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Old 10-03-2015, 06:23 AM   #21
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If there is going to be a noisemaker upgrade , a pair of belts on the front to run a really powerful alt (with a good marine V regulator) will charge the house faster than any other method.

A cheap truck heavy duty unit can be 135A for under $150 or so, with external regulator wiring as std.

About 15% of the house batt capacity would be a good size to install.

Check with the donor engine mfg to see just how many HP van be taken out the front end.
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:21 AM   #22
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Ok, I'll bite.
I was just trying to show my shock at seeing space wasted in the engine area with a drill press.

As you seem to be alluding to, why bother. I mean how often do you need a drill press on a pleasure boat?
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:40 AM   #23
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WRT the claims of staying on the hook for 3 days without charging...that's bad battery management IMNSHO. Best to not let the batteries go down too low before charging. My electrician recommended cycling between 70-90%.

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I guess it all depends on their usage during those 3 days. He did say it "was possible" but not something they made a habit of.

As for depth of discharge, I always thought 50% was not detrimental as long as a good 100% recharge (ie shore power) was carried out once every couple of weeks or so.

Jim may have meant that his electrician recommended keeping his draw to between 70-90% state of charge (SOC). IOW, not to 70-90% depth of discharge (DoD). Staying between 70-90% SOC would be is compatible with the rule of thumb about not drawing down below 50%.

I suspect you're right about that "possible" -- but would depend on whatever installed loads and management thereof. Especially loads that might not be turned on or off just on a whim, like cabin lighting. Fridges come to mind...

Still, with genset on board... lots o' house bank... gradual improvement eventually possible as you identify specific opportunities... seems like a good prospect assuming you like it and the rest of the boat and the engines survey well.

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Old 10-03-2015, 11:26 AM   #24
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Jim may have meant that his electrician recommended keeping his draw to between 70-90% state of charge (SOC). IOW, not to 70-90% depth of discharge (DoD). Staying between 70-90% SOC would be is compatible with the rule of thumb about not drawing down below 50%.
-Chris

Yes. 70-90% SOC. My Genny is only 4.1 KW. When I run it, the charger running at close to 125 amps is the only load for the first half hour or so. Then I turn on the water heater to keep the loads up. Depending on what we are doing, the genny may run for 1.5 hrs or so. So the charger usually moves to absorb charge before it's shut down and sometimes that's 95% SOC. On our 10 week trip this past summer I had to disable the engine heat function as the Webasto crapped out in me. So all hot water came from either the generator or shore power.


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Old 10-03-2015, 11:52 AM   #25
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If I got this right, 40 amp charger? You would have to run your genset for...15+ hours?
I guess I should ask how old the various batteries are but here is what he said about use...
The house bank is so big that you can sit for 3 days without starting the generator. You make your own water, have smart a charging systems and huge freezer capacity. She is totally equipped - heat, water, AC, freezers - with everything running you only need a short run on the main engines or 3 hours a day on the gen. to keep batteries up to max. Or sit for 2-3 days on the hook on batteries alone if you don't want to hear the gen.

Part of the reason for asking in the first place is, this is the second GB I've seen with a 1 ton flatdeck load of batteries down there and am wondering if they are outdated ('90s) systems.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:53 AM   #26
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That doesn't seem right.
How so?
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #27
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I was just trying to show my shock at seeing space wasted in the engine area with a drill press.
As you seem to be alluding to, why bother. I mean how often do you need a drill press on a pleasure boat?
Yeah, rather have a still down there.
I thought that's what you meant but wanted to be sure you hadn't spotted something else in the picture, I missed.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:13 PM   #28
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I agree with many here,

Charger to small for the house set, will take forever to charge running gen-set, go up to 100amp charger better would be an inverter/charger if you can swing it.

No need for an 8D to start the mains I use a 1000 amp starter batt. size 29

Toss 2-4 180 watt solar cells on her and during daylight add back what the fridge uses at night and depending on other uses never need to run gen-set (Southern Latitudes of course)

House bank may be too large to keep happy (>75% charge) consider smaller, do a load calculation.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:18 PM   #29
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As it sits, charging up 12 golf-carts is going to take a LOT of generator running . What am I missing? Lots of battery capacity is great if you have the ability to charge them up again. Running a main engine at anchor is a poor way to do it.

A truck alternator is about $250+ in Vancouver in Loonies. The regulator is more. That is still a good solution but remember the rule of thumb is 10% of your battery bank capacity is the largest size of charger you should use. With 12 batteries in good shape and no solar, that means you need about 240 amps charging capacity. You have 40, adding a 135 amp alternator (they don't usually put out total rated amps) gives you about 175 amps. That is still about 9 hours of genset or about 40 litres of fuel to charge that bank plus a sh*tload of noise.

Even if you can provide 240 amps of charging power it will take 5 or 6 hours to charge that bank from 50% or so. And, all this ignores the start batteries or any others you may wish to float.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:25 PM   #30
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Is this a decent DC setup?

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I agree with many here,

Charger to small for the house set, will take forever to charge running gen-set, go up to 100amp charger better would be an inverter/charger if you can swing it...

Yes, but I think that "Trace" Inverter/charger must have some capacity to charge the house batteries...anyone know for sure? I'll bet it's at least 100 amps or so, on top of the 40 amp charger.


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Old 10-03-2015, 12:35 PM   #31
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I guess I should ask how old the various batteries are but here is what he said about use...
The house bank is so big that you can sit for 3 days without starting the generator. You make your own water, have smart a charging systems and huge freezer capacity. She is totally equipped - heat, water, AC, freezers - with everything running you only need a short run on the main engines or 3 hours a day on the gen. to keep batteries up to max. Or sit for 2-3 days on the hook on batteries alone if you don't want to hear the gen.

Part of the reason for asking in the first place is, this is the second GB I've seen with a 1 ton flatdeck load of batteries down there and am wondering if they are outdated ('90s) systems.

I wouldn't really pay attention to what the broker I saying in the listing.

1) how old are the batteries? How have they been used over the years? It's easy to find out how old the batteries are but you won't know if they've been abused or not.

2) the inverter charger...it might be 90's technology. Ask. Just because it is, doesn't mean it isn't working to spec. If it's a 3 stage charger, it's fine for now. As I said, if you purchased that vessel, wait a year before you drop major coin on the electrical system until you know how it's behaving. It may be just fine for several years. Or...factor that in to your offer. In my view this is just one part of the equation to consider with the purchase of a vessel.


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Old 10-03-2015, 01:21 PM   #32
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Thank you all.
It seems the further we go here the more it looks like it is not a good setup after all. Is a proper assessment done by your everyday surveyor or do we need an opinion from a marine electrics guy?

Part of the problem is I don't know what the specs are telling me:
5 KW Engine driven alternator is being questioned, is that an impossible setup?

Scott:
Charger to small for the house set, will take forever to charge running gen-set, go up to 100amp charger better would be an inverter/charger if you can swing it.
Inverter/charger 2500A Trace; is this different? And what is the Xantrex TC 40+ 110V, then?

Jim:
It may be just fine for several years. Or...factor that in to your offer.

Yes, that's the idea. If I sort out that I need to sink 8-10 grand into this system and 20-30 or more into updating electronics, it does affect the valuation. Is 8 years still a good life expectancy for well maintained batteries?
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:41 PM   #33
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I would remove half of the golf carts. I need two more to fit my charger but I have a 50' boat, no freezer, new large fridge and no air, I have to run the genset daily for 3 hours. With 6 I would have a buffer. With a 42 you should not need more power than me.

If you have a 5kw engine alternator that is about 400 amps. That's nice but will not be your charging system at anchor and it's too big for 6 golf carts. With 6 golf carts a 120 amp charger will do it, run the genset daily (or solar panels).

Electronics? If you have a radio and a pair of plotters, why change it? Latest is nice, but if the existing works, use them as a bargaining tool but keep them. Radios are $200 and a large plotter is $2500, the rest of the "suite" is just bling.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:49 PM   #34
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How so?
I have never heard of a 5kw engine-driven alternator, at least not in a recreational context, but my ignorance doesn't mean much. I have seen "high amperage" engine driven alternators (Balmar, for example), but those only go up to 160 amps (2kw), as I recall.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:08 PM   #35
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Is this a decent DC setup?

You don't need $20-30k for electronics. That's more than necessary...way out in the high end of things. 8 year old batteries. That's getting on. You can replace the batteries and the inverter/charger for $5,000 and that gets you 1125 amp hour trojan 105's, 2 group 24's and a Magnum 2812 with all the bells and whistles. If you can find a private electrician for $50-75/hr, figure on about 10 hours for re and re.

FF is right about too many batteries and optimally cabling them, but it really depends the loads and how deeply you discharge them.

Read through Nigel Calder's Book Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual. This should bring you up to speed on this topic.

3 summers ago the people on this forum helped me through some of these same issues and told me to get Calder and read it. I've read the electrical sections and some of it is actually starting to sink in. But it's a journey...it really is! I swapped out the batteries myself but decided that I needed to update the I/C because as you said it was 90's technology. I hired an electrician on the side and he installed the I/C for about $500. Can't say enough good things about the Magnum 2812. It's a great unit and is installed on the new Krogen builds.


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Old 10-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #36
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How so?

MYtraveler:
I have never heard of a 5kw engine-driven alternator, at least not in a recreational context,

=======

On Adagio's website, it is described as "5 KW ENGINE DRIVEN CRUISING ALTERNATOR"

Sounds as if it might be one of the alternators marketed as a cruising generator sometimes such as this one http://www.meps.com/New_Site/Documen...ochure-kVA.pdf
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:33 PM   #37
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Electronics? If you have a radio and a pair of plotters, why change it?...the rest of the "suite" is just bling.
That's the spirit.
Last time I went from boats to bike, people were just catching on to an iffy GPS system (loran was everywhere) and we were going to AK using paper charts and "VFR." Most of the rocks are still in the same place.

I have moved on from dial phones and kick starters so some bling on a boat would be nice.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:45 PM   #38
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Engine driven 5kw alternator?
Is it possibly referring to a 5kw cruising alternator for AC power?
Double variable speed belt drives to provide the right RPM for 60hz, if
I remember correctly.

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Old 10-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #39
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Let's go back to the OP and analyze each component. There is lot's of speculation here and not a little misinformation.

GENERATOR
8.5 KW Onan
5 KW Engine driven alternator

An 8.5 KW genset is more than enough to run a couple of A/C units on the hook, charge batteries, heat water, even power the wife's hair dryer. Maybe even too big if running A/C at anchor isn't required.

BATTERIES
House bank 12 X 6V Golf cart
Engine start 12V - D8
Gen. start 12V - HD Truck batt.

That's a lot of batteries. The engine and genset starting batteries are big for their useage, but ok. Just replace with a couple of sizes smaller- a Group 31 and Group 27 when needed.

Look at the wiring of the golf cart batteries. If they are wired with a jumper for each pair to produce 12V and all of the 12v positives wired to together and all of the negatives wired together to parallel them, then look on the net for better wiring schemes to eliminate voltage drops between batteries. Normally I wouldn't worry about this but six 12v pairs is enough to think about it.

Someone suggested removing half of the GC batteries. Why in the world would you want less?

Most cruisers unless they are full time on the hook live aboards, go out for 1,2 or 3 days at time. With 1,320 amp hours of capacity you will easily be able to do this with no recharging. Most cruisers unless they are power hogs use about 100 amp hours daily. Some can use 200 amps but even with that you can go 3 days without charging and still be above 50%.

When you get back to the dock, plug in to shore power and your batteries will be fully charged the next morning.

If you need to stay longer on the hook then you can fire up your generator and power the 100a Trace and the 40 amp Xantrex. That system won't charge at 140 amps for long, but 100 might be achievable. So run the genset until the battery voltage gets into float and shut it down. How long you run it depends on how many amp hours you use and how long you want to stay out.

If you move to another place then the 5KW propulsion engine driven AC (right?, maybe a Seapower unit, no longer made) can power the chargers, but the genset will work just as good. If it is an old Seapower unit, it may not be functional. If so junk it, not worth fixing.

ELECTRICAL
Inverter/charger 2500A Trace

The OP indicated this was a 100A charger. Nothing at all wrong with an older Trace. Trace was a manufacturer of heavy duty, solid equipment until Xantrex bought them and cheapened up the product.

BATTERY CHARGER
Xantrex TC 40+ 110V

An ok three stage charger.

So, like I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with this system. I would not replace anything as long as it is working. Consider a more efficient wiring scheme for the GC batteries, an ACR or combiner ($100+) and a battery monitor (about $200). With all of that done I could cruise that boat indefinitely.

And FWIW you can spend anything you want to upgrade the navigation electronics. A modern but minimal Raymarine or Garmin system- small chart plotter and integrated radar can be added for less than $3,000 in parts. Or you can spend 3-5 times that amount for big displays upper and lower helm, an 8KW open array radar, etc.

David
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #40
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...Inverter/charger 2500A Trace; is this different? And what is the Xantrex TC 40+ 110V, then?...
We have an Outback Charger 2800 watt inverter/charger. The charger side can put out a little over a 100amps. That's wired just for the house bank of 10-6VDC,T-105's. We also have a Xantrex TC40 that came with the boat. I wired that in to the start battery and to the house bank. I have not used it at the dock but since I had it, it's installed as a backup or if I want to charge the start battery. I'd keep both.
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