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Old 03-05-2012, 01:38   #46
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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The freezer is a headache, but it's a big deal for me and a bigger deal for my wife. We've got about 10 cubic feet freezer space at our house, but it's all vertical. Going to a top loader we could probably fit more in a smaller space, and we would be downsizing overall, but I don't think we could go down too much below 3 cubic feet. Could save a little bit of space with one of those vacuum sealing tools. 3 cubic feet would basically be enough to hold a decent variety of frozen meat and not much else. We would plan on only re-supplying once every few weeks. I know there are a ton of alternative options but we like good meat and a decent variety...and would be nice if we caught a big fish to be able to store it somewhere...and I just can't see canning a good steak...
JM21 I under stand the Solar but if you dont have enough Solar energy to run a fridge have you thought about a Gas fridge or kerosene one they are energy efficient and could leave the solar for your business or some air con, but depending what heat you live in Id use evaporative over the hatch $50 and 1amp.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:13   #47
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

My conversion suggests that 3 cubic feet is about 80 litres.

In terms of portable refrigeration that's something like a Waeco CF-80AC VERB.

At 2.9 amps/hour that gives about 850 watts/day.

Should not take that big a solar panel?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:37   #48
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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What MPPT controller did you use
Colin
I think they used Genasun GV-10's.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:39   #49
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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oh wow. I did not know how much flexible solar panels were! They are like 10x the fixed panels...
But much cheaper to install.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:57   #50
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

When my vinyl bimini started to need repair more and more I decided to go the solar bimini route and it has worked out very well. I also expanded it over the cockpit when I converted to electric propulsion. Less maintenance since I no longer have to keep repairing the soft bimini fabric and zippers, offers sun protection and keeps the batteries topped up. I used the exsisting dodger frame for the first phase and then just added an arch from Sailrite to extend it over the cockpit. It works for me:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART SEVEN: PANELS INSTALLED
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:58   #51
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How did you secure panel ? To the deck how many MPPT controllers did you use?
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:09   #52
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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How did you secure panel ? To the deck how many MPPT controllers did you use?
Are you asking about the Solbian panels, or mbianca's setup?

The Solbians had zippers sewn to the long sides, and there is a Velcro flap over the zipper (which is why you don't see the zippers in the pic).

Two Genasun GV-10 MPPT controllers (one per panel) was the way to go for the least losses in shaded conditions.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:14   #53
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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JM21 I under stand the Solar but if you dont have enough Solar energy to run a fridge have you thought about a Gas fridge or kerosene one they are energy efficient and could leave the solar for your business or some air con, but depending what heat you live in Id use evaporative over the hatch $50 and 1amp.
I keep reading that gas/kerosene fridges are extremely unsafe on a mono due to the heeling motion? Maybe that fear is overblown?

I looked at the evaporative/swamp coolers but they seem to perform very poorly in areas with high humidity. If we were going to use one it would be around the great barrier reef and the humidity seems high enough there that it might not be much use. Some have ice packs you can put in that might make them slightly more useful. Don't know if it would be possible to use some sort of dessicant or dehumidifier in conjunction to make these more effective?

Also looked into ice coolers. For our application something very simple....like a cooler with a block of ice fitted with two fans to circulate the air. That seems like it might help a little for very little energy cost, but need a larger freezer.

Also there was a new super-efficient type of AC related to evaporative cooling...forget the name...but then we read how much water it used and it was absolutely insane. Not possible on a boat.

Really not sure AC is feasible without a generator...
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:31   #54
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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I keep reading that gas/kerosene fridges are extremely unsafe on a mono due to the heeling motion? Maybe that fear is overblown?

I looked at the evaporative/swamp coolers but they seem to perform very poorly in areas with high humidity. If we were going to use one it would be around the great barrier reef and the humidity seems high enough there that it might not be much use. Some have ice packs you can put in that might make them slightly more useful. Don't know if it would be possible to use some sort of dessicant or dehumidifier in conjunction to make these more effective?

Also looked into ice coolers. For our application something very simple....like a cooler with a block of ice fitted with two fans to circulate the air. That seems like it might help a little for very little energy cost, but need a larger freezer.

Also there was a new super-efficient type of AC related to evaporative cooling...forget the name...but then we read how much water it used and it was absolutely insane. Not possible on a boat.

Really not sure AC is feasible without a generator...
Many, inclding me, would argue gas fridges are not safe on any boat.

Your goals of a large freezer and office are achievable, just, on solar power if you cruse the areas with better insolation, but you will not manage 2.5kw on a reasonable sized monohull.
You need to budget for the very best energy efficient equipment, or use a diesel generator, or alter your expectations.
AC is not achievable without a generator or shore power .
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:32   #55
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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My conversion suggests that 3 cubic feet is about 80 litres.

In terms of portable refrigeration that's something like a Waeco CF-80AC VERB.

At 2.9 amps/hour that gives about 850 watts/day.

Should not take that big a solar panel?
Pair that with a similar sized refrigerator.

Then my laptop and office equipment running ~8 hours a day. At least 30-40 watts per hour for my laptop plus using printers and scanners to some degree.

Then wife's laptop running probably a similar time (she helps with my business and spends a lot of time online skyping with friends/family).

Add a bit of even low energy consumption lighting. Anchor light. Other misc electronics. Then add in a bit of padding just to play it safe and make sure you didn't underestimate your usage.

It adds up fast. I've ordered a kill-a-watt to try to get a better idea for my energy usage here at home and get some more exact figures over time but it's not looking pretty...

But really, 2.9 amps for a 80l Waeco? Wow. That's a lot. I'm assuming that's near the equator? You can run a newer 20 cubic foot household refrigerator/freezer here in Washington in the summer for about the same watts per day...ouch.

I'm thinking more and more maybe just stay out of the tropics anywhere near summer time.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:59   #56
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

A "Kill A Watt" meter will tell you what you may not want on your boat.
Here is what my home power usage is.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:40   #57
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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But really, 2.9 amps for a 80l Waeco? Wow. That's a lot. I'm assuming that's near the equator? You can run a newer 20 cubic foot household refrigerator/freezer here in Washington in the summer for about the same watts per day...ouch.

.
I think you may be comparing amps and forgetting the voltages are very different. Domestic appliances are very inefficient and I cannot imagine running a household fridge freezer on 35w.
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Old 03-05-2012, 14:12   #58
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Old 03-05-2012, 14:27   #59
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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I think you may be comparing amps and forgetting the voltages are very different. Domestic appliances are very inefficient and I cannot imagine running a household fridge freezer on 35w.
The energy consumption for household refrigerators and freezers has gone down pretty dramatically since 2000 or so. My refrigerator is old as sin, but once I get the kill-a-watt will do some measurements on my freezer and post some figures. I'm really curious to see how accurate the energy guide numbers are. According to the energy guide figures my 6.5 cubic foot upright freezer (from kenmore) should use a touch over 900 watt hours per day, or about 38 watts per hour. In comparison they rate a pretty typical 5.1 cubic foot chest freezer at 242 kwh per year, which would be about 660 watts per day or 27-28 watts per hour.

I know I saw some off-grid living blogs where people were measuring around 800-900 watts per day for ~18 cubic foot upright split refer/freezers. Didn't say how old the appliances were though.

EDIT:
Went back and re-read Boracay's post just in case. 2.9 amps at 12 volt would be 34.8 watts per hour which would be 835 watts per day which is pretty close to the 850 watts per day Boracay had in his post...let me know if I'm doing something wrong...

I figured that the 2.9 amp energy usage was in the tropics so consumption in temperate climates would be much lower?
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Old 03-05-2012, 15:09   #60
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

The Kenmore 6.5 freezer uses 575 w when the compressor is running according to the manual. Looking at the thickness of insulation and that its side opening the compressor is going to running a lot on a boat.
If you want to run a fridge, freezer and 2 computers for most of the day without a generator you are going to need very efficient appliances.
The fridge and freezer will need to be top loading with very good insulation, vacuume panels or aerogel. Not domestic appliances.
The computers will need to run from 12v and you will need to energy efficient net books or tablets, at least when doing less intensive applications like Skype.

This is just the reality of living on a monohull and relying on solar power. The crusing life is great, but you need to have realistic expectations about what can achieved.
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