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Old 30-12-2009, 14:07   #16
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Kill-A-Watt: Great gizmo but for AC only. There are other devices to read DC amps, but they're not going to plug into line cords that way.
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Old 02-01-2010, 17:20   #17
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goboatingnow, I also got the power consumption for the chartplotter/GPS from the specs on the raymarine site. Does this work? The raymarine site shows 2.75-6 amps for the autopilot as you say, so I picked 5 amps. Am I missing any components here? I leave the chartplotter on at anchorage for the anchor alarm, unless it is a place I’m comfortable with. I fixed the TV hours, that helped!
The corepack unit draws about 300-400 millamps and the linear drives in my experience pull about 7 amps at 12V though they can pull more and the corepack can handle upto 40A ( if my memorys right).

If you retain the 80amp alternator, you need to forget about big banks, youll never recharge them

Your comments re the heater are right the hydronic units with blowers are huge amp eaters, if you havent installed it ,consider a hot air unit. Simple to install, cheaper, quieter etc, also my espar D5 uses 5amp stotal once fired up an running.

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If you install a battery energy monitor like the Link 10, you can find out how many amps each piece of equipment draws by turning them on, one at a time. The ones that cycle rapidly, like the autopilot, will require a little interpolating by eyeball.
Yes to a point, I use a recording small oscilliscope, a fluke scopemeter, link 10s and other devices make it very hard to see spikes, short term amp changes etc. You tend to underestimate the numbers.
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:28   #18
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why even bother with anchorage figures?

I find that my biggest usage is sailing at night, at which point I'm running around 12 amps per hour with all systems going. During a passage I'll burn through 180ah per day if I'm running radar and autopilot for long stretches.

My solar panels reliably replace 90ah per day, and my wind generator can certainly deal with the other half in most instances. If not, the 120 amp alternator can pick up the slack.

The point is that once I'm at anchor I use far less than 180ah per day, so I don't sweat having enough power at that point. The one caveat here is that I don't use a watermaker. I do use a diesel furnace when it's chilly, and the forced-air system on our current boat draws significantly less current than the hydronic system we had on the previous boat.

It seems to me that if you budget for what you'll need while sailing the rest will fall into place.
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Old 02-01-2010, 22:16   #19
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It seems to me that if you budget for what you'll need while sailing the rest will fall into place.
True, but it's still nice to know the numbers for the different situations. While on passage I plan for a certain number of engine-charging hours per week (this number depending on cloud-cover/solar panel output). Almost by accident my at-anchor numbers equal the typical solar panel output, and perhaps a load optimization that wouldn't make much of a difference while at sea could make the difference between having to run the engine while on the hook and not.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:33   #20
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Bash asks:
Quote:
why even bother with anchorage figures?
The answer is that when actively cruising, the average cruiser spends 90 to 95% of the time NOT underway.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:16   #21
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Short of buying a Link10...you can also buy any $20-25 multimeter that has a 10-amp (rather than 2-amp) maximum DC-amp range on it, loosen one wire or pull the fuse behind any instrument, and insert the multimeter in line to directly measure the current. If you exceed the rating of the meter, expect to blow an obscure fuse that is IN the meter, so also try to find spares.
A current shunt can also be handy, it will not harm the meter. See Jaycar QP-5410 $6.50 and other.

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cdennyb, Nav instruments for me is my tridata and wind display. I got the values from the power consumption off the raymarine website, which are 45 and 65 mA. I thought this was low, too, is this an accurate way to est. the power usage? And of course you can use the sheet, glad you like it.
ST 50 Tridata 50mA, full backlit 100mA
ST 50 Wind 90mA, full backlit 250mA
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:27   #22
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there's a solution for that

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
True, but it's still nice to know the numbers for the different situations. While on passage I plan for a certain number of engine-charging hours per week (this number depending on cloud-cover/solar panel output). Almost by accident my at-anchor numbers equal the typical solar panel output, and perhaps a load optimization that wouldn't make much of a difference while at sea could make the difference between having to run the engine while on the hook and not.
I'm in the same boat, so to speak. My solar panels equal my at-anchor energy budget, at least during the summer months when I tend to spend weeks at a time on the hook. Where the panels fail is when I'm making an all-night passage. The solution for this was to add a 200 watt wind generator.

Problem solved, except for instances when I'm on a deep broad reach in light air, at which point we need Balmar to come to the rescue.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:30   #23
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chala-
Shunts are great but they cross the line into "techie" and "permanent setup" and "more stuff to break" (come loose or short out). For that matter you can also use a specific length of battery cable as a current shunt, American Wire Gauge, AWG Cable Size Description for Copper Wire Cable
just pick the handy cable size and use Ohm's law with the voltage drop. Odds are, you can find a foot of cable faster than ordering in a shunt. Or, measure an existing cable that's in the circuit, and read the voltage drop in it. The "master" ground cable is the typical one to measure if you're checking the whole system.
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Old 03-01-2010, 21:13   #24
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Shunts are great but they cross the line into "techie" and "permanent setup" and "more stuff to break" (come loose or short out)..
Not really. SOAR used to make some that plugged straight into their digital multimeters.
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For that matter you can also use a specific length of battery cable as a current shunt, American Wire Gauge, AWG Cable Size Description for Copper Wire Cable
just pick the handy cable size and use Ohm's law with the voltage drop. Odds are, you can find a foot of cable faster than ordering in a shunt. Or, measure an existing cable that's in the circuit, and read the voltage drop in it. The "master" ground cable is the typical one to measure if you're checking the whole system.
That’s not "techie" that’s “mucking around”. By the time you get it right and properly tuned it will cost you far more than $6.50 and a little bit of oxidation and you are back to tuning it again.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:42   #25
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Yah, but here Stateside you won't find many shunts for $6.50, and the odds are that shipping will cost you another $10 on top of that. Oxidation? Tuning? Not necessary. Marine cable is going to be tinned so there's no oxidation to speak of. Tuning? Not really, we're not looking for nine-nine laboratory accuracy anyway, just "good enough for government work". A shunt is a shunt, they all have shortcomings. And here, the main shortcoming is FINDING one without spending a fortune.

Sure, you can buy a shunt to plug into most brand-name multimeters. But again...$$$ for both the meter and the shunt. More than a casual user would spend.
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Old 04-01-2010, 17:17   #26
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Sensational calculator!

Its great: I can turn off what I use underway for the anchored calculation and visa versa.
It makes it easier to juggle max power - i.e. sailing at night.
I think the consumption of each unit would be better defined as one uses this calclator for a while.

I had a massive problem (before my upgrade to 300ah batts) while sailing and it took us ages to work out that the helm chart plotter screen takes a HUGE amount of power. Just turning it down makes a difference of one hour engine charging per day!
We were then able to run with it dimmed to where we could see it, down at night and bright when needed. On passage we just put it on about once per watch

Thanks for the calculator!


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Old 05-01-2010, 13:11   #27
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Thanks for the calculator!


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You're welcome, you can re-pay me by bottling up some of that sunshine down where you are and sending it up here!
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Old 11-01-2010, 17:26   #28
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Geo Thank you very much for your spread sheet and I hope you do not mind me useing it, Oh and mostlikly I will have questions. lol



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Old 11-01-2010, 19:19   #29
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a battery monitor is invalueable in tracking your power usage You will learn things that other wise you would know worth the $200 imho
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Old 13-01-2010, 07:41   #30
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That’s not "techie" that’s “mucking around”. By the time you get it right and properly tuned it will cost you far more than $6.50 and a little bit of oxidation and you are back to tuning it again.
No its not, using the voltage drop of a high current cable, is a fine way to measure current and only requires setting up once.
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