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Old 16-08-2010, 12:43   #16
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Originally Posted by Vasco
If you want air conditioning you'll need a generator. Batteries will not run a/c.
Most especially true if you are using a window air conditioner run off of an inverter. This is NOT going to be an energy-efficient way to cool your boat!

So, unless you have a truly MONSTROUS battery bank, you are going to have to run your diesel or your generator continuously, whenever you want air conditioning.
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Old 16-08-2010, 13:20   #17
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If you are going to live on the hook or a mooring, the boat will fair into the wind for the most part. A windscoop will put a good breeze through the boat and keep it livable. More important, get an awning to shade the main cabin and cockpit. Keeping the sun off you and the deck reduces the temperature that you feel by 5-10 degrees. Also allows you to keep the ports and hatches open when it rains. Nothing like the soup in a boat's cabin that's all closed up in a rainstorm with the temp in the high 80s.

Where you need AC is at the marina and you'll have all ghe power you can handle there.

Check Craig's List and Ebay for used equipment. Picked up my panels for 60% of best new cost I could find. They'd been used for a year so should have another 20+ years left in them. Same goes for windscoops, awnings, etc. Keeping a vigilant eye on Ebay for a year turns up almost anything you could use to go cruising at good prices.
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:08   #18
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I have a wind gen. Is it necessary? No. It is, however, very nice to have. Given a choice between only wind and solar. go solar.
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:36   #19
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I second DenverdOn; swamp coolers work for us in NM and CO where the humidity is low. They do not work in humid environments.

Also, I will second some other responses: IMHO solar first, wind generator second.
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:39   #20
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I don 't understand seeking out an anchorage with no wind, or very little. Wind is your friend in many ways. It gets rid of skeeters, and other flying insects. It allows you to capture it, and run it through the boat to keep it cool. It will also power that W.G., and fulfill some of your needs.

Right now I am at the outer edge of an anchorage here in Panama. I see daily the water so flat up close to shore. It's much hotter over there, and my W.G. is spinning adding juice while thiers are sitting still. We often have overcast days for days, and my solar adds, but not to it's potential.

Shade, shade, and more shade is also your friend. The more shade you have the more livable the boat if you are in hot climates.

Will you be willing to run your motor all night? We in a breeze your .W.G will add to the battery bank if not keep it up. I would like to add a second W.G., but of a different brand than my KISS. One that will start up easier, and give juice sooner. I see some spinning quite fast in a low breeze while mine is loping along, and not adding juice that can be read on the meter.

E-BAY is your friend, so start looking now for what you need. I would go with both solar & wind. Start shopping now, and you can afford both. These are non storing items. They are mounted, and in place. I would also do my very best to find a Honda inverter, generator, or something close. I understand Yamamha has a nice item, but I am not sure. It is great when you are needing to chop, saw, grind, mix, and drill something. Not to mention you can charge with it too, or just run household items. A gln of fuel for 12-15 hours is a huge plus.

BEST WISHES in figuring it out. Remember the more the merrier.......i2f
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Old 17-08-2010, 08:36   #21
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I have seen monos and especially cats with twin Rutlands.They start up in light winds and are very quiet.They also charge at night.Its nice to see the fully charged light come on regularly(combined with solar) and never use ANY fuel,make excessive noise or smell.Its the forward thinking way to go,if you embrace alternative energy sources.
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:57   #22
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First step, solar! second step, solar. Next step, consider a bigger battery bank. When you run out of space for more solar, and if you are in a windy location, such as the trade winds, consider wind power. If you go with wind, at least get a unit that has enough power to make a difference. Noise from the wind generator trumps the gas or diesel noise.
I finally have adequate power! On sunny or windy days (over 15 kts) I often cook with an electric hotplate in the cockpit, saving propane, and not heating up the boat (presently in Rio Dulce, Guatemala).
Remember that if you only have fuel based charging, you effectively only have a third of your battery capacity available.
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:06   #23
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The choice between solar or wind is depending on the cruising area. For on N 58 the windgen is much better than the solar panel.
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Old 24-08-2010, 15:32   #24
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I somewhat agree with the last poster except that I would say the wind generatore is better N40+.

But it is important to look at everything. First, a wind generator.......... most have upper outputs around 10-12 amperes AND THAT IS A LOT OF ENERGY FROM NATURAL SORUCES. But the wind must be in the 15K range to get such performance. And do not forget the wind generator can run 24 hours/day IF YOU CAN TOLERATE THE NOISE.

Most 12 vdc fridges I have come across (except those operating from an inverter) draw current in the neighborhood of 7-8 amperes and depending on where you're located need to run somewhere between 30-40% of the time. 40% of 8 amperes yields an average current of 3.2 amperes from your 12vdc battery bank. Twenty four hours of this drain is 75 ampere hours. Note I selected the fridge for this simple analysis only because that was the largest item on my boat for power consumption.

If your in the doldrums, forget about a wind generator.

Now consider solar........AND I FOR ONE THINK SOLAR'S BENEFITS ARE OVERSOLD!!!

I forgot the actual numbers used as references to the amount of sun's energy hitting earth's surface. But I beleive it is somewhere around 94 watts/square foot. That is the maximum energy, not the energy found at all latitudes. And not all energy hitting the surface is absorbed, some is reflected.

Hey!!! 94 watts, that is awesome until you remember a GOOD collector's efficiency is somewhere around 10% so instead of considering 94 watts, think 9.4 watts/square foot. Then there is the designed voltage output for the panels. Harbor Freight sells 40 watt panels for less than $200 with a regulator. I don't know how good their panels are. But panels must be kept clean for maximum output whatever the output is.

The peak sun position is around noon of course. Energy collection diminishes before and after noon, on cloudy and rainy days and the position of the collectors in relationship to the sun. And they do not work with moon light.

Guess its up to the buyer do decide what he believes is in his best interest and buyer beware and knowledgable!

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Old 24-08-2010, 16:38   #25
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And the generators - egads. Where's THAT going to fit in a Catalina '34? Good bye port lazarette. Sailing is all about compromises, apparently.
I have a Catalina 34 (Hull 1139) and we carry a Honda EU1000i for when we need to charge. It fits snugly into the very aft of the port lazarette and leave lots of room for other stuff.
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Old 24-08-2010, 16:47   #26
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But panels must be kept clean for maximum output whatever the output is.
This has been one of my biggest discoveries this past summer. Even when we'd cleaned the panels the previous day, we found that we'd add up to two amps of current after our 1000h daily cleaning. I'm constantly amazed at the number of gnats who choose to die on my panels at night.
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Old 24-08-2010, 17:00   #27
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I forgot the actual numbers used as references to the amount of sun's energy hitting earth's surface. But I beleive it is somewhere around 94 watts/square foot.
Yep, that's about right.

Quote:
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Hey!!! 94 watts, that is awesome until you remember a GOOD collector's efficiency is somewhere around 10% so instead of considering 94 watts, think 9.4 watts/square foot.
Then consider that a typical panel size is 4ft x 3ft = 12sq ft x 9.4W = 112W per panel. If they are 20% efficient then you are over 200W per panel.

http://www.solarenergyalliance.com/s.../pdf/ks200.pdf
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Old 24-08-2010, 17:37   #28
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Yep, that's about right.


Then consider that a typical panel size is 4ft x 3ft = 12sq ft x 9.4W = 112W per panel. If they are 20% efficient then you are over 200W per panel.

http://www.solarenergyalliance.com/s.../pdf/ks200.pdf
Geez! Appears 1/2 a panel will work well for you!

But seriously, if the advertised numbers were realistic in practical usage, the panels would be the answer to all energy problems. One needs to examine the entire array from a themodynamic perspective. This includes the actual energy absorbed by the panel at various sun angles, angle of the panel referenced to the sun, temperature conditions, along with times of day.
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Old 25-08-2010, 13:06   #29
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Geez! Appears 1/2 a panel will work well for you!
No way. I want a minimum of two panels and possibly 4. I want 24V output so that I ensure that I get up to charging voltage even in poor conditions and I do understand that the doubling the voltage halves the current.
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Old 25-08-2010, 15:11   #30
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No way. I want a minimum of two panels and possibly 4. I want 24V output so that I ensure that I get up to charging voltage even in poor conditions and I do understand that the doubling the voltage halves the current.

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