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Old 10-22-2013, 06:14 PM   #21
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BigJim:

Several reasons why people run out of battery capacity:

1. Those big, heavy 8D batteries are not really deep cycle batteries and using them as such has cut their capacity to half or less. This is the #1 reason.

2. Boaters use more amphours than they think. Until you have an E Meter, you can't know for sure. I have heard numbers reported from 50 to 200 amphours a day.

3. Boaters stay at anchorages for multiple days and run their batteries down. If they don't have an isolated starting battery, then their engine won't start.

David
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:32 PM   #22
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I work in the land of acronyms but don't get this one -- SOC?
State of Charge. Like how happy your batteries are.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #23
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BigJim:

Several reasons why people run out of battery capacity:

1. Those big, heavy 8D batteries are not really deep cycle batteries and using them as such has cut their capacity to half or less. This is the #1 reason.

2. Boaters use more amphours than they think. Until you have an E Meter, you can't know for sure. I have heard numbers reported from 50 to 200 amphours a day.

3. Boaters stay at anchorages for multiple days and run their batteries down. If they don't have an isolated starting battery, then their engine won't start.

David
So would my fellow PNW boaters be offended if I put my Burgey wind generator up at an anchorage? I think my net electric use could be a push with a wind generator and I could anchor for days without sparking the air polluter/morning wrecker.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #24
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I work in the land of acronyms but don't get this one -- SOC?
State of Charge.
Are SOC meters good or a WOFTAM? Good I think, though I don`t have one.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #25
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State of Charge.
Are SOC meters good or a WOFTAM? Good I think, though I don`t have one.
They allow you to display how many Amps or Watts you have consumed from your batteries as well as how many you have put back into them, hence their "state of charge."

An old fashion Hydrometer and an accurate Volt meter is a very useful tool as well.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:20 PM   #26
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SOC means State Of Charge

Keeps track of amp hours in and out so you know the state of charge of the batteries.
It gives other info also but the main purpose is to track amphours.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:40 PM   #27
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Big believer in Victron Battery monitor too... I keep it on "I" (amp draw) and watch it every 5 minutes because I have no life :-D
Very funny! I do the same damn thing!
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:52 PM   #28
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Tom

Don't know how often you anchor out, but if you do so on a regular basis you may want to consider getting a second charger. Gensets are more efficient when loaded. One 55 amp charger lightly loads even a small genset. You could cut your run time in half if you use two chargers. Since a 55amp Iota costs approximately $250 you would save money by reducing diesel usage by 60 gallons (assume $4 per gallon) over the life of the charger. In addition your genset would be more properly loaded.

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Old 10-22-2013, 10:22 PM   #29
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Ok... When I wake up after a night at anchor, I like to top off the batteries a little bit before I get underway (auto pilot pump is a power hog and will shut off if voltage drops below 12.0V... yes... I plan on increasing the wire gauge to the pump soon... that's not the point). Is it better to fire up the genset to run the A/C battery charger or run the main engine and use the alternator?

Standard old Motorola 70A alternator that never puts out more than 50-ish amps anyway, versus new Iota 55A charger.

What say ye'?
First get a SOC meter to see what you are actually using, second pitch that inadequate alternator and get a bigger one with a smart reg.. I run a 125A twin belt alternator and get over 100a @ 1600rpm cruise. Most boats never use all available main engine power at cruise so why run the genset if you don't need to.
I know many here like the gas Honda inverter generators but personally I wouldn't ever consider one unless I didn't have a diesel generator and the place to install one.. I guess if the boat is too small it makes sense but there are a lot if issues to deal with having the thing on deck

Regarding the wind generator, rarely do they make enough power at anchor to justify the cost, annoyance due to sound, vibration that can transmit through the hull.... we had one on our cruise across the pacific and it never did much except at sea.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #30
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First get a SOC meter to see what you are actually using, second pitch that inadequate alternator and get a bigger one with a smart reg.. I run a 125A twin belt alternator and get over 100a @ 1600rpm cruise.
Not sure if you read my other posts. I have a meter and can't run twin belts, but plan on upgrading alternators soon.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:36 PM   #31
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...

Regarding the wind generator, rarely do they make enough power at anchor to justify the cost, annoyance due to sound, vibration that can transmit through the hull.... we had one on our cruise across the pacific and it never did much except at sea.
Thank goodness my temporary neighbor's wind generator is absolutely, guaranteed to be quiet!

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Old 10-23-2013, 01:21 AM   #32
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I work in the land of acronyms but don't get this one -- SOC?
State Of Charge is the answer I believe.

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Old 10-23-2013, 02:05 AM   #33
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Thank goodness my temporary neighbor's wind generator is absolutely, guaranteed to be quiet!
Midnight visit to epoxy the spinner solid?
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:18 AM   #34
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Midnight visit to epoxy the spinner solid?
Absolutely! Positively! No need to do that. I was terrified when I first saw that windmill, but haven't heard a sound with its whirling.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:54 AM   #35
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Even the worst boat alt choice, a 1 wire - built in V regulator ,will eventually charge the batts . It should be putting out enough voltage to operate your AP as soon as the engine starts and is above idle.

Certainly even at 1000RPM warm up the voltage should be fine to run the AP.

Sounds like fixing the AP circuit would have the most bang for the buck .

A truck alt 12v 135A (-$150) is happier with dual belts but a single high quality belt will do fine , just wears out faster.

If you install a better alt treat it to a 3 stage regulator too.

SOC meter is State Of Charge , think of of as the gas gauge for your batt bank.

It is also possible that too many deep discharges has reduced the capacity of the batt set by 50% or more . Install the SOC first to find out.

Dead batts are like a black hole and will eat much of the output of a rated 60A car alt with ease.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:35 AM   #36
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Bay Pelican has an Airbreeze Wind Generator - small rather quiet unit. In our rather constant trade winds situation it puts out 7 to 12 amps per hour all day. At the diesel prices I pay this provides a 5 year payback on installation costs. More importantly, we can leave the boat for 10 to 14 hours and not worry about running the batteries down.

We are in a sailboat world (Caribbean) where most boats have a wind generator and many have two or more. Noise can be a problem if you buy the wrong unit, but then buying wrong is always a problem on a boat.

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:30 AM   #37
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I work in the land of acronyms but don't get this one -- SOC?
State of charge
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #38
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Not sure if you read my other posts. I have a meter and can't run twin belts, but plan on upgrading alternators soon.
If you incorporate a smart regulator (like the Balmar) you can "derate" the alternator a little using the belt manager function , that way you won't need twin belts.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:30 AM   #39
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Not sure if you read my other posts. I have a meter and can't run twin belts, but plan on upgrading alternators soon.
Tom: In the FWIW department, I had my old 105 amp alternator rewound (increased the coils) to 140 amps. The only restriction to doing that is the clearance between the alternator's housing & the windings. In my case, I had sufficient clearance to add more windings. It works great and was fewer $$ than buying and mounting (bolt pattern) a new higher amp alt.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #40
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Scott... 3.5KW Genset... Not sure if that makes any difference, but I suppose I could use it for morning coffee too. ;-)

I have plans for a new alternator, but because of the engine and genset placement, I think 100A would be the MAX alternator I could put on because I don't have to room to add a wide belt. It's going to have to stay with a single v-belt alternator. So my options are limited. Still, it is in the plan for next year. I don't trust my Motorola to last much longer. Keep wanting to pull it out and take it in for a rebuild. Just ain't gotten to it yet. ;-)

Big believer in Victron Battery monitor too... I keep it on "I" (amp draw) and watch it every 5 minutes because I have no life :-D
Tom,
I tossed our Motorolas last year and replaced with $105 108A Delcos and couldn't be happier. Replaced the pulleys with smaller ones to spin the alts faster at our slow (1400) rpms. To balance wear on the main bearing and double the charge I added a second alt to one engine. Installed LED volt meters and tossed the shunted amp meters. Batteries are topped within a few hours always.
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