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Old 24-07-2014, 23:04   #46
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
So here are real-life numbers for a piston pump on a nominal 6.25gph DC watermaker (150gpd unit drawing a constant 17A):
5.4gph @ 12.5V
5.7gph @ 12.9V
5.8gph @ 13.5V
6.2gph @ 14.3V

Oh and just as an FYI....this Voltage "VFD affect" on the 12v motor RPM turning the piston pump will be seen on the EchoTec AND any unit I would build with a 12v/24v motor. It's just how the 12v motors work. (But not the Spectra...Tellie Wins). But the good news is that on a LiFePO4 battery bank you won't see these big voltage swings as you do on Lead Acid.

As much as I don't want to agree with a guy that mocked me with Data (I'll remember that Mark)......I am worried when I see folks outfitting a new boat with "too much new technology" with plans for a far off cruise. People spend years just getting all the standard tried and true boat systems up and running and "working" and then spend an aweful lot of their early cruise time re-doing and fixing what they thought worked before they left. I'm not trying to be Mr. Negative (Heck, I'm installing a LiFePO4 Battery Bank on my boat right NOW...so I love the new cool stuff). Just make sure you go into this project with Patience and perhaps some extra "opps that didn't work" budget money.

[[Oh and Mark...do you mind if I save those GPH vs Voltage data...I've not had those cool numbers before?]]
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Old 24-07-2014, 23:38   #47
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
Hey, thanks Rich. You have a knack for clear communication. The straight talk is much appreciated. You should write a "Watermakers for Dummies" book. I'm only half joking.

So basically you are saying the consideration is NOT any operational impact on the 12V pump, but the energy management and battery bank consideration ie Gel or LA versus LiFePO4 battery characteristics.

I am CONSIDERING an electric-hybrid (ie diesel genset) propulsion cat and running house amenities as electric as I can, so we are planning not only a significant solar installation but also LiFePO4 as a necessity.

The Diesel genset is for extended motoring beyond the capacity of the batteries, and for other adverse scenarios like long cloudy periods at anchor. But we would like solar to be the main fuel source at anchor, complemented by high output regeneration while at sail with the electric motors and/or Watt & Sea hydrogenerator.

So to cut to the chase, it seems for my situation with a new build project with lots of new efficient solar (1 to 2 kW) & big LiFePO4 battery bank(s), then we could consider using one of the inefficient 12V watermakers and still get away with it.

I accept that others may not have the adequate renewable input capability or still be using lead batteries with 50% DOD and slower recharging limitations, in which case your recommendations on not using a more inefficient 12V watermaker makes alot of sense.

Have I got that right?
WOW! To be frank, I think you need to forget the Diesel-Inbred solution and stick with tried and proven solutions. Inboard diesel and a diesel generator to run all your toys. If you want to build a solar farm----do it on land.
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Old 25-07-2014, 04:45   #48
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

Just one quick suggestion on water maker installs. Even if you are installing an automatic system (like the Spectra Catalina), I would highly recommend running the product water line to a t-valve at the sink so you can run the product either to the sink or to the water tank. It makes testing the water manually easy if you have to or want to. It also makes it easy to check/calibrate the product flow meter.
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Old 25-07-2014, 06:28   #49
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by mark_morwood View Post
Just one quick suggestion on water maker installs. Even if you are installing an automatic system (like the Spectra Catalina), I would highly recommend running the product water line to a t-valve at the sink so you can run the product either to the sink or to the water tank. It makes testing the water manually easy if you have to or want to. It also makes it easy to check/calibrate the product flow meter.

This actually a great idea with any watermaker. This also makes it easy to fill water bottles directly from the watermaker, pots for Spaghetti night, and if your tank goes sour you have an easy way to get water without having to rush to the nearest marina to clean them out. You should at least have a 3/way for a sampling line and make the line long enough to easily fill large containers or even share a few gallons with a neighbor.
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Old 25-07-2014, 08:41   #50
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
[[Oh and Mark...do you mind if I save those GPH vs Voltage data...I've not had those cool numbers before?]]
No problem, they are all yours. But you should have the complete perspective on it. Those voltages were battery voltage. There is a 0.5V drop in the 15' 6AWG wire run to the system, so the actual voltage at the motor was 0.5V less than those I give.

Which brings up another point about DC watermakers - I doubt many people have wired their watermaker with appropriate sized wire! Most I see are wired with 12AWG on 20-40' runs. Maybe 10AWG if they thought they were wiring well.

The reality is that unless you mount the unit right next to your batteries, you need to use humongous wire size to get the rated performance out of it. I would guess a DC Echotec mounted 15' from the batteries would require 2AWG wiring to be effective.

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Old 25-07-2014, 09:23   #51
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
No problem, they are all yours. But you should have the complete perspective on it. Those voltages were battery voltage. There is a 0.5V drop in the 15' 6AWG wire run to the system, so the actual voltage at the motor was 0.5V less than those I give.

Which brings up another point about DC watermakers - I doubt many people have wired their watermaker with appropriate sized wire! Most I see are wired with 12AWG on 20-40' runs. Maybe 10AWG if they thought they were wiring well.

The reality is that unless you mount the unit right next to your batteries, you need to use humongous wire size to get the rated performance out of it. I would guess a DC Echotec mounted 15' from the batteries would require 2AWG wiring to be effective.

Mark
Yes, sizing wire is a big issue I come across with the DYI cruisers. Not just with watermakers. They may be well intentioned but many times this is an area that they get wrong when self installing a system. While it may not be rocket science it is not third grade stuff either. Also properly protecting the wire as opposed to the system is also misunderstood along with understanding run length. Please ask for help, it's free.
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Old 25-07-2014, 15:09   #52
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Here are two things that might help your decision.
The VT150gpd can be had in a VT200Tgpd unit as well. Same exact footprint.
The Clark pump, which is a proprietary part and the heart of the VT150/200T, is warranted to the original owner for as long as you own it.
Thanks, Tellie. It's tropics near term, but also planning on higher lats sometime in the future. I recall from another post that trying to operate the 200T in colder waters would reduce waterflow and increase pressure, leading to possible membrane damage. Otherwise, the 200T would seem like a no-brainer.

Regarding the thru hull setup, is it recommended to have two dedicated underwater thru hulls, or could one tee-off a nearby intake seacock and run the brine output thru an above-the-waterline fitting? (or maybe that would introduce too much back-pressure?)
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Old 25-07-2014, 20:17   #53
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Thanks, Tellie. It's tropics near term, but also planning on higher lats sometime in the future. I recall from another post that trying to operate the 200T in colder waters would reduce waterflow and increase pressure, leading to possible membrane damage. Otherwise, the 200T would seem like a no-brainer.

Regarding the thru hull setup, is it recommended to have two dedicated underwater thru hulls, or could one tee-off a nearby intake seacock and run the brine output thru an above-the-waterline fitting? (or maybe that would introduce too much back-pressure?)

You're right the 200T is for warmer waters.
The proper way for most watermakers is to have a dedicated intake thru hull. But with the VT150 and it's lower volume, you could share another intake such as a head or saltwater wash down line. But never tap into the engines intake line. The brine discharge thru hull ideally is mounted just a few inches above the waterline preferably on the outside hull of a Cat. This way when your system is running, and you are on deck sailing, a quick look see over the side will confirm things are working well. Don't worry about the brine discharge being a few feet higher than the watermaker. There is plenty of pressure to push the brine overboard and no significant backpressure that would effect the performance.
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Old 25-07-2014, 21:37   #54
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

Telli: I thought I read in the 150 manual that T'ing off of an existing intake would void the warranty. Is that not the case? I would like to be able to do so if possible, off of the sea water intake for the galley sink- all in the right place, forward of the keel, toward the center of the hull, grate already installed- if possible as it would avoid me having to haul out to install another thru-hull. (I ended up buying one of the 150 units from a couple that had purchased it new at the SF boat show in 2012, never unwrapped from the plastic-split up and are selling the boat-so I guess the warranty concerns don't apply anyway as, even though it's never been installed, I'm not the original purchaser.)
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Old 26-07-2014, 00:04   #55
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Telli: I thought I read in the 150 manual that T'ing off of an existing intake would void the warranty. Is that not the case? I would like to be able to do so if possible, off of the sea water intake for the galley sink- all in the right place, forward of the keel, toward the center of the hull, grate already installed- if possible as it would avoid me having to haul out to install another thru-hull. (I ended up buying one of the 150 units from a couple that had purchased it new at the SF boat show in 2012, never unwrapped from the plastic-split up and are selling the boat-so I guess the warranty concerns don't apply anyway as, even though it's never been installed, I'm not the original purchaser.)

As you know the warranty is for the original owner/purchaser of the unit so that's not an issue for you. But yes you can Tee off of an existing intake line as long as it's deep enough in the hull. I only say that for the 150 and 200s, the larger units need their own dedicated thru hull. Because of the way the VT150 is designed with it's feed pump it can run dry for hours without any damage, not so with larger units. If you ned any advice when you are installing that unit or when you are ready to start it up for the first time don't hesitate to call me anytime.
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Old 26-07-2014, 00:38   #56
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
Hey, thanks Rich. You have a knack for clear communication. The straight talk is much appreciated. You should write a "Watermakers for Dummies" book. I'm only half joking.

So basically you are saying the consideration is NOT any operational impact on the 12V pump, but the energy management and battery bank consideration ie Gel or LA versus LiFePO4 battery characteristics.

I am CONSIDERING an electric-hybrid (ie diesel genset) propulsion cat and running house amenities as electric as I can, so we are planning not only a significant solar installation but also LiFePO4 as a necessity.

The Diesel genset is for extended motoring beyond the capacity of the batteries, and for other adverse scenarios like long cloudy periods at anchor. But we would like solar to be the main fuel source at anchor, complemented by high output regeneration while at sail with the electric motors and/or Watt & Sea hydrogenerator.

So to cut to the chase, it seems for my situation with a new build project with lots of new efficient solar (1 to 2 kW) & big LiFePO4 battery bank(s), then we could consider using one of the inefficient 12V watermakers and still get away with it.

I accept that others may not have the adequate renewable input capability or still be using lead batteries with 50% DOD and slower recharging limitations, in which case your recommendations on not using a more inefficient 12V watermaker makes alot of sense.

Have I got that right?
BB I believe colemj makes a good point about 240V watermaker particually if you have a gen set anyway and a large solar bank could run your 240V watermaker via inverter as a backup. My view personally I would consider 240 as I will have a genset to run a dive compressor which I think you will also.

for me a spectra if 12V or a cruiser if 240V.

cheers
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Old 26-07-2014, 04:35   #57
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

I'm planning to buy a watermaker within the next months, so this thread has been very useful. I've been leaning towards a Spectra Cape Horn, but currently cruising in Greece I just got to know an Italian charter captain that might be able to get me a good price on a Schenker.

Comparing the specs, Spectra and Schenker are almost identical. Is there any other differences (quality, reliability, service) that I should consider, or just take the one I can get at the best price.

I just bought an Orana 44. Any advice on a good place to put it. I first thought of putting it in the starboard bow cabin/locker, but I now think that maybe in front/under the salon sofa would be better.

Thanks
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:35   #58
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

I can tell you Spectra has great reliability, and incredible service. Tellie has spent countless hours with people on the phone walking them thru how to operate their units etc. He could just say read the manual, Spectra also has roving techs that can help out. Any parts needed are a quick phone call away..I vote spectra

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Old 26-07-2014, 06:56   #59
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

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I'm planning to buy a watermaker within the next months, so this thread has been very useful. I've been leaning towards a Spectra Cape Horn, but currently cruising in Greece I just got to know an Italian charter captain that might be able to get me a good price on a Schenker.


I meet a lot of cruising sailors who grumble about their watermakers. Most of those that don't have a Spectra. (However I can only think of one sailor who had a Schenker and he seemed reasonably happy).

I would PM Tellie he will give you some great advice and is likely to know who to contact to get the best service/deal.
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Old 26-07-2014, 08:05   #60
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Re: Spectra Water Makers Advice Please

One of the reasons I think people get the energy calculations wrong is that they ignore charge efficiency of their batteries. Lead Acid, wet cells typically only store 1ah for every 1.3ah produced. That means that to put 1h back into the battery bank, you need to producer 1.3 amps for an hour.

So if your 19ah watermaker is running for an hour, you need to produce, with wind, solar or alternator, 24.7 ah to replace it. This does not take into account line losses.

AGMs are better, I think it is about 1.1 fro the factor?

Wneh we cruised Alchemy, our "Secret weapon" was the LIFEPO4 bank. IN the bahamas, we had a single 120w solar panel and an old air-x 403 wind gen. The solor controller was MPPT. Everything on the boat was efficient as possible, including the Spectra 150 watermaker. We only ran the engine twice in florida, and never in the Bahamas for 4 months, solely to charge the batteries, but did take advantage of "oppertunistic charging" when motoring. With LIFEPO4, almost all of the produced power gets into the cells. They also tolorate, and actually like, being left partially charged, without damage.

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