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Old 28-01-2009, 13:54   #16
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Perhaps I should basically just trickle charge my batteries, using them only for Nav lights and basic instrumentation, and only use my laptop, 40w mini-fridge and CD-Player when the banks are full? (with out running them below 60% when I do use them of course)
This idea actually quite appeals to me, and it doesn't look like I have too much choice...
Ideas?
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:24   #17
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I've got an MP3 player that can be charged with just an hour plugged into the lap-top, so I can go without the CD player at sea. I have alot of e-book's which could be printed out rather than read from the PC.. etc etc... There are many way to save more power, and as we all know, even all this is luxury compared to the sailors of 100 years ago... Yea, I may be slightly less than sane to try this, but my IQ and practical skills are decent, and surely being slightly less than sane is a prerequisite for a single hander??
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:42   #18
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If you will just be using your battery charger at the dock (no generator) then you don't need a large one. A 20 amp charger would do you fine as it will be connected for a reasonably long time. Try to find a marine grade charger though if you can.

You will need a charge controller for the solar panels as well.

What size alternator do you have and do you have a 3 stage alternator controller? A good externally controlled alternator will make a world of difference.

A properly designed electrical system will make your life on board significantly easier. Does not have to be large and overly(?) expensive but it does need to be sized and equipped properly for your usage.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:55   #19
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At the moment, the boat has 2 Deep-Cycle batteries and a 15hp on-board, engine running, everything else is an unknown at this stage.
I shall certainly check out the link though, A possible idea would be a larger alternator for the onboard, and carry extra diesel for battery charging, I've already looked into that, and the alternator is around $600, which may be do-able, but as you can probably tell from my posts, this isn't the kind of solution i'm hoping for... I've found a charge controller that works for both wind and solar at the same time for a decent price...
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:59   #20
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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
If you will just be using your battery charger at the dock (no generator) then you don't need a large one. A 20 amp charger would do you fine as it will be connected for a reasonably long time. Try to find a marine grade charger though if you can.

You will need a charge controller for the solar panels as well.
DeepFrz is correct - that is what I was implying earlier, if only on the opposite tack: If you're going to charge using a genset, you want the largest charger your battery bank can safely handle in order to keep genset running time to a minimum.

Like btrayfors has said before in other postings, quality bang-for-the-buck from the chargers by Iota Engineering are hard to beat (I have two of their 75 amp smart chargers, so I'm a little biased!). btrayfors has a much longer history of using them than I have (only since June 2008).

Currently, the selling price for an Iota DLS-75 is about $300 (add $25 for the IQ4 smart charger option). The charger that Captain Jaz is looking at tops out at 45 amps total for basically the same price, and it appears it can only deliver 15 amps max per leg (I may be wrong - others can spread the total output over all outputs or to any individual output...)

Caveat emptor...
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Old 28-01-2009, 15:08   #21
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Beausoleil!!!
You have made me a very happy man!
I can afford that reasonably easily, I've been having problems browsing for goods in the USA as my google knows I'm in the UK and doesn't like to direct me to US sites.
Many thanks.
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Old 28-01-2009, 15:11   #22
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Also, very envious of your boat!
A 45' + ketch would be my ideal boat also...
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Old 28-01-2009, 17:33   #23
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Capn'

I think you need to step back.

The most expensive source of power is plugging a charger into the shore since you need to rent a marina slip to get the outlet. That doesn't seem like your plan (nor would it be mine). You don't have a genset. So skip the charger.

Increasing the size of your alternator is an excellent idea. What size is your current alternator? A 100 amp alternator is about $70 if you look around. You might also look at adding a 2nd alternator if there's a way to attach a bracket. That gives you more charge capacity and redundancy.

I'm a real fan of solar. The panels don't break. They don't make noise. You don't have to anchor in an wind tunnel anchorage. Unlike wind genertors , they work when you're sailing off the wind ("gentlemen don't go to windward").

I'd think about adding as much solar as you can - save money by using good deep cycle lead acid instead instead of gel batteries and skip the wind generator. Buy as much solar wattage as you can afford and then buy more panels later when you can afford more. 300-400 watts of solar makes everything else simple. If you run out of room on the bimini and cabin top, there are some great brackets that let you attach your solar panels to the lifeline stanchions.

Carl
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Old 28-01-2009, 17:40   #24
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Carl, I gotta agree with you, I really don't want to relie on anything but the sun, wind and sea. And the sun is for sure the least hassle and noise.
my current plan's are for 100w of panels, but could possibly increase that with the careful placing of smaller panel's. I would still like to have a 5amp wind charger for long periods of very cloudy days(but modern panels do still give a little power under those conditions). I also have more experience with Solar as I used it when staying in commune's in Holland and Spain.
I reckon I may be able to get 200w. And with low consumption that will be ok I think... I managed ok with 100w on land, but it didn't do the batteries any good...
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Old 28-01-2009, 18:11   #25
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I thought the whole point of this exercise was to go someplace sunny? Holland? If you're sailing to Holland or Belgium, or Nova Scotia or other really cloudy places you need to look into a diesel heater.

I'm also betting that you'll run your engine an hour every day or two to make a quick 100 amp hours and some hot water for a shower.

That 5 amp wind generator will only deliver 5 amps in a wind that will make you worry about your anchor or your sails. And it will cost you $800 by the time you've bought all the bits to install it. That's almost 150 watts of "forget it's even there" solar.

Still, wind is heaps better than dockside charging if there's no dock.

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Old 28-01-2009, 18:28   #26
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Lol... you misread me Carl, I have lived there, I'm not going back there! (as much as I love the dutch girls)
My plans are for sunnier climes... French Polynesia is my destination, but that doesn't mean that I can really 100% on the sun though... so i'd still be more comfortable with both....
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Old 29-01-2009, 08:08   #27
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Also, where I'll be, one of those black shower bag's will be fine, if its cloudy it'll probably be to rough to think about showers anyway...
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Old 29-01-2009, 11:18   #28
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100 watts of panels will get you an average of 25 amp hours a day and a GOOD wind generator might average 60 amphours in typical 10 knot anchorage winds and windless days over time. This leaves you with a shortfall of roughly 40ah's a day and with a SMALL (for cruising) 300 ah bank you can't use more than 150ah's before recharging is needed (50% discharge rule). So, you will need to have some other means of charging daily since on a given day...you could need MUCH more than 40ah's if it is windless or cloudy or both. A charger will require you to be at a dock OR have a generator ($800 bucks or so + gas). You want the BIGGEST charger you can use with the generator which is probably about 75amps (Iota) to minimize gen run time and gas use.
Going in the other direction...you can run your engine daily and then you want the biggest alternator and 3 stage regulator to minimize diesel use and engine weat and tear. Probably something like a Balmar 100amp with external regulator.
To me, based on your plans and finances...the latter seems a better choice for you.
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Old 29-01-2009, 12:21   #29
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Hmmm... ok, well I think that wind and solar is the way for me, but theres a limit to what I can fit on a 27' boat without making it look a mess... And atm its either or for the engine or the panels, and as you can probably tell I'm leaning to the greener option..
I think that reducing my power consumption, along with getting as much as I can out of wind and sun using 1 75w charger (maybe 2 identical 50w?) will be my best solution for my budget...
A smaller laptop and fridge will help, and also I forgot to take into account in my original estimates that a fridge isn't actually using much power 75% of the time...

I now have worked out that my bare minimum consumption can be as little as 27.6aH
And I could live reasonably comfortably on less than 60aH (comfortably by my standards at least).

I take it from what I've read so far that my current electrical plans should be able to cover that fairly easily ya?

(Thats with a view to upgrading my wind geni and aiming for 160w+ of panels..)
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Old 29-01-2009, 12:24   #30
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I should add that where I plan to be will be almost on the equator and has average winds of 10-15 knots daily...
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