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Old 27-04-2007, 07:34   #1
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Best Power System - Lagoon 380

Hi,


what is recommended for a Lagoon 380 going to caribbean from Norway. We think the average daily power consumption will be something like 210 amps when sailing, and 70 amps when on anchor. We are looking for equipment that can supply this kind of power. But we are not sure what is best, and would love some help from someone with experience. Any suggestions?
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Old 27-04-2007, 08:28   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorwald
Hi,


what is recommended for a Lagoon 380 going to caribbean from Norway. We think the average daily power consumption will be something like 210 amps when sailing, and 70 amps when on anchor. We are looking for equipment that can supply this kind of power. But we are not sure what is best, and would love some help from someone with experience. Any suggestions?
Have a read of one of the best cruising sites on the net: S/Y Regina, Sweden

This is a site done by near neighbours of yours who know your coastline well.

Select "About the boat". Have a good read of the "Equipment" section, and then the "Experience" section. Then read all the rest of the site:-)

Leon Schulz, his wife Karolina and their children Jessica and Jonathan have put together a web site of which they can be extremely proud. Their descriptions of their voyages are superb.

regards,

kesey
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Old 27-04-2007, 09:36   #3
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Thorwald...will you have refrigeraton aboard? If so...I think you will find it runs a LOT more in the Caribe and that your estimates for at anchor are low. Typical large cruisers use 150-200A/H's a day and frugal large cruisers tend to use around 100.
I assume your high amp use during passage is based on an autopilot 24x7 and you might want to consider a wind vane instead...they DO work on cats and they fail a LOT less than electric pilots.
http://www.selfsteer.com/faqs/faq.php?ID=146

For everyday electrical needs in the caribe you can use a large solar array...300 watts or so for your needs...or a combination of solar and wind which would be my personal preference as you can make electricity no matter what the weather nd on a "typical" Caribbean day you'll make plenty of A/H's with a LARGE blade wind vane and 150watts of panels.
If you DO go the solar route...get an MPPT charge controller to get the most juice out of your panels. I would further suggest a battery bank of at least 400 A/H'sand if your cruising plans are multi-year it may be worth considering AGM's rather than standard flooded batteries.
For wind generators I would recommend Four Winds and KISS as the 2 brands which give decent output in the 10 knot wind range which is most typical in anchorages.
As always...I'm sure there will be other opinions for you as even experienced folks have what works for them and there is no single right answer...but I have cruised the Caribe and have had solar and wind on my boat and dealt with daily living electrical needs at long term anchor. Hopefully this will be useful for you.
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Old 28-04-2007, 07:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesey
Have a read of one of the best cruising sites on the net: S/Y Regina, Sweden
Hi kesey, and thanks for your contribution. You are right, very nice site. Regina was using a "high output generator" connected to the engine, and a duogen wind generator in addition. That might be a good solution, but I am a bit sceptic about the duogens performace in wind between 6 to 10 knots (compared with both the KISS and Four winds generators). This kind of windspeed is quite common when anchoring in the caribe (and other places). And if that is the case Regina must fire the engine often to not drain the batteries. Please correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, we upgraded the dynamo to a 110 amp one. So we can produce some power. Using the engine for this purpose might be a backup solution. We want a wind generator of some sort for daily production, maybe with solar panels in addition (if we must). If someone out there think that we would be better off with a solar bank, then please inform me about how to do this (best way please). I am thinking about placing such a solar bank on the davits. Maybe with automated equipment for tracking the sun (if such equipment exists). But this solution sounds expensive. Suggestions welcome, as said. And one more thing, if we have a solar bank. What output will it give while crossing the Atlantic?

Another thing: Lets say we go for a wind generator of some sort. Would it be possible to place it on top of the mast. Having it there when sailing? This will give higher output both when sailing and on anchor. But is it recommended? Or am I about to loose my head on this? And what output will a wind generator give when sailing? As an average figure.

Other solutions are also welcome!


BTW: This solution might be taking it to far????
http://blogs.business2.com/photos/un...zed/wcat_1.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Thorwald...will you have refrigeraton aboard? If so...I think you will find it runs a LOT more in the Caribe and that your estimates for at anchor are low. Typical large cruisers use 150-200A/H's a day and frugal large cruisers tend to use around 100.
Hi camaraderie!
You are right. We have refrigeration, and will use more power than first indicated. We are not frugal, and 175 A/H`s will be an ok ballpark figure.

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Old 29-03-2009, 13:54   #5
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Thorwald, We lived aboard and cruised the Caribbean for several years in a 36' sloop. We handled our power needs (12V air-cooled refrigeration, frequent videos, and yes, even the occasional steam iron) with a system based on a 120 watt solar panel and a (large) Windbugger wind generator, and had two 8D gel batteries as the house bank. When we stayed long periods on a mooring, we found a weekly crank of the engine for a turn around the harbor would bring the bank up that last few percentage charge points. We monitored our use and charging with a Link 2000 monitor. The solar panel was controlled by a simple controller. That solar panel was mounted over our davits. We made no accommodation for adjusting the panel angle for the sun, figuring that the prevailing easterlies kept the panel oriented at anchor, and assumption that proved to be largely true. The wind gennie resided on a pole mount at the stern.

We are now returning to the Caribbean with a 42' cutter. We have a larger electric load, having a large freezer and separate refrigerator, both water-cooled from the FW tanks. I have two 135 watt panels mounted above the bimini and a third 120 watt panel mounted on the lid of a deckbox at the stern. We have a FourWinds wind gennie on a pole mount at the stern. The solar array is controlled by a BlueSky MPPT controller, which we are EXTREMELY pleased with. Once again we have a Link 2000 monitor and 2 8D batteries as a house bank (AGM this time). Given the prevailing conditions in the Caribbean, we expect better than break-even energy performance (i.e. - not having to top up with the engine).

David
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Old 29-03-2009, 16:54   #6
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I'm in the Caribbean right now, living aboard and cruising around. I am alone and have a largish boat, but I have replaced all of my lights with LED and generally run very little powered device while at anchor, but I have a DC powered refrigerator and freezer (with both air-cooling and an external heat sink) and find that this system account for about 90% of my power needs and eats up about 60 amps per diem. I am looking into putting in a wind generator (with preference to a quiet but less powerful device) to make up for this shortfall and allowing me to keep my genset use to a minimum every couple of days. I have a monohull so am hesitant about putting in solar panels, which would have to be mounted somehow behind the bimini.
With a catamaran I would guess that solar panels make more sense as you would tend to have the square footage available for use.
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Old 29-03-2009, 17:07   #7
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Zanshin,

Do some real homework on the output of the quieter units at the wind speeds you experience. As an example, the Rutland is great for keeping batteries topped up while in storage, but I've known three users that wished they'd gotten a little more power. I miss my Windbugger, as my FourWinds has to turn higher RPMs for the same amp output. No knock on the FourWinds, as it IS quieter, but the ultraquiet units often disappoint on output. On the other hand, I've known folks that can't stand much of any sound level from wind generation, so that's OK too. Just know before you go.

David
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Old 29-03-2009, 17:33   #8
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I've been going back and forth with the different units. I like quiet (except when I play the stereo) and have lifted anchor before when downwind of an Air-X. But I would think that a quiet 5 blade unit such as the D400 should produce enough at 10 knots average to keep up with the refrigeration drain during a normal day. I have a watermaker that I would run occasionally and would then recharge the batteries at the same time using the genset. I also want to change to something like the lifeline AGMs which I could really pump with amps when running the genset to minimize my runtimes. At present Ido need about an hour a day just for my fridge.
Do you think a low-output but quiet unit in the Caribbean would realistically produce less than 80amps (12V)? In that case I might have to revise my planning and go for something like the KISS. I head off to St. Martin tomorrow to buy a windgen (among other items). I would love to hear from yourself or anyone with recommendations.
The LED lights are, in my opinion, fantastic. I got newer ones that produce a comfortable colour and I can turn on all 20+ G4 sockets and barely trigger a blip on the ammeter - I think my reading light, which is still halogen, uses more power than the whole cabin lighting system.
I walked around my decks today looking for a place for solar panels - to no avail. I would really need to have something manufactured to hold them. If it weren't for space considerations I would go with newer solar panels and a MPPT controller.
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Old 29-03-2009, 18:30   #9
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Zanshin, I think you're on the right track. I replaced almost all my cabin lights with warm-white LED units. They seem brighter than my old halogen bulbs, and have a virtually undetectable draw. It has changed our lighting habits (or at least has helped my blood pressure).

We have a boat with a canoe stern, and scratched our heads about adding more solar panels beyond the one on our deckbox. I found the solution at eMarine.com. They have a lifeline mount for adding panels on the side, but I could visualize the sight and sound of wiping a boat buck off on a piling some day. Instead, I ordered the bimini mounting kit and placed the panels on top of the bimini (we were replacing the bimini at the time, so we could tailor the clearances). Nicely engineered stuff.

I suspect the KISS would suit you. The folks I've met that use it seem to like it, both in terms of sound and output.

David
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Old 29-03-2009, 18:48   #10
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This has made great reading. I am looking at another boat and always looking to improve my knowledge on this and many other areas of boat management.
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Old 29-03-2009, 22:16   #11
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We have two 130W solar panels that allow us to run both a refrigerator and freezer when we leave the boat. While on board they are supplemented by running the main engine as we enter or leave an anchorage or perhaps by some generator time when we make heavy use of the electric winches and furling gear. Zanshin and Archipelago: what where did you get your LED bulbs?
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Old 30-03-2009, 08:58   #12
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gbanker, I bought mine at emarineinc.com. I went with their Marinebeam units: voltage regulation, and a warm-white color. They were also considerably cheaper than the equivalent Sensibulb lights. So far, so good.

David
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Old 30-03-2009, 10:10   #13
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Zan...either the KISS or 4Winds will get you the amphours you need in 10knots and do so reliably and quietly. Both were rated highly on the SSCA user surveys. I owned a 4Winds and it averaged 60ah's/day in the Bahamas where the winds are significantly less than where you are...even in the anchorages!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:41   #14
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That solar panel was mounted over our davits. We made no accommodation for adjusting the panel angle for the sun, figuring that the prevailing easterlies kept the panel oriented at anchor, and assumption that proved to be largely true.
I think this highlights an interesting fact about solar panels that I've recently learned through some research for a product that we were going to design. The idea came from something I saw at the Annapolis Boat Show last year called the solar stick. A solar panel pole that has mounts that are adjustable to meet the optimum angle of the sun.

The idea makes a lot of sense and according to logic, and the facts presented by the company, there must be some benefit to tracking the sun with the panels. However, when we began our research we found that every solar panel manufacturer we talked to said one thing. That the amount of light scatter that is generated by reflection off the water makes angle adjustment in marine environments almost a neutral exercise.

Anyway, I just wanted to back up your experience with what we've found in the industry.
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