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Old 01-12-2013, 18:06   #31
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Re: New DC Power Plant

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Originally Posted by Seawindii View Post
Thanks for chiming in SM! I have some questions if you don't mind humoring me.. If you had to part with solar or wind, which would it be? Where is your solar mounted? Did you modify your original battery tray or did you stash them somewhere else? Do you still have a single 12v start battery? Why wouldn't you go for more PV or wind if you were me? Damn I hate running my motor to charge batteries.
Hands down, I'd loose the wind gen if I was to do it all over again. The wind is nice when it's windy, but where we sail there is more consistent sun than wind.

But saying that I built up all the pieces on the boat to work together. We have the Ketch version and a wind vane. The vane wont steer to weather (interference from the mizzen) so we use the electric pilot. Also going to weather shades our solar under the main.....problem? Nope, the wind is cranking out all the power we need at this point. Crack off of the wind and the panels on the dodger are exposed to the sun (usually) and the wind gen starts to slow down but the wind vane is now steering so consumption is reduced.

I say I wouldn't do the solar, but rather a good alternator if I was you mostly based on your proposed use and current location. I would start with the alt/reg/batts first, then add the solar later.

We have two 6v batts in the port locker (I've removed the water heater and mounted the bilge and water pumps on the bulkhead) and two 6v and a starter battery in the starboard locker. I built new battery boxes out of birch ply and glass/epoxy. The 6v batts operate as a single bank, charged directly by the wind/sun/alternator and the start is charged by a combine relay controlled by the regulator when the house voltage rises up to a preset level.

I should mention that whenever we anchor or leave the boat in the slip the boom is pulled off to the lifeline to keep the panels in the sun. I put a snap shackle on the mainsheet that allows me to either attach the sheet to the travler, one of the stantion bases, or use it as a dinghy davit to lift the dink for the night.
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Old 01-12-2013, 18:11   #32
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Re: New DC Power Plant

Here's a link to quite a few pictures including the solar panels.

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Old 03-12-2013, 17:11   #33
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We were in a very similar position when we bought out Moody 31 which came with 2 x 110AH batteries. These were joined together to create a single 220AH bank and a new separate Redflash AGM fitted out of the way for engine starting. Tiny little battery with lots of umph.

Next we bought a Honda 20i, seems we pay in what you guys pay in $ Kept the Honda for 4 years because in addition to charging it provided electric for the calorifier hence hot water and mains electric for heating in the Spring and Autumn (we are 50.N). This worked quite well until we fitted diesel heating at which point the Honda wasn't used anything like as much.

Then came two solar panels totaling 125w which combined with a bit of work reducing out electrical demand easily meets the need during the summer at anchor. We use 30-40AH a day including fridge, lights and laptops etc. Indeed the first summer I was wandering around the boat looking for things to charge up by mid afternoon to make use of the spare power when the sun really shines. Our longest test was 5 days at anchor and we left with full batteries.

Sold the Honda 20i for nearly what we paid for it and gave up up on hot water unless we run the engine or boil the kettle. Lots more space in the cockpit locker now too.

So what's next? well another solar panel to take us up to 200w or so, to cover the possibility of a rainy week during the summer, probably loose and just placed on the deck in a frame at anchor. At sea we use more power with autopilot, VHF and lights etc, but don't mind running the engine for an hour during the night just to keep on top of things. If you are in the NE then don't forget you have alot more daylight in the summer than those further south. Oh sure the panels won't give full charge at 5am in the morning but they are working and will still be working at 10 pm as the sun sets.

One thing to think about, we did a 14 hour channel crossing under engine because it was flat calm. As we left we needed to add 30 AH to the 220 AH bank. Took the 60 amp alternator 10 hours to do that, because nearly full batteries will only take a tiny amount, though advanced charging with a new multi stage alternator will help a bit. Just not convinced that you need a 100 amp unit, what you need is the higher voltage to charge the batteries quicker so 14.9v instead of say 14.2v which you could have from a smaller 75 amp unit saving on the twin belt requirement and a few dollars.

Sort the charging out and you may not need a 300 AH bank or it could be added later if you did. First thing though has to be a battery monitor regardless what ever else you do so you don't spend hours charging if it isn't required, been there.

Pete
Pete et al... Do you have an MPPT controller for your solar panels? What gains would I expect to see for a small 12V array of 100W? Would there be another reason to go MPPT?
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Old 29-05-2014, 18:54   #34
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Re: New DC Power Plant

Update:

4 US Battery flooded golf cart batteries for total of over 500ah.

Multiple bus bars for clean and pro terminations.

100 Balmar alt and smart regulator.

Balmar battery monitor.

Volt meter on eng panel

+/- 100 amp analog ammeter with shunt

This turned into a big job with many trips from NYC to Oyster Bay. It might have been two weekends if I wasn't commuting from Manhattan. I have the knowledge and experience to take this on but I underestimated effort by a large margin. I had all commercial tools/crimper/materials from my telco business but one man can chase an odd issue for hours... And then it's time to hit the LIE back to reality!

Of great satisfaction was firing up the engine on the hard and having everything work!!

Still not 100% happy with alternator alignment but I will watch it and adjust later if I need to. I'm 1/8" off from engine pulley.

So with that done I have taken leave from the electrical department and am now hanging with the sanitation crew. Wish me luck with all THAT!
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Old 08-08-2014, 15:09   #35
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Re: New DC Power Plant

Just added this 85w panel. Mast and deck fitting from Atlantic Towers, 1" angled aluminum frame riveted to panel and attached to magma pivoting barbecue mount. Slide the whole assembly right into the 2" mast. My new batteries love me now.

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Old 08-08-2014, 15:11   #36
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Re: New DC Power Plant

The rail fitting is from Garhauer.


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Old 09-08-2014, 06:48   #37
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Re: New DC Power Plant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seawindii View Post
Just added this 85w panel. Mast and deck fitting from Atlantic Towers, 1" angled aluminum frame riveted to panel and attached to magma pivoting barbecue mount. Slide the whole assembly right into the 2" mast. My new batteries love me now.



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Great, now I've got cutter envy!
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