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Old 03-13-2017, 06:24 PM   #1
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Advice to upgrade my house power

I need to put together a plan for preparing my Albin 25 for The Big Adventure. In the luxury department. I am looking for some guidance as to where to go from here.
Existing setup:
- newly re-wired battery room with 1 start battery and 1 115AH house battery, controlled from the alternator with a Blue sea ACR, controlled from the deck with a Promarine Pro550 12A dual-battery smart charger, new 12V breaker panel, minimal draw on day trips. Plan to switch to LED lights throughout, including anchor light. 2 small 12V fans. Alcohol 2-burner stovetop, propane BBQ. Basic electronics, 2 12V plugins (cig).
New to come:
- Unique portable 60 l. fridge/freezer (2.5 AH draw, they say)
- would like to run maybe a pressure cooker, coffee maker (optional)

So I bought a Generac IX2000 portable generator but have been convinced to bring it back. I learned that it wont be able to efficiently charge my batteries through the little 12A charger, so I would have to charge from the un-smart 12 VDC outlet on the genny anyway, the noise, the risks, etc. I have decided to go to more battery and more solar instead.

The fridge retailer also sells a 100A solar panel which I can maybe fit onto the bow area, but 2 smaller ones would probably fit better. I figure with the return of the genny I have $750 (CAD) freed up for battery and solar, so that should be plenty budget-wise. (?)

So thinking to link a pair of golf cart batteries in parallel to the existing 115 AH house should give me enough battery power? 100A solar should be able to keep the batteries up to speed with the fridge?

And a 2000W inverter to power the occasional 100V appliance.

Will this work? Do Golf Batteries have a choice of AHs? Etcetera.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:34 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. S. I've used Trojan 6V golf cart batteries in the past with good success.
Markets | Trojan Battery Company
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:38 PM   #3
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Sunset,

I think you meant 100 watt Solar not 100 amp. 100 watts of solar is not very much at all and may not be sufficient for your plans. How much un-shaded space do you have available? Size your panel or panels based on that. Also, look for a Mono-crystalline panel not poly or flexible as the output of those panels is diminished. Take a look at the Transformation Continues thread in the Grand Banks section of this forum and you can see the installation we just did on our boat. If you are on Facebook take a look at our boat page (M/V Ebbtide) for more information or just send me a PM.

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Old 03-13-2017, 06:43 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. S. I've used Trojan 6V golf cart batteries in the past with good success.
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Firefly - thanks for the link - I see there IS a variety of sizes. What would be the appropriate size to get?
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:49 PM   #5
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"So I bought a Generac IX2000 portable generator but have been convinced to bring it back. I learned that it wont be able to efficiently charge my batteries through the little 12A charger, so I would have to charge from the un-smart 12 VDC outlet on the genny anyway, the noise, the risks, etc. I have decided to go to more battery and more solar instead."

Can't you use the Generac to power your Promariner smart charger??

6V GC Batt'ys are a favorite by many for house banks
most are around 200 AH if I recall correctly - 2 in series double V but no A or AH
2 - banks of 2 each will double the AH.
Most will recommend NOT mixing batt'y types or age in a common bank so best to eliminate the existing 115AH batt'y (or keep as an emergency reserve)
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:57 PM   #6
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Some thoughts on your situation:

Upgrade your battery bank to two GCs in series in parallel with your existing battery. GCs have about 225 AHs each, so two in series will provide that much, not double. Your total will be about 350 AHs.

BTW, that link above is for all Trojan deep cycle batteries. The T-105s are the typical golf cart ones.

Your new fridge although it may draw 2.5 amps but more like 3 will run at least 50% of the time, so figure about 40 AHs a day.

Don't try to run any big loads from an inverter; definitely not the coffee maker.

So your total DC loads on a typical 24 hour day at anchor will be 40 for fridge, 10 for lights and water pump and maybe another 10 for some occasional inverter use. A total 60 AHs which is typical of a simple boat, managed wisely.

On an average sunny day, you can probably get 30 AHs from a 100 watt solar panel. So it will take at least two to break even on sunny days. With 350 AHs of battery capacity you can last for 2-3 days with no sun. If you expect to fire up the propulsion engine, cruise to a new anchorage and charge up your batteries again, then that might be enough. Otherwise you need another 100 watt panel.

Don't buy packaged solar. Go to Amazon or eBay and look for 100 watt panels which is the sweet spot. Bigger panels cost much, much more to ship. You should be able to find them for a bit more than $100 each. Then look for a 20+ amp solar controller from a name brand supplier like Morningstar or Blue Sky. A cheaper PWM controller should work fine. MPPT cost a bunch more and only increase real power output 10-15%.

Return the generator.

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Old 03-13-2017, 07:02 PM   #7
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Thanks Bacchus - that will make room for all this GCs I am supposed to get! As for the charging issue - from what I have read, the 12A charger takes many hours of trickle charging to load up the batteries - which is fine and dandy while I am at home during the week and the boat is plugged in at the dock. But the implication is that the genny will be running for far too long to push power into the batteries at a trickle rate, especially since a 12A charger is quite a slow operation. So what would be the point?

Bob - I checked out your solar install as you suggested. I will try to find those types of panels and associated equipment, to see if they will even fit on my small boat somewhere. I am guessing that your electrical demand is somewhat larger on the GB than mine will be.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Bacchus - that will make room for all this GCs I am supposed to get! As for the charging issue - from what I have read, the 12A charger takes many hours of trickle charging to load up the batteries - which is fine and dandy while I am at home during the week and the boat is plugged in at the dock. But the implication is that the genny will be running for far too long to push power into the batteries at a trickle rate, especially since a 12A charger is quite a slow operation. So what would be the point?

Bob - I checked out your solar install as you suggested. I will try to find those types of panels and associated equipment, to see if they will even fit on my small boat somewhere. I am guessing that your electrical demand is somewhat larger on the GB than mine will be.
I'm thinking run the generac and power your Promariner from the 120V outlet (I think the spec is 15+A available) - skip using the generac trickle charger you already have a Pro Matriner smart charger - use it
I couldn't find the specs for the Pro 550 but guessing it's a 50A (12VDC) output charger?? if so it will likely draw 5 amps at 120V input - you should get the same charge rate and smart charge you get on shore power - or am I missing something??
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:40 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard Sunset.
I have something similar to what you have on my boat, 1 start battery + 2 115Ah house batteries. Not much electrical stuff aboard, most amp draw if from the little fridge. From my experience, one day at the anchor (from 4PM to 10AM), with the fridge, some lightning (very few LED like 2 lights on the upper deck and 2 in the lower helm), anchor light all night, some radio and the pumps for fresh water and bilge is just what my house batteries allow. I plan to add a third 115Ah battery just to have a bit more margin and later when all the batteries will be to replace I will use GC batteries instead.
I have a portable small yamaha 1800W aboard that connect to the main AC but barely use it. I used it once last summer and more to check if it was working fine than because I needed it as we never spend 2 days in a row without moving.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:48 PM   #10
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I would suggest one 300 watt panel and an MPPT controller as it will maximize the panel output. Also try to stay away from the 12v panels, as they will limit the flexibility of the charge controller.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:37 PM   #11
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Lou - Based on your setup I will feel more comfortable going with GCs now rather than stacking those 115AH batteries 3 high. Based on your usage and experience it sounds as if that will work for me.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Lou - Based on your setup I will feel more comfortable going with GCs now rather than stacking those 115AH batteries 3 high. Based on your usage and experience it sounds as if that will work for me.
The reason why I want to add one more 115ah is that the two I have are new so it would be a waste to replace all of them now and if I add a third one I will replace all of them when they will be dead. They are not stacked of course but side by side.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:59 AM   #13
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Makes sense - but for me, I only have one to "waste" and far less room aboard than you for a battery room. I can quadruple my AHs with a small increase in space requirement (going with a single pair of GCs).
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:25 AM   #14
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As Always, I suggest a SOC meter (battery gas gauge) to see just where the batts are in terms of charge.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:34 AM   #15
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As Always, I suggest a SOC meter (battery gas gauge) to see just where the batts are in terms of charge.
I was thinking about that. I will see what is out there in that regard.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:21 AM   #16
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Here is one that works well,

  1. home - Bogart Engineering

    www.bogartengineering.com

    Contact Bogart Engineering; Media Support . For twenty-five years we’ve made battery system monitors that give you insight into your system.

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Old 03-21-2017, 04:30 PM   #17
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Don't try to run any big loads from an inverter; definitely not the coffee maker.
I can't get my head around what is meant by this...any help?

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I can quadruple my AHs with a small increase in space requirement (going with a single pair of GCs).
I'd recheck - I think you are optimistic by a factor of 2X what you will really get from 2 GC's.
2 - 6V batt'y in series double V but not AH's
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Don't try to run any big loads from an inverter; definitely not the coffee maker.
I can't get my head around what is meant by this...any help?

Thanks!
Dave

Is the reference here to a small battery bank. On Bay Pelican I make coffee (Mr. Coffee electric pot) and a slice of toast in a toaster each morning before my wife wakes up. This is done on the inverter. Once she wakes up I run the generator to charge the batteries.

For making the coffee etc i am using a 2,800 watt inverter.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:57 AM   #20
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The hassle with big loads and a small battery bank is the very rapid discharge can deplete the batts very rapidly and can harm them long term.

Batt capacity is measured at a 20 hour rate , the1/2 hour rate would be way less.
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