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Old 27-06-2018, 13:49   #1
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Small Boat Electrical for Sail

After redesign and improvements in 1995, and incremental changes to equipment, it is time to revisit the electrical system for our 32' Bristol.

1. Loads - Energy Use
2. Size Batteries - Energy Storage
3. Size Alternator - Energy Source
4. Size Solar - Energy Source
5. Size Charger 120vac - Energy Source
5. Determine 120vac system requirements
6. Design & Diagram System, finding locations for equipment.
7. Size wiring
8. Make changes needed

Attached are two Load sheets using Balmar Vessel Load Calculator
Cruise-Anchor-Balmar Vessel Load Calculator.pdf = 83 amps/day
Sea-24hr-Balmar Vessel Load Calculator.pdf = 127 amps/day

Equipment loads
The Vesper XB-8000 is not installed, that load may not be right.
Did not include a Vesper AIS/VHF splitter.
Nmea2000 bus is estimated from looking at LEN for various equipment.

Energy Reduction
Most Nav & Cabin lights are Led (except 4 dome lights).
Refrig is the biggest load & needs more insulation.
Venting engine area better would help refrig & alternator.
Consider no refrigeration at sea.


Unfortunately the spreadsheet is too big even renamed. See http://www.balmar.net/choosing-a-bal...arging-system/
"Vessel’s electrical load. Click here to upload our interactive Load Calculator and save it for your personal use. You can manipulate the Load Calculator in either Microsoft Excel or Google Docs."
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Cruise-Anchor-Balmar Vessel Load Calculator.pdf (106.5 KB, 50 views)
File Type: pdf Sea-24hr-Balmar Vessel Load Calculator.pdf (106.2 KB, 40 views)
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Old 27-06-2018, 14:22   #2
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Revised to add Existing conditions.

1. Loads - Energy Use
2. Size Batteries - Energy Storage
3. Size Alternator - Energy Source
4. Size Solar - Energy Source
5. Size Charger 120vac - Energy Source
5. Determine 120vac system requirements
6. Existing Conditions Survey & Diagram
7. Design & Diagram System, finding locations for equipment.
8. Size wiring
9. Make changes needed
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Old 28-06-2018, 16:52   #3
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

  1. Loads - Energy Use - Cruise 80a, Sea 130a, spreadsheets earlier
  2. Size Batteries - Energy Storage - 225a, see attached
  3. Size Alternator - Energy Source - 100a, see attached
  4. Size Solar - Energy Source - 260w estimated, see attached
  5. Size Charger 120vac - Energy Source - 30a probably
  6. Determine 120vac system requirements
  7. Existing Conditions Survey & Diagram
  8. Design & Diagram System, finding locations for equipment.
  9. Size wiring
  10. Make design changes needed
Boat Work
  1. Charge & equalize batts on dock with Var DC Power
  2. Complete System & Alt wiring.
  3. Install charger
  4. New smaller pulley for Alt
  5. Rebuild Battery Box -turn 90
  6. Solar next
  7. Batteries & Alternator
Attached Files
File Type: doc Size-Batts-Alt.doc (51.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old 29-06-2018, 14:53   #4
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

The attached spreadsheet needs to have the ".pdf" removed after it is downloaded.
The spreadsheet includes the loads and size calc for batteries, alternator and solar.

Two battery types were considered, after adjusting for effective capacity cycles and other aspects it appears that Firefly Oasis might be the better choice because it could be less expensive and more closely coincide with use of a boat off of a mooring. There is a little risk in the Firefly choice.

However we intend to mount enough Solar to charge the batteries from 80% SOC to 100% SOC in one day. (hopefully the batteries will cooperate and accept the energy offering at that rate)

With adequate solar for topping off both types of batteries, (far more important for the Flooded Deep Cycle batteries) it appears that we could use flooded deep cycle without PSOC (partial state of charge).

There are a couple of approaches,

1. Decide on Firefly, make a place for them and purchase them first (they are hard to get right now) and spend the money for solar a year later, but make sure these are topped off at the dock at least once a month.

2. Try to use our older Trojan T105 and make plans for new solar panels next year. Also we may have to get new Trojan Batteries next year too. Then later get Firefly Oasis.

3. Get a new smaller Alternator pulley in any case. Then upgrade the the Alternator and belt to serpentine.

I'd appreciate any suggestions or corrections.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Electrical-Loads-Sizing-Calcs-Nell.xls.pdf (40.0 KB, 25 views)
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Old 29-06-2018, 15:31   #5
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

This corrects a few errors in the previous spreadsheet.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Electrical-Loads-Sizing-Calcs-Nell-revised.xls.pdf (40.0 KB, 27 views)
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Old 29-06-2018, 17:13   #6
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Firefly IMO only worth the extra premium, if

you are cruising away from shore power for weeks at a time, and

your PSOC abuse situation is serious and unavoidable, or at least can't be corrected without spending many times more.

With a genny, or decent alt setup and regular motoring and

just a bit of solar,

you should be able to get even a FLA bank to 100% full

at least 2-3 times per week.
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Old 29-06-2018, 18:11   #7
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Quote:
With a genny, or decent alt setup and regular motoring and just a bit of solar,you should be able to get even a FLA bank to 100% full at least 2-3 times per week.
Thanks John, you advised that our batteries were probably PSOC all the time.

1. Last summer Engine Hrs were over 100 (more motoring than sailing) motored every day out of about 35.
2. Alt output was fine, indeed toward the end of the season, I noticed that sometimes on long runs (we had a lot of those) the voltage was higher than expected and it bothered me, but the season ended. This spring we found it was because sensors were not responding or were not located at the battery but on the alternator (although they worked in the previous position for many years). I keep an eye on this stuff.
3. Solar Panel on dodger top 14 watts, puts out about an amp.

This is why I thought my batteries should have been fine. It has worked well for many past years.

So the choices are?
1. Equalize and check batts. Get new batts if Load test does not work.
2. New pulley for anemic rebuilt 1995 Balmar alternator (but that does not really affect overall state of charging because we normally cruise at 2000-2500 rpm, just helps charging at anchor.
3. Larger solar. How large?

As you know, this spring I tried to reach 100 SOC with the engine - never again, its kind of stupid. 3 days of running the engine with an alternator/reg that is fine and putting out the required charge. That is certainly not going to happen again.

I intend to reconsider, redesign and rebuild the entire system eventually so that it works without a dock charge required. It's encouraging to hear it can be accomplished. If you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. Thanks. Rick
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Old 29-06-2018, 18:18   #8
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

100W is IMO tiny solar, 400W small, 1200+ large.

A 14W panel might keep up with self-discharge while in storage, certainly not to counted as part of the cycling inputs unless you are using other sources to get to 95+% in the morning and the bank is isolated.

So yes, if that's your upper limit for solar, and you're off grid for weeks, you need Firefly or LFP.

My recommendation for solar wattage is,

as much as you can fit, within your judgment of windage and aesthetics.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:41   #9
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Thanks John, but isn't 100w PV going to produce 100w/12v= 8.3amp and with inefficiency estimated of .7 about 5.8amps.

So if I was able to fit 100w on my dodger and 150w over my head at the wheel, wouldn't that be enough for 80% ---> 100%SOC?

.7eff x 250w/12v = 14.58a, 14.58a x 5 hrs = 72.9ah
.2C = .2 x 220ah = 44ah

Looks like it is more than enough to charge the batteries up, plus as the batteries get closer to 100%SOC they will approx that "tailing 1 amp" that you mention.

If I were to leave the boat at the mooring at the end of the day with the batteries at 80%SOC = -44ah then the next day 250w PV (14.58amps) over 5hrs will go a long way towards fully charging the batteries. Then the next day they would be in float for sure.

Now if we were to be liveaboard, it would be a different matter, because systems are used all the time and there is not the same chance for recovery. In that case there is no doubt you would pile on as much PV as possible. To bad they can't make sails PV!

A note on GC2 Batteries:
Duracell Ultra 6V Deep Cycle Golf Cart SLIGC115 GC2 230ah $119

They weigh 64 lbs

https://www.batteriesplus.com/produc...EaAqRxEALw_wcB

Duracell Ultra 6V Golf Cart Deep Cycle SLIGC110 GC2 215ah $109

A little lighter than T105 at 62lb These are 60 lb
https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails
Order online and pickup. There is a coupon for 10% discount!
MA has many stores.



If these are good batteries (John says they are) and with prices like this why agonize about the condition of my Trojans? I'll just get new ones and be more careful going forward (provided the next dock based full charge & equalization does not help).
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:43   #10
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Actual AH/day PV production depends on a lot of variables. 5A for 4-6hrs is optimistic for 100W. You can start small, unlike banks can always add more later. But can't go wrong with "as much as fits".

Yes days between sailing with little draw reduces the wattage need.

PV sails are in early days but inevitable, 2-3 decades for non-wealthy sailors?

Yes buy a new bank, you're certainly positioned to take better care now 8-)

Those FLA Duracells are as good as Trojans, or at least d^mn close IMO, at $1 / 12V-AH certainly best value on the planet.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:18   #11
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Battery Box Sizing 24, GC2, GC2H, L16, L15+

Please see the attached PDF (also the same spreadsheet with ".doc" added.)

I may need new batteries, but I also need to turn my battery box 90 degrees for proper orientation, so I am looking at the entire battery bank picture, before purchase. Currently with (2) GC2 and 225ah total, it is worthwhile considering how to double this amount.

I currently have an old Group 24 AGM located on the starboard side. I am considering removing this battery for a new (2)GC2 box.

I believe I could mount GC2 boxes, one in the port cockpit locker (current main bank) and one to starboard. I understand that it is best to have an entire bank together in one location, but there are certain physical constraints. The boat is a CCA design, and quite narrow towards the stern and the distance would be about 6' between the two boxes, with the engine between. This could almost be two separate banks, but I want to use them as one larger bank for obvious reasons.
- What problems would I have and how would I mitigate it?
- Shouldn't I make each box 2x6vdc=12vdc in series?
- The interconnect wiring will cross above the engine attached to the underside of the cockpit sole it would parallel from opposite ends.

I will also check to see if I can fit in the port locker, a new battery box 13.2"x16"x17.2 high" for (2)Trojan L16H-AC 11.7x7x16.75 6vdc 435ah. However those weigh 114 lbs and will be more difficult to move in and out of the locker. I don't have much hope for this one working.

Another more expensive alternative is something like a Trojan SCS225 Marine Dp Cycle 13.25"x6.75"x9.75" 12v 130ah 67lb $215 which allows deep cycling to 20%SOC, thus giving 60% x 260ah = 156ah bulk capacity (compared to the 56ah bulk capacity of 2-T105). Additionally it has 40% acceptance instead of 25%. I believe this battery would fit in my port locker in a new box. Each battery is also 67 lbs. I could keep my reserve battery in the starboard locker.

I also need to find room for new devices, such as an 120vac ECLI/GCI Main Breaker panel, galvanic isolator, Charger, ACR combiner, SmartGauge and Solar Controllers.

Where does the reserve battery get located? I could put it in the bow, or perhaps under the sink. Or perhaps have a portable 12Vdc with clips!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Battery-Box-Sizes.pdf (10.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: doc Battery-Boxes.xls.doc (35.5 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:32   #12
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Just for chuckles...Am I going in or trying to get out? Gives some idea of the size we are dealing with, the

Existing box: 11"w x 15"d x 11"h (turn orientation 90 so 15" is on centerline

Calculated GC2: 12"w x 16.5"d x 12.5" h

The calculated box has 1/2" clearances between batteries and case, the current batteries are quiet tight.
Is cooling air flow possibly an issue with the existing box? When charging with the balmar, the ARS-5 has a bat temp sensor and it seems to be ok, particularly when it is cool out (77f )
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:00   #13
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Re: Small Boat Electrical for Sail

Possibly (2) Trojan L16 6v 125x2=250lb, 420ah in a box
13.2" (port -strbd) x 16" (along centerline) x 17.2" high
on the starboard side.

If located on the port side, the boat would list over, but I'd have much better access to the shaft without taking out the battery through the port locker.
It might be worthwhile trying to shift loads in the cabin to use this better configuration.
Also it might allow the Charger, ACR combiner and AC main panel to be mounted in the starboard locker.

There is better ventilation in the port locker, due to the starboard propane locker interfering with air flow. 12Both Switch is on the Port side. Moving the battery location will probably lengthen the runs from the alternator (port side of engine) and from batteries to 12Both.
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Old 06-07-2018, 15:21   #14
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12v DC WIRING DIAGRAM - PRELIMINARY - NELL

Attached an image file and a pdf of of the diagrem. It represents the goals for the system, without having locations for all the panels figured out. Wire sizing and fuses may change, and may not be correct.

Review and measurement at the boat with this schematic and completion of a preliminary 120v AC Wiring Diagram is next.

Any observations and suggestions will be appreciated.
- Already found an error. The alternator (-) blk sensing wire should include the shunt and be wired on the load side away from the battery.
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:53   #15
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Voltage, amperage & temperature Sensors direct to Battery Terminals

All manufacturers seem to want to attach their sensors directly to the battery terminals, which leads to a profusion of wires connected at the battery. This has been the situation since we had Loran and the solution to add a small Battery subpanel is not always good... So what absolutely needs to go on those terminals?

Well, there are some devices that do need direct battery power depending on if you want to be able to turn off the DC Panel when you leave the boat.
- Bilge pumps
- Anchor Light
- Some fancy anti-theft devices
- Charge sources like solar.

I think these can be reasonably put on a separate little panel right next to the batteries. However what about alternator sensors and temperature sensors (where the batteries could have 3 or more from regulator, solar controller, battery moniters)!

This leads me to the question of whether I should put the Balmar Regulator Black (-) direct to the Battery (-) in accord with the manufacturer's request, or on the load side of the shunt.

Quote:
Any observations and suggestions will be appreciated.
- Already found an error. The alternator (-) blk sensing wire should include the shunt and be wired on the load side away from the battery.
In addition to being the sense wire, this blk(-) is the ground for power to the Regulator. The regulator draws a very small load, something like 0.2amps. Therefore I am going to put it on the battery post, which will hopefully result in more accurate charging. However there will be a small loss in Battery Monitering, but the Link10 is not that accurate anyway.
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