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Old 15-05-2018, 09:40   #1
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Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Hello!

When I first got my boat a few years ago, there were 3 new 12v batteries just sitting around not installed. I had them installed, two are in a house bank and one is the engine bank. Now that I know a little bit more about how they should work, and now that I have actually started cruising, it's time to upgrade.

I have two 100W solar panels which do great at keeping everything charged.

My fridge is the biggest draw. Knowing the insulation was bad, I've torn it up and will be sealing the cracks where water was leaking through, and putting in new insulation. I'm also upgrading the fridge unit as I have a freezer box as well that allows runoff to cool the fridge, and I would really like to have a freezer for longer passages. I'm not sure where on this site to ask about freezer cold plates, but if anyone has any input I am all ears!

As for what type of batteries to get, I've heard getting more bang for your buck out of 6V golf cart batteries. I am not entirely sure how to figure out what my daily usage is. I figure I need to get the freezer unit in and running first to determine that. Can someone please give direction/homework I can do to further advance in this project?

Thank you kindly!
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Old 15-05-2018, 10:23   #2
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

There are several threads on here about refrigeration systems
Personally I would give SV third day rich boren (owner of cool blue marine refrigeration) a pm or just wait I'm sure he will be along soon he is currently in lapaz mx.

Where are you located?
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Old 15-05-2018, 10:43   #3
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by salty.senorita View Post
As for what type of batteries to get, I've heard getting more bang for your buck out of 6V golf cart batteries. I am not entirely sure how to figure out what my daily usage is. I figure I need to get the freezer unit in and running first to determine that. Can someone please give direction/homework I can do to further advance in this project?

Its a good exercise to calculate your daily DC usage profile, and you can start by reading manuals/labels for all your DC stuff to see what they draw... then make some estimates about how often the fridge compressor (for example) is actually on and drawing...

Put enough of that together and it'll give you a starting point... and then you can try to check that by monitoring how much DC you really did use on a given day, see if that matches your estimates... and then modify the math accordingly as necessary.

But another way forward is to install as much battery capacity as you can reasonably fit in and keep charged, then modify your own behavior to make best use of that. This method assumes somewhat limited battery space, or at least not unlimited battery space...

-Chris
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Old 15-05-2018, 20:46   #4
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
There are several threads on here about refrigeration systems
Personally I would give SV third day rich boren (owner of cool blue marine refrigeration) a pm or just wait I'm sure he will be along soon he is currently in lapaz mx.

Where are you located?
Where would these threads be? I don't see a refer section on the forum. I'm in Southern California.
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Old 15-05-2018, 20:59   #5
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by salty.senorita View Post
Where would these threads be? I don't see a refer section on the forum. I'm in Southern California.
here is a list of several threads a search on here would be best but my tablet won't do that function
Here is a Google search to get you started.
https://www.google.com/search?q=crui...obile&ie=UTF-8
here's rich's page http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...+day-3180.html
He own cool blue marine refrigeration out of southern California
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Old 16-05-2018, 03:06   #6
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Senorita.

Articles on Electrical Load Calculation:

https://www.sailboat-cruising.com/boat-electrics.html

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-maga...t#.WvwDUIopDIU

http://newcontent.westmarine.com/con...r/Elecbugt.pdf

http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/ele...ing_print.html
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:30   #7
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

As far as a refrigerator / freezer I highly recommend the Sea Frost DC system. I've had mine for 20 years and not one problem! Before you toss your batteries, unless they are gel cells, I'd suggest that you have them tested. They, wet or AGM, may just need to be "shook" which will revive them significantly. The advantage of 6 Volt (Golf Cart) batteries is in both ease of handling and replacement if a cell goes bad. JMHO
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:39   #8
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by salty.senorita View Post
Where would these threads be? I don't see a refer section on the forum. I'm in Southern California.

Where in Southern Cali are you? I am in Marina Del Rey and can help with some items. I have a really good reefer guy in Huntington Beach also. He does travel a lot between Newport and Marina Del Rey.
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:35   #9
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Salty,

A couple of quick responses to your questions.

Here is a decent spreadsheet you can use as a model for estimating your 12V DC energy requirements.

Regarding a freezer, if you have room, you might want to evaluate a stand-alone Engel fridge/freezer. [Engels are very energy efficient...] We have the large ice chest version installed under a settee bench, and it has been perfect for over 15 years. [Any freezer that keeps my ice cream hard gets my recommendation.] You can also adjust the temperature on the Engel models so they are refrigerators as well.

Best wishes deciding what is best for you.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:44   #10
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Salty,

A couple of quick responses to your questions.

Here is a decent spreadsheet you can use as a model for estimating your 12V DC energy requirements.

Regarding a freezer, if you have room, you might want to evaluate a stand-alone Engel fridge/freezer. [Engels are very energy efficient...] We have the large ice chest version installed under a settee bench, and it has been perfect for over 15 years. [Any freezer that keeps my ice cream hard gets my recommendation.] You can also adjust the temperature on the Engel models so they are refrigerators as well.

Best wishes deciding what is best for you.

Cheers! Bill
Great advice! In fact, you might find that just the Engel is enough on its own. You can turn it up to freeze food on passages and then dial down to a fridge when you are cruising locally and buy fresh goods. They come in different sizes, so there's sure to be one that fits your boat. Another advantage of the Engel is simplicity- no construction of a box and it can be taken out and replaced, should that day come (unlikely, given their amazing reliability).
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Old 16-05-2018, 16:32   #11
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by salty.senorita View Post
Hello!

When I first got my boat a few years ago, there were 3 new 12v batteries just sitting around not installed. I had them installed, two are in a house bank and one is the engine bank. Now that I know a little bit more about how they should work, and now that I have actually started cruising, it's time to upgrade.

I have two 100W solar panels which do great at keeping everything charged.

My fridge is the biggest draw. Knowing the insulation was bad, I've torn it up and will be sealing the cracks where water was leaking through, and putting in new insulation. I'm also upgrading the fridge unit as I have a freezer box as well that allows runoff to cool the fridge, and I would really like to have a freezer for longer passages. I'm not sure where on this site to ask about freezer cold plates, but if anyone has any input I am all ears!

As for what type of batteries to get, I've heard getting more bang for your buck out of 6V golf cart batteries. I am not entirely sure how to figure out what my daily usage is. I figure I need to get the freezer unit in and running first to determine that. Can someone please give direction/homework I can do to further advance in this project?

Thank you kindly!
There are many variables to consider when determining the daily power of a 12 volt refrigeration system in your one of a kind boat. There is a slide show on my web page that will expose you to the exercise math. After you come up with the worst case concept for tropical climates don’t forget to subtract 2% per cooler degree temperature to adjust for your planed cruising climate conditions.

The advice given to use an Engel portable as your freezer has been followed by many satisfied boaters.

Kollmann Marine
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Old 17-05-2018, 07:13   #12
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Did both last summer/fall; my batteries were not holding anymore (7yr) factory installed, I went with Firefly, really like them take less space, weight less, are better looking and easy install as opposed to lithiums plus $$...only time will tell how they hold up.
Had a giant freezer and a giant refrigerator, both water cooled, a total disaster every week I had to tend to them, cleaning the filters and hoses, I had to replace electrical components numerous times, very$$, I was not very happy. I saw John Tully at a boat show and like the units, I installed them easier than I though and they run great and stay cool to the touch, very happy with them, ( ColdEh).
do your homework and go with what you think
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Old 17-05-2018, 08:05   #13
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by salty.senorita View Post
...I've heard getting more bang for your buck out of 6V golf cart batteries...
If you tell us what boat you have, and the other electrical equipment, we might be able to make a recommendation.
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Old 17-05-2018, 08:33   #14
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

You can see what boat I have under my posting name, as well as my location.
I do have solar panels and a wind generator for when off the grid.
This last weekend I was "unplugged and it all worked excellently, the power consumption of the ColdEh units is very low, my batteries were 100% charged throughout the day (solars) and at night they went down to 98% and quickly came up to !00% with the sun.
The Eleuthera is a big boat with a lot of power demands that's why I made the changes.
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Old 17-05-2018, 08:41   #15
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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You can see what boat I have under my posting name, as well as my location...
I wasn't addressing you.
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