. Most I have seen struggle to get to 10. I would expect a 25 amp meter would be more than enough. In the name of keeping power wire runs short I would go for a shunted meter, unless the wire run already passes close to where you want the meter mounted. And I also agree with the digital readout. Most of the time outputs are small and you will be interested in a tighter resolution that a 50 or even a 25 amp analog meter gives.
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Old 17-08-2005, 03:44   #5
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Thanks for the inputs. I plan to mount the ammeter right below the wind generator stop switch so I have the heavy gauge (6AWG) easily available. The digital ones are nice, but I just want a tool to let me know the generator is working properly and 98% of the time it will be putting out 0-10 amps.
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Old 27-08-2005, 02:18   #6
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I sent an e-mail to Blue Sea Co and they sent the following reply:
Thank you for your inquiry. Ammeters will be damaged if they are subjected to repeated current above their rating. While I understand that most of your current will be well within the tolerances, if it is pegged repeatedly, it will get damaged.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Scott McEniry
>Sales Operations Manager
>Blue Sea Systems
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Old 28-08-2005, 01:00   #7
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Greg;

Where did you mount your wind generator? I put the base mount for mine on the sloping part of the steps. I am going to attach the supports to the Dinghy davits and saftey line stantion. This whole business required that I get some additional clamps that did not come in the mounting kit. I am still waiting for that hardware.

How did you wire it up? I used a 50 amp relay and mounted the control switch on my Nav station. I have the link 2000 monitor. I though about using the second shunt to monitor the wind generator output, but decided that since I will be installing solar panels, it would be just as good to have the total amparage draw as the individual input.

Cheers,

Keith
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:50   #8
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Hi Keith,
We had an aluminum arch made with two legs on each hull (inboard of steps on the sloping flat area). The arch has an pole on the port side where we mounted radar scanner and wind gen above the radar. I replaced the single engine start battery with two golf cart batteries (just fit in the box) so I wired the negative directly to the batteries and the positive through a stop switch mounted below the sink in the aft (port) cabin. From the stop switch, positive lead goes through a 50AMP fuse and then to the batteries. I ordered an ammeter to monitor output, but I don't have it yet.

My battery bank setup is not conventional due to refrigeration system. I'm currently installing an Adler Barber clone (12 V DC) system after removing the engine driven system (broken). The DC fridge requires heavy cables which I didn't want to run from the starboard hull or to the main breaker panels. I installed an extra 8 breaker panel on port side of bridge deck for the fridge and other new equipment. The two golf carts on the port hull are paralleled to the 4 golf carts on the starboard hull to make one large house bank and no engine start battery. I know I'm defying conventional wisdom here, but it really simplifies everything. I can isolate the port batteries from stbd batteries if I suspect a problem in one bank. I may eventually install and "e-meter" on the port side so I have a better idea of amps going in or out of that side.

This is a long answer to your question, but thought you would be interested in how we are setting up our boat.

How is your boat coming along? Going cruising after hurricane season?
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