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Old 17-07-2005, 02:49   #16
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And here's another take...

What about coming at it from a new angle, albeit an angle that has been explored before?

I was searching and searching for ideas regarding powering the A/C (one unit at a time) and for managing power in general aboard the boat.

I noticed that you can purchase Balmar alternators that will put out 210A at 12V if spun at 6000RPM. Inverted to 120V, this still gives a whopping 20A service. Given that today's inverters can run at 5KW with peak outputs in the 9KW range, I could CERTAINLY run one single AC off this system from time to time. (Never off the batteries alone, of course, only while the Balmer alternator was spinning)

The added bonus is that there would be a ridiculous amount of DC power available to the boat while running in this mode.

There is a 2nd mode:

Given that this is a DC charging system, I could spin the Balmer at a substantially lower RPM when generating DC power to charge the battery bank when there is no AC on. This would eliminate the question of the Alder Barbour fridge requiring a lot of time on an AC genset to charge. It would allow all of my DC computer equipment to have plenty of power, and have the battery bank act as a power "well" for the entire boat.

Any reason this wouldn't work? I am looking at finding a small, air-cooled diesel to spin the Balmer alternator. I could rev it up to about 3600 RPM when running the AC through the inverter (at a 2:1 ratio, so the Balmer spins at 7200). Then, when I need a more normal amount of DC power, I have a nice, efficient, 1800 RPM DC diesel genset.

DUAL PURPOSE.

The only issue... need to find those small air cooled diesels. Depending on the price for one, and the price for the inverter, this could be similar in cost to a 6KW AC genset.

Added Bonus: Engine will last longer running at a slower speed for normal charging, modern inverters can handle the peaks the AC throws at them, batteries will remain charged well at all times, and best of all... individual components can be replaced if they break.

Does anyone see drawbacks to this general approach? Cost might be a factor, but any other drawbacks?
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Old 17-07-2005, 04:19   #17
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I've kinda jumped into the middle of all this with out reading the beggining. Looks Like Rick and Gord have given excellent advice.
From experieance of large scale complex issues in my carreer, I like the simple phylosophy of the KISS principle. I suggest before going to expense of Alternators and motors and so on and so on, just simply go up in size of genset. It's far easier to have a good size geny, in a silent box, all ready to go, than a major enginering and electrics job to custom make something. You won't save a lot of money doing it yourself. It's better to have a turn key and go unit. Trust me, as soon as you start something mixed and matched, you end up have to buy this, to do that and then have to buy that to do this and you end up pulling your hair out and still have a problem. Just find an 8-10KVA Genset. As long as you don't go for the big expensive names, you will be supprised at how little difference in price an 8 is from a 5.
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Old 17-07-2005, 22:03   #18
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Yup...

Well put, Wheels. Now the only real challenge will be to find one light enough for deck mounting. I don't want to affect the boat's stability with too heavy of a genset.
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Old 18-07-2005, 06:44   #19
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Oh right. Deck mounting. Hmmm, that limits space doesn't it. No room in the engine room huh?
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Old 18-07-2005, 06:46   #20
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Ooo Oooo, I know, tow it behind in a rubber ducky. Then you can have reduced noise as well. Let out enough power cord and let the inflatable drift out a bit.
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Old 18-07-2005, 15:33   #21
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ha ha ha...

I don't think I've laughed so hard at a post on this forum before...

That is the ULTIMATE in genset installations. Just pay out the line and forget about it! ha ha

Seriously though, it's more a factor of budget. There is no way at all that I could afford a real marine genset. I have to make due with a deck mount "land" genset, which will have an enclosure to keep it dry when not running.
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Old 18-07-2005, 21:21   #22
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It's what I have done. A land based cheap Chinese thing. Itg seems to work fine, and was really cheap. I don 't expect it to last too long. But It retails here in NZ for $2K. A marine unit would be between $15-$20K. Someone I know has an Onan here and has damaged the engine. He needs a new pump and injector. So far he has been quoted $9K for parts. I figured I coiuld replace my genset every year if I had too and still come out with change in the pocket. The only advantage I have over you, I have a very large aft locker that houses the Stearing gear. It's enormouse and the Geny is housed down in there.
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Old 18-07-2005, 21:23   #23
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Now if I could just draw a cartoon, I would have Sean out on deck enjoying the scerenity and this smoky noisy Genset trailing behind on a long cable, bobing around a group of other anchored vessels with crews complaining.
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Old 19-07-2005, 13:34   #24
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Ok, this has been interesting and now it's my turn. (Man I learn a lot just sitting here reading this stuff too)

1. (Just a thought) If you are chartering in the US, do you have to have your boat inspected and if so will a "land" genset mounted on deck be approved?

2. I have an old 6.5 onan diesel marine genset. I took it out of my boat about two years ago and prior to that it hadn't been run for about two more years but it did run fine. When I bought the boat it had two gens and I never used this one. Again, it hasn't run in four years but it did run fine before. Might be worried about seals now. I'm guessing it's mid 80's vintage.

email me off list if you want pics or anything gregb@jgbowers.com


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Old 14-09-2005, 09:25   #25
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Talking Answers!!

Hi Everyone,

This is a followup post to ensure the collective knowledge of our forum:

I have a 5KW continuous, 6KW peak output genset running now out on deck. (as we speak)

I have 2 Cruisair 10,000 BTU air cons fired up and running at peak output. I also have our entire ship's AC system running off it, including 50 AMP (DC) battery charger, water heater, and various things plugged into our shore power (excluding microwaves and hairdryers).

It is running quite well....

I decided to break it in prior to winter storage so the oil could circulate and prevent rust from forming. I will fire it up occasionally this winter to keep it lubricated.

Just a little bit of fact at the end of our discussion to show that yes.... you can run a TON of stuff on a genset costing less than $1000.
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Old 14-09-2005, 11:00   #26
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Just to answer this.....

Hi Greg,

Didn't want to leave you in the lurch. I could have probably stopped by to answer you in person as we tranited Lake Michigan and Huron!

1) Nope. No inspections for an UPV. The "U" stands for uninspected. While I do have a master's license, I can operate anthing a master of my tonnage is qualified for, and also anything "below" that. Our boat is registered as an UPV, meaning I can take no more than 6 paying customers out at a time on it. If I were to exceed 6, there would be a large number of restrictions, inspections of the boat, and probably not enough food and drink!

2) Thanks for the offer, but I did get the entire solution up and running for under $1000. Works well. It's a bit loud when you are up on deck, but it is actually quieter and less vibration than the main engine when you are below deck enjoying the air conditioning.

Thanks for the post.


Quote:
Greg B once whispered in the wind:
Ok, this has been interesting and now it's my turn. (Man I learn a lot just sitting here reading this stuff too)

1. (Just a thought) If you are chartering in the US, do you have to have your boat inspected and if so will a "land" genset mounted on deck be approved?

2. I have an old 6.5 onan diesel marine genset. I took it out of my boat about two years ago and prior to that it hadn't been run for about two more years but it did run fine. When I bought the boat it had two gens and I never used this one. Again, it hasn't run in four years but it did run fine before. Might be worried about seals now. I'm guessing it's mid 80's vintage.

email me off list if you want pics or anything gregb@jgbowers.com


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Old 02-10-2005, 14:34   #27
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You might want to get a 15 KW diesel genset. I could give you a link to a site that sells them fairly cheap?

http://www.hardydiesel.com/mrn/Index.htm

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Old 02-10-2005, 14:36   #28
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Here's another link:

http://hardydiesel.com/
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Old 16-12-2005, 16:27   #29
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A bit late in the day but I'm still catching up...

Sean, what make of genset did you get and how come it was less than $1000?

I was all for not having aircon installed but keep having second thoughts for the times we are in a marina or somewhere sweltering with the whole family. Thought about Cruisair portable hatchtops (cheap) but they weigh nearly 80lbs and I don't know where I would store one on a 37 footer.

Which gensets and which aircon units did you use? I would be okay with a shore-power only aircon solution if there was a small reasonably cheap aircon unit to buy.

Thanks

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Old 16-12-2005, 16:44   #30
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Not all power hungry AC

We added a Mermaid 6500 btu that we bought new from Defender for 550 for everything except the hoses.

It runs on 4 amps 110 and starts with 6. It is only to cool our state room. This gives us a place to hide if we are tied in a marina or it can be easily run by our ortable Honda generator. We could therotically run it for a few hours off the battery bank. A small 1700 watt invertor will power it without a problem.

Saves on buying and installing a big genset.
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