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Old 25-02-2017, 13:08   #1
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On board power

I need to upgrade my solar array and am looking for some advice. I have fridge/freezer, stereo, lights, etc. Charge iPhones, pads, etc. I have 2 85 watt panels, and 3 100 amp batteries. I want enough power to add TV, ice maker, washer & dryer. How many watts do I need to add and how amps do I need to store? All advice is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 25-02-2017, 13:40   #2
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Re: On board power

you'll need a lot of power and more batteries. I don't know about the washer dryer - bugt we ahve everything you have/want except those..we have 600 aH AGM batterie and 2 335 solar panels - this covers us completely

I don't know what type of boat you have - bit if battery space is limitied you might start thinking Lition.

you might consider our sizing - but a washer dryer is going to cost AMPS

we also have a watermaker. spectra 200T - 30 liters per hour. our system allows us to run our hot water heater off the batteries - last time we plugged into shore power was june 2016 - we're fulltime cruisers, currently in the caribbean

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Old 25-02-2017, 13:44   #3
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Re: On board power

It's not an easy question to answer as everyone's needs are different.
However a few things with boats remain the same and the most important of these is space. I.e. Where will you fit the panel and how much room do you have ?

On my leopard 40 cat I have 2 x 345w panels giving me 700w of max power. I have space for another and am considering fitting another to take me to 1050 watts. I have currently 3x 210 amp hour gel batteries and after a busy evening my batteries are down to 81% in the mornings. This is running 2 x fridges and 1 x freezer and Tv's in each cabin and one in the saloon fans etc.

So my advise is fit the highest capacity /m2 panels (yes they cost more) and battery capacity.
But this advice is if you want to live on the boat and are not a weekender
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Old 25-02-2017, 13:47   #4
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Re: On board power

I have 2 Magnum MS 4024AE inverters wired together that give 8kw of ac 120/240 power. I run all my lights, and can run 50 gallon water heater, 2 small freezers, double door frig, tv, washer, dryer and anything else I can't think of within 8kw.
I plan my uses and normally use below 2kw including 6 gallon water heater at the galley sink. I have 4 banks of 2 8dd batteries switched manually for now. At anchor, alone on the boat I can go several days w/o charging. I don't have solar, but plan on adding. I charge by generator or alternator if running. System will start a generator if batteries get low. I usually have the main water heater off and plan laundry, watermaker, and main water heater around generator usage. If I have a lot of people on board, it's easier to run a generator than manage the batteries. A couple people and I use the inverters.
I like the system because everything runs thru the inverters. When I plug into shore power or start a generator the inverters become battery chargers. When I unplug, they switch to the batteries for power. Batteries are low, the system starts a generator.
Toilets are Incinolets, use 1kwh per flush and are handled by the inverters, too.
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Old 25-02-2017, 14:31   #5
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Re: On board power

Thanks for the input. Obviously I will need much more power.
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Old 25-02-2017, 17:03   #6
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Re: On board power

Run a gennie ideally after sundown or early in the morning to feed the washer and dryer, and power the largest amp charger your bank can take at the same time. Size the gennie to handle everything at once (plus water making?)

Especially with a high acceptance AGM bank, this will likely get your bank up to 80-90%, so a full sunny day will ensure a full true 100% charge, making that expensive AGM bank last much longer.

This way you won't need to cover your whole boat in panels.

Really, a dryer?
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Old 25-02-2017, 17:12   #7
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Re: On board power

You can't put enough solar on a 37ft monohull to do what you are asking. It would be tough on a 50 ft catamaran.
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Old 25-02-2017, 18:42   #8
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Re: On board power

Ok If I get rid of the washer and dryer, then what will I need?
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Old 26-02-2017, 03:32   #9
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Re: On board power

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Journey's End.
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Old 26-02-2017, 04:04   #10
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Re: On board power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeys End View Post
Ok If I get rid of the washer and dryer, then what will I need?
... a bucket, a toilet plunger and a little soap.
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Old 26-02-2017, 04:41   #11
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Re: On board power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeys End View Post
Ok If I get rid of the washer and dryer, then what will I need?
You don't need to completely get rid of it.. Put on a compact washer like this one.
https://www.amazon.ca/Panda-Compact-...compact+washer

It draws under 300 watts and does a pretty good job (at the parts it does). Its not automatic (you need to fill it manually), and doesn't dry (only spins). The trade off is worth it in our opinion.

Your second large draw (and frivolous) item is the ice maker. They are large, power hunger single use items. We think they are a no no on a boat. Instead get some popsicle molds and use your regular freezer to make its. The popsicle molds are silicone and completely seal so you can jam them anywhere.

Your third "largish" draw item will be the TV. Get rid of it and instead use a small 10" tablet. The tablet will draw 1/5 of what a tv will draw.

Finally, change ALL your lights to LED. Its is absolutely worth the investment if you have old incandescent syle lights. It will cut your lighing power budget to 1/5.

Even then, you will still need 300-500w of solar and a fair sized bank. If I had to do it again, I would go with FireFly Carbon Foam battereis.

Anyway.. Have fun and enjoy!
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Old 26-02-2017, 05:56   #12
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Re: On board power

If you need a gennie anyway, any short-usage appliances in its range can be used with it running, get some charge into the banks at the same time.

Same with a big alt off your engine.

Yes, solar only with limited space may require big compromises, but not if you're willing to run a motor for a couple hours a day.
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Old 06-03-2017, 14:26   #13
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Re: On board power

Wait a little longer...

This stuff should come to market soon....

Photovoltaic Paint | Solar Paint | Solar Car Applications | NanoFlex Power Corporation
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Old 07-03-2017, 00:36   #14
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Re: On board power

I think you need to spend some time figuring out your actual current draws, how long each lite /appliance is on and your total daily Ah consumption. Same with your proposed additions. how much you will need to generate. Or it might point to managing your power use more efficiently. It certainly did for us as coastal cruisers. Lot cheaper alternative too. As others have said many different ways of charging and fitting it to your lifestyle. We've gone for a big alternator upgrade and will supplement with solar. Couldn't figure out a reasonable way to get around running an engine at least some of the time - limited space for solar.
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Old 07-03-2017, 00:40   #15
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Re: On board power

Sorry - analysis will show how much you need to generate
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