If you install an AC Genset, you do not necessarily
need an inverter
. The AC Generator
can directly serve your 120VAC demand. The Inverter is only utilized to convert 12VDC Battery power to 120VAC Domestic power. If you select a DC Genset, then an Inverter is advised.
I prefer Northern Light Generators for the reasons you stated, and more such as:
in North America, my familiarity /w them (subjective), etc.
noisy. The various manufacturers should offer specifications, for each model, such as:
‘xx’ dB @ ‘zz’ meters (away). N'L #M673D (5kW) c/w Sound Shieldmeasures @ 67.7 dB @ 1 meter (w/o shield 81.6 dB).
Decibels (dB) are a logarithmic unit of sound, meaning a doubling of dB is a quadrupling of noise
70 - 80dB is considered "loud" (normal street noise) while 45 - 60 dB is considered "moderate" (normall close conversation)
Your “Sea-Frost” engine-driven refrigeration
might be an important factor in this decision (Gen’ vs Batteries etc). Unless this unit can be (practically) converted to electrical
operation, you have to run your prime mover (engine) to operate the fridge.
This would argue in favour of upgrading your Alternator, Batteries, and adding an Inverter/Charger. Your custom of using the Autopilot (and perhaps the Radar) a lot, also supports a bigger Battery Bank & recharge capability. (Ie: You don’t really want to run a Generator
You’re right, it’s nice to have an independent means of re-charging your batteries - such as Solar Panels
. You might be able to cram as much as 400 Watts of Solar (PV) Cells onto your 10' x 6' Bimini
. They could be expected to provide (perhaps) 50 to 60 A/H of usable power per day, under typical real-life conditions.
Your (2) Group 31 house Batteries might provide as much 100 Amp/Hours of useful power (depleted over 24 hours), but most of your usage will occur over 12 hours - so you’ll get less (say 70 A/H).
Your yard service guys may be on the right track, in advising a DC System upgrade.
make high-end equipment
; and though “self-interested”, they are very helpful. I’m more familiar with Balmar
(which is why I prefer their stuff), also make excellent gear. I really like the “Pro-Sine” inverter/chargers (& charger
only) from Xantrex
I understand, tho’ don’t necessarily agree with, the yard’s reluctance to exceed 125A Alternator output . It’s not an arbitrary maximum, and there are good reasons for the limitation, but they don’t always apply.
May I suppose that, the (more) ideal system, of both a Generator & a Battery System upgrade, would be a prohibitive expense?
Lots of good info' & opinion on the web. Check out Ample Power
, and "Google" for many others.
Check out the links that Chuck provided under the "Aux charger" thread.