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Old 03-01-2012, 20:27   #1
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Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

We have a Beneteau 361 with a Yanmar 3GM30, 27hp engine with the stock Hitachi 60amp alternator. For the battery charger, the stock 20amp charger. We don't have an inverter. For batteries, we have two Trojan T145 and two Energizer EGC2 golf carts, around 440 total amp hours. Also a group 27 starting battery.

We're mostly day sailors and single overnighters, but looking to do two or more nights on the hook routinely this upcoming season.

So here's my thinking, first, upgrading the alternator with a 100amp Balmar and external regulator, or the largest size capable where i dont have to change the pulley and belt type, to help recharging the batteries quicker. Not thinking about replacing the batter charger thinking that if the charger is being used, I'm in a slip overnight.

Also thinking about adding an inverter, and have been reading many threads about pure vs modified. We mainly need it or the tv, microwave and laptops. Most of what I've read talks about modified sine waves not being of good quality anymore and can wreak havoc on electronics over time. So looking at a pure sine wave inverter, around 1500 watts. Also for uniting it, is it safe in the lazarette which is the closest to the battery banks and will have decent ventilation.

Just looking for thoughts and feedback, thanks in advance.
-tony
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:49   #2
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

Tony:

You probably use 80-100 amp hours a day at anchor- refrig, lights, tv, computer, etc. So you can easily stay two nights at anchor and even three ocaisonally without recharging. So I would see how my overnight power usage works out before upgrading to a Balmar high out put alternator. Their 100 amp model is the most you can run on one belt.

For the inverter, there is a cheap way and an expensive way. The cheap way is to buy a Pep Boys, Autozone, or online 1500 watt stand alone inverter. You will have to run power cords from it to the various appliances you want to run- microwave, tv etc. This is because the cheap ones don't have lugs for permanent AC wiring. But it will cost a few hundred dollars and will work ok. I have powered all of the appliances you indicate with MSW inverters and it works fine.

An even better solution is to get a DC LCD TV. You can find these by looking at the power supply at the store. If it has a brick plugged in, check its specs. It is probably producing 12V. Cut it off and wire it to your boat's DC system.

The more expensive solution is a high quality marine SW inverter. Don't buy Xantrex. Mastervolt, Victron are good brands.

David
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:42   #3
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luken7 View Post
We have a Beneteau 361 with a Yanmar 3GM30, 27hp engine with the stock Hitachi 60amp alternator. For the battery charger, the stock 20amp charger. We don't have an inverter. For batteries, we have two Trojan T145 and two Energizer EGC2 golf carts, around 440 total amp hours. Also a group 27 starting battery.

We're mostly day sailors and single overnighters, but looking to do two or more nights on the hook routinely this upcoming season.

So here's my thinking, first, upgrading the alternator with a 100amp Balmar and external regulator, or the largest size capable where i dont have to change the pulley and belt type, to help recharging the batteries quicker. Not thinking about replacing the batter charger thinking that if the charger is being used, I'm in a slip overnight.

Also thinking about adding an inverter, and have been reading many threads about pure vs modified. We mainly need it or the tv, microwave and laptops. Most of what I've read talks about modified sine waves not being of good quality anymore and can wreak havoc on electronics over time. So looking at a pure sine wave inverter, around 1500 watts. Also for uniting it, is it safe in the lazarette which is the closest to the battery banks and will have decent ventilation.

Just looking for thoughts and feedback, thanks in advance.
-tony
Sv Hemispheres
Why not just pick up a Honda 2000 generator? Just plug it into your shore power connection on board and you have pure sine wave power through out the boat when you need it. You also have a backup way to charge up your battery bank without firing up your diesel. Plus you could take it home and use it for back up power there (if needed).
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:45   #4
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

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For batteries, we have two Trojan T145 and two Energizer EGC2 golf carts, around 440 total amp hours. Also a group 27 starting battery.
Make your house batteries the same brand and model. Every manufacturer has different charge, float and equalizing voltages. This will be important if you install an inverter.

Quote:
So here's my thinking, first, upgrading the alternator with a 100amp Balmar and external regulator, or the largest size capable where i dont have to change the pulley and belt type, to help recharging the batteries quicker. Not thinking about replacing the batter charger thinking that if the charger is being used, I'm in a slip overnight.
Before you go to Balmar or any other large alternator make sure you engine can manage the added load. Contact Yanmar for the best answer and the recommended maximum size of alternator. You'll need to upgrade the mounting system (don't haywire this part of the install) as well as adding a serpentine belt system as a single V-belt won't last very long. TADiesel makes a good kit, but there are others. Good luck as I think you're on the right track.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:52   #5
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

I think you would not see any gain out of the alternator upgrade. In my opinion for a few overnights, what youve got is good enough

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:25   #6
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

I second the Honda 2000 setup.
Worked for us for years until we put the solar panels on.
Now the Honda 2000 stays at home for when the power goes out.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:55   #7
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

Don't let anyone tell you that a Honda generator is as quiet as a solar panel.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:11   #8
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Re: Its winter upgrade time, looking for opinins on my electrical plan

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Don't let anyone tell you that a Honda generator is as quiet as a solar panel.
Don,t think anyone was telling the OP that.
Solar is silent
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Old 06-01-2012, 21:13   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. Forgot to mention that I had just replaced all the cabin top lights with LED's also. So we're going to try a battery monitor for now and watch our usage. Thanks Again !!!
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