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Old 16-05-2013, 07:01   #46
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

I suspect 100w of solar will be enough. If you can avoid a generator it removes a lot of headaches.
Rather than guess it would be worth doing an energy budget to work out your likely AH consumption per day.
Multiply the amp draw by the time the appliance will be on. If you are not sure of the consumption someone here will know the answer.

At around 100w Gensun make some good conrtollers.
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Old 16-05-2013, 07:36   #47
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
So here is my current thinking:

Some things I will do either way:
1) Get new Die Hard deep cycle batteries to replace my burned out ones.
2) Replace all my cabin lights with LEDs
3) Get a battery monitor (can anyone recommend a model or brand?? I'm not sure what I'm looking for)
Sounds like a good plan to me. I just installed the Victron BMV-600S. I purchased it through Compass Marine. That is Maine Sail's company and he has given me a lot of advice so for the $20 or so more it was than other internet sites, I am fine with that. He also has a great "how to" article on the installation. So far I love it. Very easy to use unit and gives great information.

Quote:
Then I'm trying to decide between the following two options:

1) Replacing my measly 10 watts of solar panels with bigger and more powerful ones. I may be able to squeeze 100 watts worth where the other ones are now. Question: I'm assuming I need a regulator for a panel this size... what too look for? (Approx Cost: $200). Then I see if I can conserve enough power to make this arrangement work without a generator.
I think you might be a little low on the cost. Do you already have a regulator? A decent controller will cost just under $200. I plan on using the Solbian CP125 panels, they are the flexible ones that are more expensive but can be mounted on the dodger or bimini. They cost about $825 a piece for 125 watt panels.

Figuring out how and where to mount the panels may be the hardest part. You said that you are underway most of the day light hours so it sounds like you need a permanent mount were they can charge while sailing. Perhaps an arch or on a bimini set up?

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2) Biting the bullet and getting a generator and a bigger charger to have ultimately greater peace of mind on my long trip. Question: Most chargers I have been looking at do not list output watts. Is there another indicator I can use to match the generator's capabilities, or a specific charger people recommend? (Approx. Cost: $950)
I plan on getting a Honda e2000i generator. They list it at 2,000 watts at 13.3 amps. I will probably get the companion model because that has a 30 amp plug so my shore power plug will go right into it. I have seen them as low as $800 and as high as $1,200.

Quote:
It would seem logical to go the first route, see if it's working, then go the second route if necessary. Unfortunately I will be setting off on July 10th, bound for the Bay of Fundy, and it will be hard (but not impossible) to order the generator along the way. I'd love to get things worked out before my departure, but maybe I'll have to see how it goes. Thoughts?
If I were you being local to Maine Sail, I would pay him for an hour or two of consulting time to come and look at my system and give me a recommendation. In all my dealings with him he has shown to be extremely knowledgeable and a great guy to work with. His input could save you a lot of money by going down the wrong path.

I am thinking of doing this before we leave and I would probably have to pay for a couple days due to the travel time.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse

By the way, I have no affiliation with Maine Sail. I am just one of his internet disciples.
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Old 16-05-2013, 07:57   #48
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

I think you've got a good plan.

All-solar is of course ideal, if it makes your power budget.

You will want to increase your solar capacity in any case if you have space to put the panels, so I think your Plan A is a winner in any case.

If you live with that for a while and find yourself deficit spending in power, then it is simple to add the Honda (or Yamaha) generator.

If you're embarking now for that cruise, you could buy a used generator to have on hand, and sell it with little or no loss (lots of demand for those things) in case it turns out not to be needed.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old 16-05-2013, 08:58   #49
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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At around 100w Gensun make some good conrtollers.
The Genasun GV10's will go up to 150W and are a great little MPPT controller. When I go larger I prefer the Rogue controllers but they are not shipping the new model yet. I will be getting my hands on one as soon as they begin to ship again..

Genasun will eventually have a user programmable version, most likely via computer interface, but for most users this is not necessary and the GV-10-PB is a great little unit especially for the price..
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Old 16-05-2013, 09:10   #50
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
So here is my current thinking:

Some things I will do either way:
1) Get new Die Hard deep cycle batteries to replace my burned out ones.

I see no sense in paying the steep premiums often charged for "Die Hard's" when they are just a relabeled battery like many other brands...

Go to Sam's Club (Scarborough or Augusta) and get the Duracell marine deep cycles. They will give you a one day pass if you are not a member. These are relabeled Deka batteries the SAME EXACT BATTERIES West Marine sells for less than half the price. I just bought 215Ah's of 6V golf cart batteries there yesterday for about $176.00.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
2) Replace all my cabin lights with LEDs
Excellent choice but don't forget the anchor light it can be a big consumer..


Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
3) Get a battery monitor (can anyone recommend a model or brand?? I'm not sure what I'm looking for)
I think the Victron BMV-600 is the best value and easiest to install.


On the generator in Maine.... YOU WILL NOT BE WELL LIKED IN MAINE ANCHORAGES RUNNING ONE.......

If you don't like evil sneers or crumudgony individuals physically rowing over to you asking you to be polite and turn it off then I would advise other options. Unlike many places in the USA, generator use is pretty much considered a sin in Maine anchorages.... I have seen outright arguments with as many as three of four people from different boats all ganging up on the noise polluter asking them to shut it down...

Many Mainers have little tolerance for those disrupting the piece and quiet of our beautiful anchorages and those Honda's are anything but quiet, especially when the wind dies... Use it wisely and politely if you go with a portable generator.

For less than the cost of a generator you should easily be able to mange your consumption / charging through conservation efforts, solar and the OB...
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Old 16-05-2013, 11:12   #51
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

I'm actually located in Brooklyn, NY. I'm taking my boat from here up to the Bay of Fundy and back in July and August, and more than half of our total time will be spent in Maine.

I would really hate to be 'that guy' running the generator in any anchorage. If that ends up being my final solution, I'll try to be as considerate as possible and wait until I'm far away from the rest of the pack. It shouldn't be too hard, especially since when I'm off the grid for the longest period I'm also far away from most other cruising sailors.

I hear what you're saying about the Die Hard brand. I was leaning toward them because I thought they offered larger deep-cycle only batteries than most other places, and the price was pretty reasonable last time. Any opinions on Costco's Kirkland line? I have access to a membership card for Costco. I can find a Sam's Club upstate to use before I take off if that's the best value.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding battery monitors and solar regulators (a regulator is the same thing as a controller, yes?). I didn't realize the controllers were so expensive, so that will indeed expand my cost estimate for that option. I'll have to take some time to read the information you linked to.

The only place I can put a panel and leave it indefinitely is on the cabintop. I have two 5w panels there now, but looking at some of the dimensions of the 100w panels, I think I can find one that will fit. This one here is $180... Amazon.com: RENOGY 100 Watt 100w Monocrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel Module 12V Battery Charging: Patio, Lawn & Garden
Unfortunately, this location in the shade of the boom at some moments, but I can sheet out the main or tie off the boom as often as possible to keep it in direct sunlight.

Thanks again for all the great help! I'll let you know how it goes...
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:03   #52
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

Die Hard does not make a true deep cycle battery. The Marine label only means a heavy duty starting battery.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:05   #53
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

Yamaha and Honda have equal customer ratings. But both are too loud for anchorage.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:17   #54
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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Many Mainers have little tolerance for those disrupting the piece and quiet of our beautiful anchorages
Except for the lobster boats with their unmuffled V8 engines running through straight pipe dry stacks with music on the radios turned up full blast so the crews can hear it over the roar of the engines.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:57   #55
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

Another vote for the Sam's 6volt batteries. That and a good solar panel(s) I have two K-135 panels and they make plenty of juice.
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:11   #56
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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Yamaha and Honda have equal customer ratings. But both are too loud for anchorage.
Nonsense. It makes sense, of course, to be sensitive, and not spoil people's magic blue hour as the sun is going down with even one decibel of extra noise, while people are having cocktails, or keep people awake during sleeping time. But if you choose the time properly, there's no problem with running these units, which are actually amazingly quiet, in an anchorage.

I am lucky because I have a low-speed Kohler 6.5kW diesel generator, in a sound enclosure which is itself inside a sound-proof engine room. I've never had a single complaint, which is logical since no one can even tell it's running, even standing on my deck (there's a water separator and below the water line exhaust water outlet, so no splashing, even). But the Honda is also not that much louder than that.
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:14   #57
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

The worrisome uncertainty factor, for having topped-off batteries, is the bottom line of this issue. To negate that factor, once and for all, a portable generator is recommended; despite its noise, gasoline requirement and possible wiring modification. If I am cruising for days on end, rain or shine, I would like to have an almost worry-free power source. As for neighbors complaining about the generator's noise...invite them over to top-off the batteries of their hand-held toys; "what noise?...I don't hear anything!" Mauritz
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:19   #58
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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The worrisome uncertainty factor, for having topped-off batteries, is the bottom line of this issue. To negate that factor, once and for all, a portable generator is recommended; despite its noise, gasoline requirement and possible wiring modification. If I am cruising for days on end, rain or shine, I would like to have an almost worry-free power source. As for neighbors complaining about the generator's noise...invite them over to top-off the batteries of their hand-held toys; "what noise?...I don't hear anything!" Mauritz
LOL!

I have never had any social problem in an anchorage, which could not be solved by inviting the aggrieved parties over for cocktails. Right on!
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Old 16-05-2013, 23:33   #59
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
The worrisome uncertainty factor, for having topped-off batteries, is the bottom line of this issue. To negate that factor, once and for all, a portable generator is recommended; despite its noise, gasoline requirement and possible wiring modification. If I am cruising for days on end, rain or shine, I would like to have an almost worry-free power source.
Solar is a much better worry-free power source. There is nothing to service, repair and almost nothing to break down.
The difficulty is to install enough solar so that the production exceeds the demands.

Given the modest requirements of the OP it seems likely that solar could comfortably solve his power needs, but some details are needed to see if this achievable.
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Old 17-05-2013, 09:27   #60
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Re: Best House Battery at any cost?

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I see no sense in paying the steep premiums often charged for "Die Hard's" when they are just a relabeled battery like many other brands.................
I forget who it is that makes it, but the Sears Diehard Platinum AGM battery sells for less than the same one labeled with the manufacturer's brand name.

Two more advantages are:

1) It has a three year non-prorated warranty. If it fails at two years, eleven months, and twenty seven days you get a brand new on at no charge.

2) Sears auto centers are everywhere. You can get your new or replacement battery pretty much wherever you are. You don't have to find a specialty store that's only open five days a week from 8 to 4.
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