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Old 19-08-2018, 07:53   #1
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Has the all-electric galley come of age?

10 years ago there was really no practical possibility of running a galley solely on electric power on a smaller sailboat. The motor trawlers had them because they always had an engine running.

Times have changed. Battery and inverter systems have come down in price, solar has dropped considerably in price, and installation practices are better understood.

I have always had gas stoves in my house and prefer them for cooking.

But the tradeoff seems like a good one aboard because of the costs, space, complexity, and fuel availability problems with propane. Ditching the entire propane system leaves space/weight for additional batteries if needed.

Are we there yet?
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Old 19-08-2018, 08:23   #2
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

Not IMO based on the solar input.

With an LFP bank, combined with always available dino juice power generation, yes. In which case having any solar at all becomes a choice, not necessity.

The fuel source could in fact be propane! 8-)

Qualification - I like to actually cook, not just defrost / heat up meals.

And you did say small boats, which to me means 22-31'.
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Old 19-08-2018, 08:35   #3
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

Induction stoves are promising and twice as thermally efficient as gas, which is half again as efficient as electrical resistance, but even with them you have to suck quite a bit of 110V or 220V current. Without running numbers I'd say they're still not practical for a sailboat without generator.
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Old 19-08-2018, 09:22   #4
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

How about fuel cells as "generating" source?
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Old 19-08-2018, 09:30   #5
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

If you only cruise in areas where the fuel is available, if not reasonably priced
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Old 19-08-2018, 09:32   #6
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

I know of a couple of boats that are all electric galley. I know one that runs it completely off solar and wind (except for the cloudiest of days)

Actually, a Vlogger (S/V Seawolf) posted a video back in 2015 of his electric galley that was run from his AGM bank.



However.. Of all the boats I know, none of them have an oven. One of them had a small "Air Fryer" as seen on TV type of device, but it was only run when the generator was running. I just don't think its possible to have an oven on all electric, unless you are prepaired to run the generator.
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Old 19-08-2018, 10:04   #7
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

Any high-current load device can be run given a big enough bank, ideally LFP.

But ignoring the bank issues, the real questions are

1. How many minutes do you burn that high-amp load?

2. What are your charge sources' input AH per day?

3. Are you comfortably getting your AH used per day (x1.2) back into your bank each cycle, even in less than ideal conditions?

All bank capacity does is give you a bit longer buffer for when those poor conditions last more than a few days.

Eliminate lead, thus eliminate the **need** (not the desire) for solar / wind / hydro inputs, and

you also eliminate the need for too large a bank, as well as

greatly increasing your ability to power heavy loads.
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Old 19-08-2018, 10:41   #8
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
How about fuel cells as "generating" source?
Where do you get hydrogen fuel?
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Old 19-08-2018, 10:48   #9
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
. . .
But the tradeoff seems like a good one aboard because of the costs, space, complexity, and fuel availability problems with propane. Ditching the entire propane system leaves space/weight for additional batteries if needed. . .

Man, don't forget safety. Propane has more explosive power per gram than TNT. In my opinion, the number one reason for ditching propane is safety, and all the precautions we have to take to make using it reasonably safe. It would be fantastic to be free of that risk and that hassle.



I very much want an electric galley, and it would be fine on my boat. I would need to have the main engine or generator running during any kind of extensive cooking, but I have to run the generator a couple of times a day anyway, so this is really not skin off the back.


Also, what percentage of cooking is done when the boat is on shore power?


I do actually already use an induction hot plate a lot when I'm on shore power and alone.



Future boat will have lithium batteries and much more capacity, and it will be even easier.


I think a lot of boats are ready for electric cooking, and we are only waiting for decent gimballed electric stoves. I might even convert my present boat if I could find a decent one of those.
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Old 19-08-2018, 18:11   #10
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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Not IMO based on the solar input.

With an LFP bank, combined with always available dino juice power generation, yes. In which case having any solar at all becomes a choice, not necessity.

The fuel source could in fact be propane! 8-)

Qualification - I like to actually cook, not just defrost / heat up meals.

And you did say small boats, which to me means 22-31'.

Well, several threads ago, someone else was critical of my post that offhandedly considered a 45' boat "large." I suppose I should specify feet. I'm thinking in terms of the 37'-40' boats that are widely considered suitable for a couple.
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Old 19-08-2018, 18:28   #11
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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Any high-current load device can be run given a big enough bank, ideally LFP.

LFP is not magical, it just has slightly higher energy density and a different set of quirks.


Quote:


But ignoring the bank issues, the real questions are

1. How many minutes do you burn that high-amp load?

2. What are your charge sources' input AH per day?

For discussion, a 5 gallon / 20 pound propane "grill" cylinder produces, when burned in a galley stove, 100 kwh of heat.


While there is wide variation, for planning purposes, I think it's fairly typical to burn 3kw a day in the galley (not including an outdoor grill, separate problem). With higher efficiency electric-centric appliances, such as induction stoves and teakettles with immersion elements and smaller convection ovens, I think it's realistic to cut that to 1.5 kwh a day.


Using a weighted average of 5 hours of useful power from solar per day, that would mean finding room for another 300 watts of panels. For bank, somewhere in 4x to 6x, so 7.5 to 9 kwh of additional bank, call it four L16s.


There are various other approaches and tradeoffs, but that's a starting point. (Scenarios where the most cooking takes place are typically not scenarios where the bank is stressed by other critical demands, so there isn't actually a need to install that much more bank)



Quote:


3. Are you comfortably getting your AH used per day (x1.2) back into your bank each cycle, even in less than ideal conditions?

All bank capacity does is give you a bit longer buffer for when those poor conditions last more than a few days.


I've been around batteries and alternative power systems for many years and it is my view that lead acid batteries in most applications do not fail because of exhaustion of cycle life. They age out or fail due to maintenance shortcomings. Good quality lead acid batteries -- I use Trojan L16s as a benchmark -- have a cycle life of 2000 cycles to a depth of 50%. (https://www.altestore.com/store/deep...battery-p9404/) If you are running them in a floor sweeper at a hotel, where they are discharged to 50% every day of the year, they will still last 6 years. If you have them on a sailboat and you discharge them to 50% every 3 days you won't hit 2000 cycles until they're 16 years old, and they'll age out before that.




Quote:
Eliminate lead, thus eliminate the **need** (not the desire) for solar / wind / hydro inputs, and

you also eliminate the need for too large a bank, as well as

greatly increasing your ability to power heavy loads.

Unless you're going to start the diesel every time you want a cup of coffee, you have to have enough bank to run the stove or coffee maker or whatever with a C/4h or at least C/3h discharge rate. Realistically, an all-electric galley will need 3 kw, so you need a bare minimum of 9kwh of bank. That's not sensible for a galley alone, but as part of an overall power strategy it may make sense.
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Old 19-08-2018, 19:40   #12
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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Are we there yet?
Yes...
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Old 19-08-2018, 19:40   #13
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
LFP is not magical, it just has slightly higher energy density and a different set of quirks.

For discussion, a 5 gallon / 20 pound propane "grill" cylinder produces, when burned in a galley stove, 100 kwh of heat.


While there is wide variation, for planning purposes, I think it's fairly typical to burn 3kw a day in the galley (not including an outdoor grill, separate problem). With higher efficiency electric-centric appliances, such as induction stoves and teakettles with immersion elements and smaller convection ovens, I think it's realistic to cut that to 1.5 kwh a day.

If you have them on a sailboat and you discharge them to 50% every 3 days you won't hit 2000 cycles until they're 16 years old, and they'll age out before that.
First, I want to say that yours post was well thought out.

Your propane estimate is absolutely right on the money for our boat for the last 3 years of cruising. We get between 30-40 days on a 20lb propane bottle (stove and oven only).

However, your post has really got me thinking. I'll bet I could cut my propane usage 1/3 by simply boiling our water on an induction plate. Hell, much of what we cook is just boiled water (coffee, pasta, rice, risotto, ect). I don't need a whole "electric galley", simply one induction burner with a good kettle to make the boiled water based items.

Now as to the battery thing.. I think the biggest killer of FLA batteries on boats is the fact that we DON'T get back to %100 every day. Sure in a floor sweeper they pull them to %50, but then plug them in and go back to %100 over the long night. Even with 1000W of solar, I get very close to being back at %100, but that long absorbtion cycle is a killer (especially in winter). Its not uncommon in winter to go 4-5 days before hitting true %100 on our old FLA bank. Doing that for 3 years of full time cruising means we had over 1000 cycles on our bank with that "poor maintenance". I'm guessing I could have eeked another year or 2 out of them, but I really think 5 years on a full time cruising bank is close to max.

Anyway.. Interesting post that got me thinking.
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Old 19-08-2018, 20:05   #14
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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I'm thinking in terms of the 37'-40' boats that are widely considered suitable for a couple.
Then you have room for plenty of solar.

But do you **want** lots of panels?

If so then a big lead bank will get you your all-electric kitchen.

If not then a little genny + LFP will do instead.
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Old 19-08-2018, 20:09   #15
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Re: Has the all-electric galley come of age?

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LFP is not magical, it just has slightly higher energy density and a different set of quirks.
Double the density.

And the high CAR with no long tail and no need to get to Full

allows for a complete recharge in an hour runtime, maybe every other day on average.

Completely dispensing with solar if you like.

Not magical, but yes a game changer.
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