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Old 08-06-2007, 10:55   #16
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Bamboo

I'm investigating this now and so far have run into the same thing. I've found a 50amp Xantres that I can get for $475. Haven't found a larger one yet that will not overload the Honda OR that I can afford. I'll post here if I find something.

Roger
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:02   #17
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Bamboo,

I use my EU2000i with a 100 amp Zantrex charger/inverter. I have seen over 90 amps going in. The Honda'll do it .
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:14   #18
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Which model Xantrex are you using?
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:25   #19
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Heart F20 inverter/charger. 2000w, 100 amps. It's three years old.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:42   #20
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Thanks, that may be what I've been looking for. Found it for $699 (refurbished). HEART INTERFACE FREEDOM RV INVERTERS
Now, if I can just sell my 20amp charger and 1000W inverter!!!
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:58   #21
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If you use a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 you can set the breaker on the incoming AC (on the Xantrex panel). That way it is always sensing what the power draw is and will not trip your breaker. It maximizes you AC input, if that makes sense. A feature like that is very beneficial for those that are generating poiwer off of a generator and want to maximize their output. I know many people will run their water heater and/or microwave and other things while they are generating ac of the generator. In the old days, you would have to turn off one or the other to keep from tripping the breaker. The Xantrex knows what is coming in on the 110 side, so feeds the maximum it can to charge the batteries at every momentby adjusting the amps-out. THus, when the MW goes off 2 minutes later, it will kick up the juice on the charger. Another nice feature is that you can set the type and AH of your battery bank for optimum charging. Many cheaper chargers do not have that function.

Xantrex makes a good product. From what I understand, Outback was once Xantrex people who split off to do their own thing. I cannot verify that, but I will say I have used both products and feel the Outback may be superior. However, the prosine 2.0 is a very nice piece of equipmentand fits better than the awkwardly designed Outback.

One word of caution to those installing a 2.0 (or any large inverter): You will have to run large cable. THe minimum (yes minimum) for the Xantrex is 4/0, not 4 awg, 4/0. They reccomend 250 - 350 mcm, which is enormous. FOr those of you that are not really electrically literate, that is larger than what feeds your house! It is a little larger than your thumb, though it costs a thumb, arm and leg right now.

Just be counscious of the costs outside of the inverter so you are not caught blindsided. You will also need 4/0 lugs, crimpers, Heavy duty switch (not the standards) and HD fuse blocks and fuses. It is an adventure. Wiring it with less could possess a fire hazard. Many people sub this to marine electricians, but I think anyone that is moderately literate with electrical can handle it. It really is not that hard - thought time consuming. The worst part is pulling 4/0+ through small cavities and crimping the lugs on (then realizing you cut it too short, cursing, then crimping again... smile).

If you want more specifics, let me know.

- CD
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Old 08-06-2007, 13:51   #22
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Originally Posted by StoutWench
Dave

The Honda can charge a 600ah bank as quickly as a 200ah bank from 50% to 80%, with a properly sized charger. If I were to start over again, I wouldn't spend money on solar panels and an inverter. I would have the Honda, my 110 alternator, a 100amp shore power charger and as large a bank as I could fit on board. One hour with the Honda every third day or motoring for a few hours and I'd be done. No real need to bring the banks back to 100% everytime you charge with the Honda. That will happen when motoring.
I have to pipe in on this one. I have a setup that I put together that works like a CHARM. The reason? It has NOTHING to do with solar or wind. Some days are cloudy, and unless you're in the trade winds, some days don't get above the 7-10 knots you need to get any useable power from an Air-X.

I have a 6KW Yanmar diesel genset powering twin 90 amp (for a total of 180 amps charging power) Iota smart chargers. They charge up a 420AH set of Trojan T-105s to 99% each day.

Also running at the same time as the chargers is a 1/2hp 120VAC refrigeration and freezer holding plate unit that keeps my freezer at 10-20deg F and refer below 40 deg F all day every day.

I haven't seen a dock since the first week of April. I spent all summer out at anchor last year too. If you add up the costs and reliabilty factor, you can't go wrong with a genset and powerful chargers. They charge your battery reliably every single day for about $2.

I run the genset for 45mins a day max now that I have my refer tuned to perfection. Also, the other bonus is that for free, I get to charge up electric razors, cell phones and batteries for flashlights and whatnot during that 45 min run, as well as microwave, run small electric heaters and vacuum if I need to. It's something to consider. Solar and wind just aren't all that unless you're in a really windy and sunny area.

Total weekly cost for all that? Maybe $15, including oil changes. No filters to buy since it's a small engine.

Total system cost? Approx $3500
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Old 08-06-2007, 14:29   #23
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YOU PAID $3500 FOR A 6KW Yanmar GENSET!!! My unit, a Mastervolt 3.5 Whisper, in the box, costs close to 10k.... and I thought I got a good deal! Explain that one, please!! Does it have a sound shield?

By the way, it is going to take a long time for solar to offset the cost of the genset. However, solar runs by itself and once in is free. It does not stink and has no noice other than the occasional clicking as the MPPT scans. Also, does your generator require you to be on board to charge? Although mine does not, many of them do. Solar does not require you to be on board.

But if you are looking solely for the cheapest way out, buy a MS Reg for your main and throw on another battery.

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Old 08-06-2007, 14:41   #24
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Heart F20 inverter/charger. 2000w, 100 amps. It's three years old.
Obviously, something isn't right. The spec on that inverter/charger says it uses 21A of AC on max.charge mode, but Honda EU2000i cannot provide that much current. Vasco, I believe that your setup works (that's very good news), maybe you are not running the charger in that 'max. charge mode', whatever it means. Is there any way you can messure actual current going to your inverter/charger? I just want to get to the bottom of this.
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Old 08-06-2007, 14:49   #25
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The sun shines just right some of the time, and you’re boat is oriented just right (think angle of incidence, & shadow-free) some of that time; so ideal solar collection conditions are quite rare. Most usually, you get[i] some[/ui (but not nearly maximum, nameplate) benefit from solar panels, on a boat.

4.5 - 5.5 (75W) Amps would just about have run my fridge, and nothing more.

I suspect that Rebel Heart may have limited his perceived needs, according to his capability to generate (not a bad concept), rather than design his capabilities to his desired needs. Given his screen name, that’s understandable.

I think that solar energy may be most advantageous where you have larger, controled areas available for collection – such as shore-side roofs & etc.

Bamboo: 2000W @ 100A = 20V (or 14V @ 70% efficiency). The unit would require about 16A at 120VAC.
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Old 08-06-2007, 17:22   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
YOU PAID $3500 FOR A 6KW Yanmar GENSET!!! My unit, a Mastervolt 3.5 Whisper, in the box, costs close to 10k.... and I thought I got a good deal! Explain that one, please!! Does it have a sound shield?

By the way, it is going to take a long time for solar to offset the cost of the genset. However, solar runs by itself and once in is free. It does not stink and has no noice other than the occasional clicking as the MPPT scans. Also, does your generator require you to be on board to charge? Although mine does not, many of them do. Solar does not require you to be on board.

But if you are looking solely for the cheapest way out, buy a MS Reg for your main and throw on another battery.

- CD
Hi CD... sorry to catch you off guard. Many old timers on here know my secret. It's not a marine genset. I found no reason to purchaes a $12,000 marine genset with all its complicated plumbing.

I agree that solar is a nice idea and a great source of energy over the long haul (20 years), but doing the math, I found that it was far more expensive in the short haul, due to the need to still have a generator around when it's not windy or sunny. Bare in mind I'm in Maine now and was in the NY area previously. We just don't have the sun like folks down south do. So, instead of buying solar and wind, a huge battery bank and then having to buy a generator for those days when nature doesn't cooperate, I just bought a genset that can handle everything. Saves much $$ until solar or wind is more economical or the sun shines more often and the wind perks up a bit (global warming GOOD for natural power enthusiasts?)

I sure wouldn't mind a quiet, free source of power, but for now... there isn't one where I live that will meet onboard power requirements. Yes, my genset does require a whole procedure and someone aboard to run it. But, since I live here, there is someone aboard usually for at least an hour a day.

As you may know, I'm selling this boat and trading down to an old fishing boat I'm refitting to live aboard. I'm making an even more efficient system for that consisting of an air cooled Yanmar engine, a couple of alternators and a refrigeration compressor. Same run time, same cost, but a more direct system - basically building a DC genset and refrigeration combo.

I'm not sure I agree that idling your main and using an MS reg would be the cheapest way out, given the main's ability to suck down diesel, the glassing of the cylinder walls, rot of the heat exchanger, use of the impellor and oil changes.

Also, I would be weary of setting a genset to run while I wasn't aboard, in case of fuel line leaks, overheating to the point of glowing from an oil pump failure, etc... Fire danger.

Sorry... don't mean to start anything. Just wondering about those two points. Do you feel it's ok to idle the main and to run gensets while not aboard?
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Old 08-06-2007, 20:35   #27
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I was thinking of a Honda generator as a backup when I use to much Juice. However I was thinking of the EU1000 which will output 900 watts. Thsi means a smaller charger 50 to 70 amps. I have 2 - 120 amp alternators on the engines which would be the primary method of bulk charging. I do not have solar yet, ( I just bought the boat so I am trying figure things out.) Refridgeration has 2 compressors, 1 for front loding fridge and 1 for a top loading freezer with holding plates.

The boat is in the southern Carribean and I would like to see opinions on this setup.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:44   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambooSailor
Obviously, something isn't right. The spec on that inverter/charger says it uses 21A of AC on max.charge mode, but Honda EU2000i cannot provide that much current. Vasco, I believe that your setup works (that's very good news), maybe you are not running the charger in that 'max. charge mode', whatever it means. Is there any way you can messure actual current going to your inverter/charger? I just want to get to the bottom of this.
Bamboo,

I have seen over 90 amps going in to the batteries on my Link 2000. Usually it's in the eighties when I start the Honda up. I don't know what I'm running the charger at, I don't think there's settings. I just fire up the Honda, punch the charger button on the Link and bingo it charges. I don't know what's going into the charger but the Honda is working as hard as it can. You learn the different sounds, it gets a lot quieter when the bulk phase is over.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:56   #29
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SSulivan,

Thanks for the reply.

Well, when I said the cheapest way out, which it is (running the main), I SURE did not mean the best. I just finished an article in Mainsheet last night (for August) on this very subject. Running you main to charge your batts is tough on the main, eats fuel, and unless you have a MS Reg, is probably not just really good for the batts either.

However, it is the CHEAPEST way out. Even using $3500 as your example (which is darned cheap) is a WHOLE lot of diesel... even at todays prices. How many years will it take to break even on the genset? Now, I am not counting the wear on the main. As I currently have 520W on my boat right now, with 2 more panels sitting beside me as I type this about to go on (an increase it to 780W... a small solar plant!!) you can guess how I feel about running the main to charge the batts.

However, many people do not want to drop thousands into a GOOD solar setup, and cruise on very, very tight and limited budgets. THat is what you do. It is sure a lot better than running the bats below 50%, and doing partial charges without a MS Reg.

Regarding the generator auto function, many (most???) of todays high-end generators have this function. I know Mastervolt does, and am almost positive FisherPanda does. You can set the battery voltage/rate of discharge desired for autostart. The new generators, especially the MV, is a piece of art that runs and diagnosis itself and its surroundings. It would know if it was being harmed before you would. It is great piece of equipment for the right budget (about 15k intalled). FYI, though, you can disable the autostart function, which I have. I would see it useful when I am away from the boat for a long time and the solar just did not keep up... but that seems unlikely and I prefer having the control. So I do not use that function though it is there. For the push-button boaters, which most are... as I am sure you know, this is a nice function whcih keeps them from finding themselves stranded.

- CD
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:05   #30
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Quote:
I was thinking of a Honda generator as a backup when I use to much Juice. However I was thinking of the EU1000 which will output 900 watts. Thsi means a smaller charger 50 to 70 amps. I have 2 - 120 amp alternators on the engines which would be the primary method of bulk charging. I do not have solar yet, ( I just bought the boat so I am trying figure things out.) Refridgeration has 2 compressors, 1 for front loding fridge and 1 for a top loading freezer with holding plates.

The boat is in the southern Carribean and I would like to see opinions on this setup.
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Billy,

Many people use their boats as such. However, as has been written many times, counting on your main to charge your batts is not the "best" method. If you see yourself "going" every day, then this conversation is pointless. However, we prefer to drop hook at place, then take the dink everywhere. That means our boat does not move much.

If the carrib is your destibation of interest, you might be better suited (only on a cost basis) to use wind over solar. $1200, $1500 would get you an AIr-X with everything needed to install. The tradewinds will do the rest. Other parts of the world do not have the favorable winds for charging and running a wind.

I still prefer solar, but the cost is more. Just my thoughts.

- CD
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