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Old 28-07-2006, 13:20   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Awesome responses. Thanks very much to Rick and Hellosailor for participating in this thread. I have learned a lot already, including much I didn't know about alternators.

Re: The air-cooled diesel engine. I have one now on my boat. It's certainly too loud to have on an RV. So... I'm setting up an elaborate (yet simple in design) system to allow air to be forced into a sound enclosure I'm building around the loud diesel engine. The exhaust will be routed via pipes out parallel with the stock exhaust pipe. I had a small RV called a Roadtrek before, and they did precisely this with an air-cooled Onan genset. It wasn't very loud at all, and they didn't even have any type of enclosure. It just hung below the floor of the RV near the rear bumper.

Anyway, the plan with the generator is as backup to the PVs for cloudy days, or days when we want to park in the shade, or for wintering over.

Very interesting paragraph about feeding the raw AC power from an alternator to the transformer with rectifiers. Again, after reading one of your posts, I have to re-think my electrical plans. But... this is why I had asked for your input. I'm just a novice.

I'll be reinventing the RV wheel because the ones they sell (with lousy systems) at $100K and up just do not fit my budget. I can do far better (financially) making one myself, especially after I did this boat. Many systems are exactly the same thing.

HelloSailor... I sure hope they do Make and Sell such a critter. How nice that would be!
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Old 29-07-2006, 13:44   #17
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
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System solutions

I've been involved with several different design teams with several different companies, some competitors and some attempting to work jointly on projects. All have recognized the problems associated with not only regulation but a true systems approach for boats, RVs, remote power for homes and facilities, emergency vehicles, electric vehicles, etc. So far no real family of products has emerged which solves all the system requirements.

The CANbus heirarchies for automobiles has been fairly successful in that market amongst the different manufacturers which points out the necessity for haveing an acceptable robust communications standard. As you may know that standard has not been so accepted in the guise of the NEMA 2000 so-called "standard" in the marine market. Other standards originated by the computer industry may be sufficiently fast yet are by no means as robust as the CANbus and the marine and RV markets will continue to be plagued with various manufacturers who utilize their proprietary or other standards thereby creating a morass of difficulty in creating a system solution utilizating various modules from different sources. The problems go on and on.

The most promising solutions have been from specific companies working with specific OEMs to create system solutions for their customers in whole. As a result we will see "higher-end" real-world solutions coming from such sources as Onan, as I mentioned before.

Outback Power may emerge as another system integrator in the areas of remote power and some crossover into the upper end of the marine markets may occure from them as well.

Xantrex has some very good engineers capable of providing great system solutions yet, in my opinion, their managers along with their design and manufacturing in-house process standards create an unbelievable beurocratic structure preventing timely product response times.

Mega-yacht designers swing great power with budgets capable of driving solutions and we will see some interesting results from there over the next few years as well.

Changing the subject back to power-coating alternators (this is a pet peeve of mine as you can tell): If a particular vessel has such a nasty engine environment that causes the alternator to corrode then they ALSO have starter corrosion problems and other enging electrics corrosion problems and on and on. The REAL solution is to create your engine space so that there IS no such problem. In the real world of blue water cruising MANY boats keep the ocean out of their engine spaces quite successfully. Keep it clean, keep it dry, keep it inspected and there is no need to powder coat all of the engine parts. Who hoses down their engine compartment with salt water? Yeah it could happen with lousey installations. Fix it!
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