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Old 03-19-2016, 07:34 AM   #21
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Janice, a larger inverter may start your small AC, and if so the load would reduce after that. Then you might be able to run it for useful periods with Betsy running. Buy larger and sell your current inverter?

Check out you AC start/run specs to see if feasible...
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #22
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The idea of airconditioning is nice isn't it? This normally means closing doors and windows which makes the noise of a diesel generator that much more intrusive. Is sound insulation on Seaweed good enough that you and Betsy could happily coexist in close quarters?
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
Found something interesting. A 2,000 BTU a/c unit for truck cabs that runs on batteries. Looks like a split unit. There is a link to a video on this page:
Jackson Truck and Trailer, Inc.
Interesting...
I did not check pricing however, as a reference:

In 90 degree weather with the sun baking my boat I use a 5k btu Haier. She has settings 1 through 10.

I set her to cycle on and off (she doesn't go off much when it's midday!) and 3 generally works. Sometimes I have to move up to #4. That puts the inside temperatures in the mid to upper 70's -- comfortable without being cold. I do not do cold.

Main cabin size 7' by 11 feet including area in front of helm. There are a LOT of windows and she's a bit drafty too.
My cabin is 8' long and narrows at the bow.
Insulation in Seaweed is nonexistent.

5000btu is more than sufficient when placed in the pilothouse door. When in the hatch in my forward cabin the main cabin did not get cool. Didn't work there.

Eventually (soon!) I'd like to mount it on the roof in my galley. I've got the scoop to do it nicely and will move the fan-tastic fan forward to my pilothouse. One step at a time, don't 'cha know?!?

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I believe Dometic has DC units that are about 3500 BTU

http://www2.dometic.com/bd10b370-ad7...59e03737.fodoc
Uses 29 amps. Sometime to consider however Dometic will definitely be lots more expensive than my already bought $130 Haier. And I've seen a lot of room a/c units (house type) on boats. They can be mounted so as to look quite alright.

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Janice, a larger inverter may start your small AC, and if so the load would reduce after that. Then you might be able to run it for useful periods with Betsy running. Buy larger and sell your current inverter?

Check out you AC start/run specs to see if feasible...
My current inverter is 1200 with a peak at 2400 watts. A/C unit takes 455 watts when running.

I did learn a trick on how to start stuff that is "too much" for the inverter. First. you plug in what you want to run, THEN power up the inverter. That will work in some applications as long as the running wattage is within specs.

Anyway, just putting that out here in case you need another bullet in your arsenal.

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The idea of airconditioning is nice isn't it? This normally means closing doors and windows which makes the noise of a diesel generator that much more intrusive. Is sound insulation on Seaweed good enough that you and Betsy could happily coexist in close quarters?
I thought of that. When running the anchor chain rattles. You know, at anchor I never hear it. That's the sound of sleeping well because I'm secure.

The Hella fan right by my ear was dreadful until the temperature and humidity went up. Then suddenly it was not too loud at all.

Betsy with the hatches open is loud. Closed though is much better -- conversation is possible and I can even hear the VHF radio. I could and would do more to insulate the sound but even today it is Good Enough.

What I would miss is life outside. I am well aware that those boats that stay closed up miss some of the best parts of life out here: the wildlife, nature, dolphins and manatees, etc. When it's 90 degrees out there and the humidity is higher I am FAR less interested in wildlife than when it's cooler!
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:53 PM   #24
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I think a large DC alternator, maybe additional pulley on Betsy's crank, all running through your batts and inverter could easily run that 500W AC unit, with engine set at maybe 1500rpm.

It's do-able.

When I stayed on my ride in Fla, I could close up the boat an hour before bed and run the gen and AC hard, it would chill and dry out the boat. Then turn it all off. It was good sleeping til the sun came up. That sunshine with no AC on is a very effective alarm clock!!
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:41 PM   #25
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I am definitely in Ski's camp on this one.
Only, I am questioning a 5k BTU AC unit that only draws 450W. seems to me it should be twice that at least.

Though it costs some dough, a good sized alternator with ample batteries and a good 2500W inverter provides a lot of performance and flexibility as well, since you already have wind and solar power to supplement the alternator.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #26
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Janice-first-glad to hear that Betsy is up and running and that Seaweed not only floats but is mobile! Have you looked either on Amazon or Ebay for portable gennies? Just a quick look a minute ago showed 1000 watt units anywhere from $250 to about $900. Since the only thing you really need it for is the AC, you could have the genny on deck with the AC wired directly to it. It seems you only really need it a few hours a day. As has been noted, the new portables are pretty quiet.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:59 PM   #27
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I am definitely in Ski's camp on this one.
Only, I am questioning a 5k BTU AC unit that only draws 450W. seems to me it should be twice that at least.
Could be about right. My forward a/c unit is 9k and according to my Kill-A-Watt it consumes 6.8 amps at 115 volts or about 780 watts.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #28
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My 6,000 btu runs at 3-4 amps with a bit of a surge when the compressor kicks on...but that is very instantaneous...probably fast enough to not trip a breaker of 5 amps.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:15 PM   #29
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My 6500btu/hr Mermaid with water pump draws about 6-7A on 120V. Sounds like all of them are in the ballpark. Mine does not sound terribly efficient. But it works.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:17 PM   #30
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I was not including the pump draw...but that is minimal if sized to only a 6000btu unit.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:48 PM   #31
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Yea, my pump runs two units so is a bit bigger than needed by the 6500.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:27 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THD View Post
Janice-first-glad to hear that Betsy is up and running and that Seaweed not only floats but is mobile! Have you looked either on Amazon or Ebay for portable gennies?
I had a Honda or Yamaha in the 2017 budget plan... just this idea of a generator head and the ability to use diesel instead of gasoline appealed. That the price was low too helped pique my interest.

Aboard Seaweed I have two 35 gallon fuel tanks, so one for gasoline is a possibility. I'd just rather stick with diesel for more flexibility down the waterway.

Quote:
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I think a large DC alternator, maybe additional pulley on Betsy's crank, all running through your batts and inverter could easily run that 500W AC unit, with engine set at maybe 1500rpm.

It's do-able.

When I stayed on my ride in Fla, I could close up the boat an hour before bed and run the gen and AC hard, it would chill and dry out the boat. Then turn it all off. It was good sleeping til the sun came up. That sunshine with no AC on is a very effective alarm clock!!
Thank you Ski.

As for the alternator powering the a/c unit, that's a real possibility. At maximum output my alternator cranks out 55 amps. I should get nearly 30 amps at noonday in the summertime from solar so the deficit would be covered by the alternator when the engine is running. Or the obverse.

I do like this idea a lot: to chill the boat down at bedtime and then wake when it gets warmer. Thus no fuel consumption, quiet, and easy too. Thanks.

Sometimes the obvious is missed when I think.

I appreciate the light bulb moment.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:57 AM   #33
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"I do like this idea a lot: to chill the boat down at bedtime and then wake when it gets warmer."

If the water temperature the boat is floating in is cool enough there are many ways to avoid night air cond.

Use the deck wash pump at sunset to cool the hull's heat away .

Install a small computer fan to lift cool bilge air from below .

Cold air sinks , it takes power to push it up.

Most boats are single skin below the WL and so the bilge is filled with water temp air when the engine is off.

Use it.

With a fitted sun cover and a deck level vent , using cool bilge air works during the heat of daylight too.

With a solar powered vent removing air from the cabin top , you can be at water temperature much of the time.

Plan B is a Honda 2000w, hung from a davit (stops noise and vibration) .
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:41 AM   #34
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I had a Honda or Yamaha in the 2017 budget plan... just this idea of a generator head and the ability to use diesel instead of gasoline appealed. That the price was low too helped pique my interest.
Sounds like if Betsy (and solar) can keep your batteries charged, and if your inverter will run your AC and other stuff... maybe no need for the small portable gen?

In any case and FWIW, you can get propane-converted versions of small Honda and Yamaha gensets. The ones I looked at closest (for home back-up) were Yamaha series, converted by US Carburation. Seems to me that would bypass all the issues with long-term gasoline storage, ethanol, weekly testing during periods of non-use, etc.

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Old 03-20-2016, 08:58 AM   #35
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There is a good argument for using the diesel engine, 70 gallon diesel storage and larger alternator that you already have.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #36
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The hassle with most low priced gen heads is they must also include some sort of engine speed regulation (just like a normal noisemaker) and THAT will control your cruise speed.

Many use similar engines at 1800 to create 60 cps AC current

After you cruise about a bit and decide on your LRC rpm you should be able to belt the gen head with the proper pulley sizes. for the 1800rpm it requires.

OF course you still MUST check with the engine Mfg to see if the engine front end is strong enough to power the unit.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:21 AM   #37
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Thanks... I'm considering this generator head and still exploring options.

The idea was to only run the generator head when the boat is not in gear. Underway the alternator should do fine. I wondered about using it after I'm done running for the day...

In thinking about it and acknowledging self, it's like this: I have this pathological quirk against running an engine to "charge the batteries" -- whenever I've been in that situation I've raised the anchor and gone somewhere.

Even if I simply run around and return to the same area, I've taken the boat for a ride. Maybe that's why simply sitting at anchor with the engine running to power an alternator seems "wrong" while running Betsy to power a generator head isn't so bad.

It's me. I can see that now as I've been considering the generator head.

A fellow near me advocates "Infrastructure" and I'm almost sold on the whole process. I don't know that I NEED a generator head if I'm only talking about running the engine when it's stinking h-o-t.

Mostly in the past I've been able to get comfortable by doing nothing at mid-day and rearranging my "schedule" to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.

As for the water temperatures down here, we are looking at 80+ degrees. It's not cool by any means and the top two feet is hotter. I do have a fan-tastic fan (wonderful thing incidentally, albeit noisy -- it seems to make less noise when it's hot though)

The solar panels are over where I sit in the galley and that should make a big difference. I'll have to get out my infrared temperature gun and check... it feels cooler when I put my hand to the overhead where the solar has shaded it.

Anyway, I thank you for your input. I'd wondered if anyone here had used a starter generator and had any guidance. I need to learn more about how they work when loads come on and cycle off. BUt not today.

Tomorrow is fine.

J, recovering from a dentist visit. (And she looked so young and sweet too...)
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:39 AM   #38
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The idea was to only run the generator head when the boat is not in gear. Underway the alternator should do fine. I wondered about using it after I'm done running for the day...

In thinking about it and acknowledging self, it's like this: I have this pathological quirk against running an engine to "charge the batteries" -- whenever I've been in that situation I've raised the anchor and gone somewhere.

Even if I simply run around and return to the same area, I've taken the boat for a ride. Maybe that's why simply sitting at anchor with the engine running to power an alternator seems "wrong" while running Betsy to power a generator head isn't so bad.

It's me. I can see that now as I've been considering the generator head.

Hello, my name is Janice, and I have a problem...



Not much difference between running a small diesel engine with a 40-amp alternator to charge batteries -- versus running a small diesel (same engine) to power a generator to make AC to run a 40-amp battery charger to charge batteries…

In fact, I think the latter is less efficient anyway, given that in the first you put DC directly into the batteries, but in the second you have to create AC and then convert if to DC in order to put DC into the batteries.

Running AC stuff from an inverter (including perhaps a small aircon?) connected to those batteries won’t really depend on where you get your DC from.

I just happened to notice my own genset specs yesterday: it’s running off a 14-hp Yanmar (at 1800 RPM<s). Same approximate size as Betsy, yes?


Did you learn whether your existing inverter will start and run your small aircon?

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Old 03-26-2016, 08:24 AM   #39
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Using a DC alt with a large enough inverter would be preferred to an AC gen head.

THe gen head will require a constant regulated engine speed , the DC alt just needs to be spun fast enough to provide enough power to operate the system.

Auto alts are not robust and have a very poor rating after they become hot.

Perhaps a truck 130A alt (about $130) could be fitted with dual belts for longevity.

Yes , the first test will be to operate the engine at a modest speed and see if your existing inverter will start the air cond , and weather it does operate at full power.

Usually full air cond power only comes from a Sine Wave style inverter, expensive.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:34 AM   #40
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