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Old 01-04-2021, 02:51   #16
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Re: To gen or not to Gen

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I'm in the process of purchasing my Orana 44 but it has no generator. Question, should I install a generator or invest in solar and Lithium Ion batteries instead? The type of sailing that is planned is to be mostly off the grid and not connected to shore power to top up.

no fixed genny. take a portable genny as other mentioned. use the victron Quattro 5kw charger/inverter and you can easly feed it into your system.


Stick as much solar as you can fit. its cheap and silent energy. here I would invest in a stainless steel solar arch extending the roof to stern (over davids) as this is the biggest mostly unshaded area. You should be able to get 3 or 4 panels on there which is real 1200 (3) or 1600W, peaks you will see 2000W.
On the roof the normal Neon2 or/and semiflexible with sunpower cells (much more expensive and less efficent but better look and you can walk on them)
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:06   #17
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Re: To gen or not to Gen

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1900AH Lifepo4, what batteries are you using? I would go to 2x1000AH (so 8 pieces) Winston cells and put then to 24V/1000AH, 12V 1900AH is hell to route the needed cables sizes. The less batteries the better to monitor/track and with Wiston you will have approx 2400AH as they are underspeced
I am installing 6 X 315 aH batteries from Lithionics. The footprint is such that 6 will fit in the same space as the 5 agm’s that I have currently.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:15   #18
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Re: To gen or not to Gen

So here is my suggestion.

Generators are expensive and a maintenance item and some have had bad luck with them.

Solar and wind also have purchase and install costs but have very low maintenance and are very reliable.

My path would be to go with the wind and solar and to augment that with a Honda. Should you then find this solution is inadequate you can add a generator and sell the Honda.

The only reason to avoid wind and solar is the effect on sailing performance. To be off set by the increased weight if the generator.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:07   #19
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Re: To gen or not to Gen

There is a potentially significant downside to paving the decks of a boat with solar panels that I have never seen mentioned, but should be discussed.

We have never once run the air conditioning when at anchor, even in places that are quite hot and humid. The reason is we put up a shade cover over the deck that dramatically reduces solar gain through the deck.

We know from experience how much of a HUGE difference a sun awning can make in the cabin's temperature and comfort. It is literally like adding 8 or 10 thousand BTUs of FREE AC capacity to our 53 foot monohull.

Without that shade cover, our electric usage would skyrocket in hot climates--far more than deck mounted solar panels could provide. If we paved our deck area with hot, black, walkon solar panels, our generator usage would frequently go UP to run the AC needed to keep the cabin livable during the day. Not every day for sure, but a significant fraction of hot sunny days. (We tend to sail away from cold and cloudy places....)

This is obviously VERY SITUATIONAL. It will be an issue on some boats, and not others. It will be an issue in some climates, and not others. Even in the same climate and on identical boats, different people will come to different conclusions. But not being able to put up a whole-boat sun shade would be a HUGE lifestyle loss for us.

In our balance, solar supplies half of our energy needs, and a built in DC generator the other half. It runs about 90 minutes every other day. The whole system is economical, and very effective and reliable.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:20   #20
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Re: To gen or not to Gen

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In the end you will want/need some type of generator. I have given up on my inboard diesel generator because got tired of fixing it, but still run my Honda EU2200 20+ minutes a day.

I have 640w solar and fancy batteries
The last 2.5 months I have run my Honda 47 hours. But that is in winter in Bahamas. In the summer in Florida i bet i ran it more than that in a week for the air conditioning and all my sunshades etc didn't change that.
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