Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-03-2010, 01:51   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne
Boat: Compass 28
Posts: 306
Smart Regulators

My yacht has a 75Ah house battery, 30A Hitachi alternator and a small (5W) solar panel. In between sails (mostly day-sails, occasional overnighters) I find the house battery is running down. I run the engine for 45min to an hour on day trips, longer for overnight.

It seems from what I've read and heard that a smart regulator would allow the existing alternator to charge the battery much more quickly, and to a higher percentage charge, in a given run time.

Seems no point getting a bigger battery, as I'm confident the problem is in the charging capacity. I guess I could swap the alternator for a 50A one. Increasing the solar panel would help between trips, but not much when I'm out for a few days.

Sooooo....... I'm looking into smart regulators, and I'm having trouble finding anyone here in Oz who has actually installed one and can comment from experience. There's one brand from the UK called a Sterling that looks well-priced. Love to hear from any of you clever blokes who've actually put one in: was it worthwhile? Are they that good?

lockie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2010, 03:49   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Boat: Beneteau 393
Posts: 101
Perhaps you need to disconnect the battery between sails? Or does it run the bilge pump?

Work out why it is discharging between sails? Why doesn't the solar cell keep it topped up?

How long are we talking? Days, weeks, months?

It might be a leak to earth? Something is drawing the current. What do you leave on while you aren't sailing?
Kordie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2010, 05:01   #3
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,739
Smart regulators are moderatly difficult to fit. They do work and will increase the charging from you engine. They are normally the first step in upgrading a charging system, but in you case I am not so sure.
If your alternator is putting out say 15A on average and a smart reg boosts this by 30% will only give you another 4.5Ahrs when run for a hour a day. A modist gain for a lot of work.
Even a 10w solar pannel over a week will give you 3 times this amount. If you could charge your battery via solar and leave with the battery fully charged, this should fullfill your electrical needs for day sails and overnight excurions.
Some more detail on your electrical consumption, number of days betwwen trips etc would be a great help in providing advice.
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
mppt Regulators northerncat Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 34 28-05-2011 22:49
Three-Stage Regulators motion30 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 25-08-2009 16:12
smart regulators northerncat Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 8 14-10-2006 04:45
Solar Regulators Talbot Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 20 27-07-2006 08:05
Solar Regulators GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 8 29-01-2005 19:01

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:50.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.