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Old 05-08-2014, 22:36   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Boat: Farr 11.6
Posts: 10
Setup recommendation for PV/Turbine/Alt setup

Hi guys

I'd appreciate some help with the setup as my head hurts looking at all the different products out there

I am currently re-designing my electrical system to suit my upcoming cruising needs and would appreciate some advice on how to complete the setup. I am going to be living aboard full time and will only come into marinas if I have to. I only carry 12v gear so no need for inverters. I might also have to leave the boat unattended for periods of time if I'm called back home in a hurry.

Here is what I have purchased so far:

One 12v 100w
One 12v 20w

DuoGen wind/hydro generator (hydro: 10A at 7kts, wind: 5A at 15kts). This came with an adjustable dump voltage regulator and two (500w total) dump resistors. The regulator can also take up to 150w of PV panels.

Three Trojan Gel-27 batteries (285Ah total)
Charging: Bulk:14.2v, Absorption:13.9v, Float:13.7v

One Lifeline GPL-24T AGM (80Ah)
Charging: Bulk:14.4v, Absorption:14.2v, Float:13.4v

I have an existing Balmar MaxCharge MC-512 external alternator regulator/smart charger (w batt temp/batt voltage monitoring) which I'd like to use with the series 90 Balmar alternator I have kicking about. I'm not yet sure if this will be an easy swap out with the standard 3YM30 Yanmar alternator (Hitachi 80A I think) and I prefer not to convert that to external regulation unless I have to as then I'd need to get another Hitachi as a spare.

Iíve just had the AGM start battery tested and it came back at 50% capacity so I will have to look at getting this replaced soon. What do you guys think of using another GEL to keep it all on the same charging voltages? Or would a spiral AGM be better just in case I have to use an internally regulated alternator as a backup?

Anyway after doing much reading on battery setups, I'm still not sure what the best setup would be. I want to make the batteries last so I would like to have 3 stage charging of the GEL house bank. Is it worth using the DuoGen regulator and dump resistor pre smart charger to make the system modular (cheaper to fix if things break)? or get an all in one unit that dumps to the resistors and controls the smart charging?

Could you guys also recommend a good PMMT for the solar panels?

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