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Old 02-08-2011, 11:47 PM   #21
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

I wouldn't feel comfortable*with someone*in my marina*having engines starting and stopping while he wasn't in attendance.* There are scenarios in my mind which are disturbing.*
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:26 AM   #22
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

DC fridges come in two styles.

The AC- DC units for boats and RV's are not particularly efficient as power is expected at most times.

AS is the transplanted house fridge and inverter combo.
The demand for max internal volume and the cost of high quality insulation usually means thin side walls .Extra insulation can be glued on.

The Alternate energy folks (houses not grid powered, or 3rd world ) have far more efficient , tho more costly units.

Engle , Sun Frost and many others can get fridges that will usually only need a pair of 85W panels.

***

Batt charging with noisemakers is usually very inefficient as the first 85% can go fairly rapidly (with a good V regulator ) or very smart charger,

BUT the last 15% always takes a couple of hours , or you LOOSE the capacity of the last 15% , which then works the entire bank even harder.

Solar is grand as it has the time to bring the house to 100% often enough to help the batts service life.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:59 AM   #23
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Has anyone purchased a house/ dorm fridge that will fit in place of the Norcold/ Tundra 8 cubic foot fridge? Our Norcold gave up, and 3 years ago replaced it with the Tundra 12/120 model. It never cooled well and finally quit about 2 months after the warranty expired.
I installed saddle taps and added freon a few months back and it cooled better than ever for about 2 months then quit. I suspect a leak.
I plan on trying for a recharge and to look for leaks this weekend.
I would prefer a straight 120 VAC home unit but I haven't found one that would fit.
I have 24" wide , 23" deep and 55.5" tall and no more without MAJOR remodeling.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:45 AM   #24
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Quote:
Per wrote:

so being somewhat a newbie some of these posts require further explanation:

why would you not want to leave your boat with the generator running? (i am not talking hours or days)


12V fridges: is it less efficient to have a 110v fridge using a system with inverters? even with a solar panel this energy can go thru the inverter system and power 110v appliances.

btw, the only time you really need a generator is extended days mooring or anchoring and i have noticed many boats not equipped with a generator brings along a gas powered portable generator. sure its not optimal but certainly an option rather than installing a generator in the engine room.
1.* Leaving a generator running unattended:* What happens if there is an oil pressure or overheating problem?* what if the intake becomes blocked by debris?* You would need a generator with built in safety systems i.e. a generator that was designed to run unattended.

2.* 120 volt refrigerator efficiency:* 120 volt refrigerators, especially "dorm" refrigerators are designed to be cheap, not efficient.* On the power grid, the supply of electrical power is virtually unlimited.* Dual power marine refrigerators are designed with the limited availability of power in mind.* Some have technology that freezes a plate when power is available (shore or engine alternator) and then uses the frozen plate to lower the power requirements when only battery power is available.* Using seawater cooling is another way of improving the efficiency.

3. Gas powered portable generators:* These generators are not designed for the marine (wet) environment.* While they will work for a while, rust and corrosion will quickly begin to cause problems.* More importantly, there are some serious safety issues with these generators.* Carbon monoxide can quickly and silently kill people.* Unless the generator is placed where exhaust gasses are blown away from the boat by the wind, occupants can suffer CO poisoning.* Marine generators exhaust under or very near the water.* Storage and handling of gasoline on board can be dangerous.* Portable generators do not have the safety features required for gasoline inboard and I/O engines.* Fuel vapors can come from the fuel system and even raw fuel.* On land, this is not a problem.* Stored on a boat, it can be.* Pretty much, the only places a portable generator can be safely operated or stored on a boat are the same places where it will get wet from rain or sea water splashing.

*
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:50 AM   #25
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

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I'll give you one example*that happened the first week of January.* When the dock master and one of his helpers shut the water off due to the below*freeing temps at night, they drain the lines then blow them out with compressed air.* They use the pole that my electric is on because the boat next to mine is the owner of the marina and they use his meter.* So they shut the power on both sides (not sure why)*to connect the compressor up.* The problem was that they forgot to turn mine back on when they finished, the owner of the marina never has the power hooked up to his boat (to cheap).* My boat was without electric for at least one day maybe two*and the heaters were off on my boat.* The temps went down*to the high twenties both nights and there was no heat on my boat.* Luckily I came down to the boat the second day and fixed it.**

Now I'm not going out to buy the kit to do an automatic start would have been nice to have backup power.* Especially if it had gotten really cold.* I can't seem to find anything that cost less than $1,200 to start the gen-set and throw the breaker form shore to gen-set.
A little inginuity and twenty dollars worth of parts could net you a battery powered alarm that would sound when you lose shorepower to your boat.* If the marina staff accidentally cuts power to your boat, the alarm will remind them to turn it back on.* If something else happens, the noise should allert them to contact you.

*
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:17 AM   #26
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Quote:
rwidman wrote:1.* Leaving a generator running unattended:* What happens if there is an oil pressure or overheating problem?* what if the intake becomes blocked by debris?* You would need a generator with built in safety systems i.e. a generator that was designed to run unattended.
I have yet to see a marine generator that does not incorporate automatic shutdowns for low lube oil pressure, high coolant temperature and high exhaust temperature.

Diesel generators run at remote unmanned mountain top sites for months on end without a worrywart hovering over*them waiting to fend off a disaster. Lighthouses use an automatic backup diesel generator in exactly the way the poster wants for his boat, and those sites used to rely completely on diesel generators that only saw a human when the fuel tanks needed topping off.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #27
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Per, Forklift:


You guys shoud read the old posts on fridges.
I'll repeat myself here, briefly.
AC/DC fridges are made for the RV market, not the marine market. They are AC with a built in inverter. The conversion losses going from DC to AC are huge.
Case in point: I have a Norcold box (all that is left of the original installation). It came with AC/DC. It used over 10 amps DC and ran most of the time. I needed two banks of house batteries to keep up, and it was a challenge. I converted to a Danfoss DC only unit, fit in the back with plenty of room to spare. It now uses only 2.7 amps DC and doesn't run as long to stay cold. Its now been in for 12 to 14 years without a hiccup. I now have one bank of house batteries and have no trouble keeping up.
I will be keeping that configuration. I have replaced the front panels of arborite on the fridge with Stainless Steel, so it now looks more like a high end household fridge.
The conversion was done locally, by a guy called "Freddy Freezer" who had a name for doing boat refrigeration. Cost more than a new AC fridge, but well worth it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:43 AM   #28
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Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Last summer I decided to leave the boat unattended while at anchor for an hour or so with the Generator running while we went to shore to let the dog relieve himself. As we were pulling away from the boat in the skiff my wife asked: Are you going to let the genrun while we go to shore? Sure no big deal, let 'er run and charge up the batteries a bit. After an hour or so we came back to the boat and noticed that there was no wet exhaust! As we climbed aboard we were greeted with the acrid smell of something burning as well as a little smoke. Obviously the generator wasn't running. It had shut down with an overheat condition caused by a seized up*Fresh/Anti freeze*water pump. After the pump seized the engine continued running for a few minutes until it over heated, meanwhile the V-Belt that is powered by the crank pulley continued to run across the frozen up pulley on the pump until it got so hot that it melted the rubber. How close was this to catching on fire, I really don't know. But I assure that it was a close call.* Guess that I'd have to say that leaving the generator running in an unattended vessel is a bad idea.

-- Edited by Rob on Wednesday 9th of February 2011 11:33:41 AM
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:47 AM   #29
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Look up Nova Kool, popular with boaters, truckers and RVers. They are very efficient on AC. I never run it on DC, only on AC through the inverter. I scrapped my Tundra when it went on the fritz and got one three years ago. The key to any fridge or freezer longevity is adequate top and bottom ventilation.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:26 AM   #30
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Rob

Why did the impeller go out? How long was it in service?*It would have*failed whether you were on the vessel or not.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #31
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Tips for a newbie using a generator?

My mistake. I meant to say that the Fresh Water/Anti freeze pump failed. There's not a rubber type impeller in that pump! It has a metal vane impeller pressed on to a pulley driven shaft. The bearing was shot and sloppy allowing the impeller to grind to a halt within the pump. That little pump cost me $400 and a couple of hours of my precious retirement time.
Sorry for the mistake, I changed my posting.

It is true that it would have failed whether I was on the boat or not.* It was honestly a near miss as that belt burned nearly in half with lots of dripping melted material and smoke.*
Thanks, Rob

-- Edited by Rob on Wednesday 9th of February 2011 11:46:11 AM
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:54 AM   #32
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Hmmmmm, hadn't been losing coolant or tightened the belt much before that?
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:46 AM   #33
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

What is so valuable in that refrigerator that one needs to run a genny all week while you are gone to keep it cool!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:18 PM   #34
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

No maintenance had been done on the Generator other than lube oil and pincle zinc*about 150 hours prior to pump failure. The belt had not been adjusted for a couple of years or 500 hours or so. No loss of coolant even after pump failure.

By the way it was a whole lot easier getting a new pump here in Puget Sound (North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes, Washington) then it would have been in Alaska. North Harbor had my parts within 24 hours!

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #35
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

I put in an AC only fridge that was about $400. It serves my needs right now. It will fit in s 24w x 52 h space. Made by Summit FF874. Now, after I bought mine they have an icemaker model FF874IM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #36
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Thanks Moondance. I will research.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:35 AM   #37
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

"I would prefer a straight 120 VAC home unit but I haven't found one that would fit."

A new RV unit is no better than an old RV unit.

Ask in your neighborhood for a old fridge , that is being replaced and use the compressor.

The many Danflos conversions for sail ice boxes , as suggested , are more efficient and easy to install , if battery life is a concern.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:27 AM   #38
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Quote:
koliver wrote:You guys shoud read the old posts on fridges.
I'll repeat myself here, briefly.
AC/DC fridges are made for the RV market, not the marine market. They are AC with a built in inverter. The conversion losses going from DC to AC are huge.

I don't believe that's entirely true.* A reading of a marine suppliers catalog will reveal refigerators that use seawater for cooling.* That would be pretty inconvenient for use in an RV.*

The loss of efficiency converting 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC with an inverter is about 10%-15%.* A small marine refrigerator will draw 3.5 amps when actually cooling.* Obviously, larger ones draw more current.*

The best research is not on boating forums, it's in the catalogs and the manufacturer's websites.
*
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:33 AM   #39
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

FF,
That is something I thought about yesterday, possibly buying a small house unit and pulling components out of it. Does anyone know if you can swap out possibly the compressor, controls and power source and then use the existing coils?
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:19 AM   #40
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RE: Tips for a newbie using a generator?

Rule 1 turn on generator without AC load
Rule 1A turn off AC load and THEN shut down generator
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