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Old 13-04-2012, 05:18   #1
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Lightbulb Batteries for a 32 Footer

Hello everyone,
I have just signed my life away to a beautiful 32 foot sailboat which i am restoring and using for long term cruising
I have good understanding of dc systems when it comes to wiring, but im lost when it comes to battery sizes or amps hour drawn..
Currently the boat has a small outboard engine which is supposed to charge the starter battery, the lights and the wind instruments are connected to the same battery, thats pretty much all there is right now, the engine is off right now and works on pull start, i think thats the only thing that works.
I want to re do the whole thing and add a new bank, but i dont know what size batteries to get in order to run the following with no restrictions over a 24 hour period,

waeco CF 25 fridge ( running in fridge mode)
Waeco CF 25 fridge (running in freezer mode)
wind instruments (bog standard raymarines)
plotter with depthsounder (a small garmin)
stereo with 4 speakers (which will be used alot)
nav lights and cabin lights (not Led but will upgrade eventually)

And then have the outboard which is an 8 hp hooked up to its own independent battery (It cant be pull started as it lives in a well)

I will not be using solar panels or wind generators, they will ruin her lines and i cant have that!
I was thinking of buying a honda ec1000 generator and charging the batteries via an AC battery charger hooked on to the generator, what size charger would be best suited for this? any experience with this type of arrangements?

cheers
The Packet!
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Old 13-04-2012, 06:08   #2
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

For full-time, liveaboard cruising you'll likely need something like 400-450AH total capacity in the house bank (200AH usable, but more like 125AH in reality, cycling between a 50% and an 80% SOC). That means, e.g., four 6V golf-cart size batteries. Flooded golf-carts are the best value.

With the frig/freezer, you'll not likely get by with much less in the way of battery capacity, unless you have big solar panels.

The Honda 1000 is too small for this setup. You'll need the EU2000i and a charger with a capacity of 50-80A. Best economy would be an Iota DLS-55/IQ4 or DLS-75/IQ4. The Honda can handle either of these nicely.

I'm judging from your initial post comments that you're looking for minimalist, low-cost solutions, so my remarks are geared to that optic.

Bill
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Old 13-04-2012, 06:31   #3
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

really!!
geez thats alot more than i thought
even if the waecos draw according to the manufacturers spec 0.84 amps/hour average at 5deg c?
obviously in freezer mode it would draw alot more but not that much !
but what do i know lol!

you are right about the minimalist approach, but i do like things to be spot on even if i have to pay a bit more.
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Old 13-04-2012, 06:54   #4
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Well, it's (barely) conceivable that you could get by with somewhat less, but without solar or wind supplement's you'll be totally dependent on engine or generator power for recharging.

Why don't you draw up an electrical budget on a spreadsheet, outlining all the loads and expected total AH draw per day? Then, figure out how long you wanna go between charging.

Are you going to be off the boat for 1-3 days sometimes? Are you going to be making longish passages? Mostly at anchor or on a mooring? Occasional or frequent dockside stays overnite with shorepower available?

My bet is you could just squeak by with less, but something in the neighborhood of 400AH total capacity would give you a comfortable margin.

Now, if you're willing to dump the frig and freezer.....

Bill
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:04   #5
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

yeah i suppose makes sense!
full time liveaboard and I am planning to stay as far away from marinas as possible, mainly anchoring
also
Why 6v instead of 12v?
flooded cell or agm ?
as for the fridges, i want to be as independent as possible without having to stop every couple of days for ice!
also i love frosty cold beer!
cheers
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:27   #6
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

We had 75 as a separate starting battery and 160 (2x80) as the house bank. I believe the realistic size of the house bank is upward of ours as our boat and sailing style are very, very low tech. The exception would be a boat fully equipped with low consumption tech - LEDs, etc.. Then the house bank can remain smaller.

Deep cycle batteries are a very good idea for the house bank. Toilet rolls are make very good starting batteries.

A small Honda can be used to charge the batteries by shore-side charger. The smallest model will do. But you WILL expose yourself and others to noise/fumes. There are ways to make unobtrusive and elegant solar and wind installations, but they are not likely to deliver equal amt of juice.

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Old 13-04-2012, 07:40   #7
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepacket View Post
really!!
geez thats alot more than i thought
even if the waecos draw according to the manufacturers spec 0.84 amps/hour average at 5deg c?
obviously in freezer mode it would draw alot more but not that much !
but what do i know lol!

you are right about the minimalist approach, but i do like things to be spot on even if i have to pay a bit more.
Before you make the proper calculations you really don't know how big your banks need to be, at this very moment i am calculating how big my replacement bank need too be. Only after this calculation, how much you use in 24h sailing and the same behind the anchor, you can make the right decision.

I have made an OpenOffice Calc sheet (Exel Clone) to calculate uses and production, see attachment. This gives me the opportunity to make the correct decision to buy these expensive items.

Success
CeesH

PS. remove the .doc extension.
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:45   #8
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

You are asking for a lot. You want fridge & freezer (and frosty beer) but you only want a minimum charging source. Assuming you are living in a warm climate, I would say it can't be done.

You will have lower your energy needs (fridge / freezer / whatever) or raise your energy supply. Until you get those in balance, thinking about battery size is a waste of time. The batteries are only a short term store (not supply) of energy and don't enter into the energy budget (initially).
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:53   #9
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

I like to size the house bank so that our single cycle consumption will not exceed 25% of the bank. This is to allow for the fact that should I find that the charging system fails we still have a day's worth of juice and the batteries do not suffer from excessive discharge.

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Old 13-04-2012, 08:01   #10
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

We have an Able 32........
Just wired in 4 golf cart batteries in series/parallel. They provide us with 480 AH of storage. Should be plenty for our needs. We do not have refrigeration and otherwise our demand is fairly low at this point. We recharge with two 54 watt solar panels. And I am thinking about adding a third. If you are starting from scratch and redesigning the dc system...... might be best to allow for demand growth as time goes by. It seems inevitable that we add demand as we go.........just sayin.

There is a lot of info out there for sizing demand to storage (AH). The "mid capacity rule" comes to mind. I found that you have to adapt the system to your own philosophy........ Simple, Mid , and High Demand. We are on the Simple and low demand side of the equation.

Wanted to respond to your thread because we also are essentially engineless and use a small outboard for aux power. The outboard has a 6 amp generator that is totally useless for charging any sizable house battery bank. Useful to recharge one small start battery and perhaps run some nav lights at night......... thats about it.

Cheers!!!
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Old 14-04-2012, 04:47   #11
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Thanks everyone for your valuable advice,
I think I will probably be going for, 2 x 6 v 260 amp agm's for my house bank,
but what would be a suitable high power marine battery charger that will work nicely with a honda eu1000i generator?
I do plan on adding some sort of alternative charging system later on but right now this will have to do.

any opinions with this setup?
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Old 14-04-2012, 06:45   #12
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Morning "Packet"
Don't really want to be another to rain on your parade, but in my opinion there is no way you are going to run fridge and freezer off 260 Ah and a 1K generator, without running the generator most of the time. This would spoil the sailing experience for me worse than adding a few solar panels.
You can't count on much juice from running the little outboard, and a small fridge alone can be expected to consume 50-80 Ah per day.
I agree with four 225 Ah 6V golf cart batteries, giving you 450 Ah storage. Also, while I like AGM's, unless you can take advantage of their higher charge acceptance rate (ie, larger alternator/generator), the flooded-cell golf cart batteries will give you a better bang for your buck.
My humble opinion? - either be a true minimalist and forego the frosty beer, or accept that you are a guzzling consumer, and go for real Ah and generating capacity!
ps. I used to have 220 Ah House battery, with no fridge, and no fancy electrics, and I found it wasn't really enough.
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:18   #13
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

The Honda BF8 advertises 2 Amps at 1000 RPM and 12 amps (< 150 watts) at 3000 RPM; IMHO completely inadequate charge capacity for your needs .

Honda BF8 Outboard Engine - 8 hp boat motor specs and features
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:13   #14
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepacket View Post
Thanks everyone for your valuable advice,
I think I will probably be going for, 2 x 6 v 260 amp agm's for my house bank,
but what would be a suitable high power marine battery charger that will work nicely with a honda eu1000i generator?
I do plan on adding some sort of alternative charging system later on but right now this will have to do.

any opinions with this setup?
I agree with the others that your charging will be totally inadequate. And both your neighbors and you will become very disenchanted by the constant running generator.

I think picking AGM batteries is setting yourself up for failure. As posted you are unable to take advantage of their high acceptance. But the big problem is that you will be unable to totally charge them with your proposed method. AGM batteries have advantages but the charging system has to be capable of fully charging them often - 2 -3 times a week. AGM batteries that are only charged to 80 -85% will only last a year or two. And that full charge is something you will be incapable of giving them.

With any battery type the internal resistance increases as they reach 80 -85% capacity and they will accept less and less current. The last 15% or so will take hours to put in - many hours. This is true if you have a 30 amp charger or a 1000 amp charger - the battery determines its acceptance, not the charger. I doubt you want to run the generator 8 hours every 2 or 3 days.

Flooded batteries are more tolerant - they can handle not getting a full charge and even overcharging to a certain extent. Both will kill AGM batteries in short order. They are also much less expensive.

Don't become one of those to whom AGM is a bad name because of not giving them what you need.

Even with flooded batteries you need an alternate charging method. Constantly not getting a full charge will kill flooded batteries as well - just not as fast. Add a solar panel and controller - it is the only way to achieve a full charge without running a generator or engine for many hours.

Below is a quote from Lifeline batteries about AGM lifespan. Lifeline calls for equalization - other AGM manufacturers do not.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:28   #15
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Re: batteries for a 32 footer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepacket View Post
Thanks everyone for your valuable advice,
I think I will probably be going for, 2 x 6 v 260 amp agm's for my house bank,
but what would be a suitable high power marine battery charger that will work nicely with a honda eu1000i generator?
I do plan on adding some sort of alternative charging system later on but right now this will have to do.

any opinions with this setup?
Yep. Given in post #2. To recap:

1. House batteries: Best economy is 4 (not 2) 6-volt 225AH golf-cart batteries in series/parallel, giving you 450AH total capacity. AGMs are a waste in your situation.

2. Generator: The Honda 1000 is too small. You need the Honda EU2000i.

3. Battery Charger: Best charger and largest the EU2000i will handle: Iota DLS-75/IQ4. Good source: Northern Arizona Wind and Sun.

The above setup will keep you well powered for years, at a relatively low cost.

Re: your earlier question of why 6V golf-carts, it's because they are more robust and will last longer than 12V batteries.

Bill
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