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Old 03-28-2014, 07:06 AM   #1
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Genset cost per KW hour

Nigel Calder has an excellent article in this months PBB working out the cost per KW of AC power and battery charging.

www.proboat.com/

The numbers are frightening the high side is $19.00 per KW.

Most boat yards will have a copy or two , sit down before reading the true costs of your noisemaker.

I would copy and post it , but dont know the copyright laws .
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
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FF.

Thanks for the post. I will dig into it I would really like to see the break down. The link you posted would not open for me, but like I said. I'll dig into it.

Thanks again

Happy cruising to you.


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Old 03-28-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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So if you run a generator on the hook for 4 or 5 hours a day, you might burn 3 gallons of diesel, maybe $12 or $13. Tie up to a mooring, $25. Stay at a marina, $80. We like our cold beer and hot water, running the generator is a small price to pay. Price per KW is meaningless for us.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:22 AM   #4
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I'm guessing the thrust was alternatives to gensets...especially installed diesel sets...especially when many like me use them more to charge batteries than anything else.

I like my household freezer, I like my showers hot and beer cold too...plus the bag of ice or icemaker onboard...but there are other ways to have those things without dropping a minimum of 5K just for a 3kW unit sitting on a pallet.

If you already have a genset...then it was generally free with the boat purchase...but replacing the same sized unit (as in my case) with cheaper alternative energy sources and inverters...it's getting hard to justify the "initial" outlay PLUS operating costs...eliminate one or the other and it's a different story.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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I am always intrigued by questions/discussion about 'alternate energy solutions' for trawler/cruiser.
Hypothetically, if I have a daily 600ah need, what are my alternatives?
What is the initial cost of product and installation?
Overall efficiency?
Short and long term maintenance need/cost?
Will this alternative solution operate in all environmental conditions?
Accessibility to a repair person and part in my cruising area?

I am sure there are more question and answer so feel free to comment.

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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I figure the cost of anchoring is almost as much as tying to a dock, with a lot less hassle. Being our gen set is old 1978 with 3000 hours on it, and it powers the hydraulic bow thruster I been sort of babying it. Cost about 10+ grand to replace. When out in open water I switch to the cruise gen powered by the 671, so its sort of freeer as there is no/little effect on the 671. Personally Boaters are fooling them self to think anchoring is cheap/free. Now if there is no dock to tie up to then there is not other choice, but its still expensive.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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There is no justification for anything on a boat. I guess thats why its a boat.

As far as coming up with another way to replace all the energy a generator produces, its easy to say "I'd do something different"

Its allot harder to actually do it. It can be done, but I beleive the costs would equal or exceed the costs of the generator.

Besides...

I have an icemaker, and a clothes washer, and an electric stove, and lots of other high power draw items on my boat.

And I like every one of them.

And...

I like my super quiet Northern Lights Generator
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Nigel Calder has an excellent article in this months PBB working out the cost per KW of AC power and battery charging.

www.proboat.com/

The numbers are frightening the high side is $19.00 per KW.
Fred - I can't get your link to open. Here are my gen set numbers:

- 7.5 kw Kohler gasser, orig 1977 from factory - runs like a charm. Re-manufactured some years ago (before I owned boat). In six years only prob was faulty fuel pump- quick/easy/inexpensive replacement!

- Powers all needs aboard our Tolly e.g. galley, fridge, batt charger etc.

- We usually run from 1 to 3 hrs per day... short time in morn and at eve.

- Avg 1.5 hrs a day X avg 3/4 gal gas per hr X $5 per gal gas = $5.63 per day X 4 day weekends = $22.50 per 4 day R&R cruise/hooking/swimming!

- Being a really cheep way to enjoy modern conveniences aboard boat... I'm all in for a big gen set - especially a Kohler!

- If needed - I will have professional rebuild accomplished. Not in the cards any time soon!

Happy Gen Set Boating Daze - Art
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #9
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I could not find the story on www.proboat.com either but I would guess the depreciation of the gen set would need to be taken into account. For example $10K purchase price divided by 5000 hour lifetime is $2/hr before fuel, or maint costs. If you produce 4Kw per hour, thats $0.50/KwHr for depreciation. Add say 1 GPH fuel use for $4/Hr results in another $1/KwHr. Thats a long way from $19/KwHr. There must be high maintenance costs added somewhere along the way to drive it up to $19. I guess if you paid marina rates for all maint and did nothing yourself.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:18 PM   #10
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Sometimes it's cost driven, but more often a matter of personal choice??

When you go camping, do you want to:

Stay in a tent, sleep on the ground, cook over a wood fire, bathe in a bowl once a week, keep your food in an ice chest, wash your clothes in a river and poop in a hole in the ground?

or

Stay in an Eagle Motor home, sleep in a bed, cook on a stove, bathe in a hot shower, keep your food in a fridge, wash your cloths in a machine, and use a flush toilet?

I've done both. . . . but guess which one I prefer????
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:31 PM   #11
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Sometimes it's cost driven, but more often a matter of choice??

When you go camping, do you want to:

Stay in a tent, sleep on the ground, cook over a wood fire, bathe in a bowl once a week, keep your food in an ice chest, wash your clothes in a river and poop in a hole in the ground?

or

Stay in an Eagle Motor home, sleep in a bed, cook on a stove, bathe in a hot shower, keep your food in a fridge, wash your cloths in a machine, and use a flush toilet?

I've done both. . . . but guess which one I prefer????
Wifey B:

Stay in a resort hotel? Is that a choice?

Neither of us has ever actually camped out although we've talked about it. Now we have slept for the night on the beach. As to an Eagle Motor home I'd definitely choose that over a tent and campfire and the bathing once a week, I could just not ever live with.

But it's a matter of choice. We boat for pleasure. Pleasure says we keep cool or warm at night depending on season, we keep our food cold, we wash clothes, we keep the watermaker operable, we have lights and television and computers. I know to some people that's almost heresy that we don't "rough it" but that's just not the way we are.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:03 PM   #12
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The cost per Kw hour is a moving target for us since the load varies during the generator run. We do estimate what it costs on a per hour basis though: ~$5.30. That's with fuel at $4/gallon, oil changes every 200 hours, some other consumables and replacing the generator (9 Kw) at 7,500 hours.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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A creative person can make figures say anything they want. The IRS allows somewhere around $.55 per mile to drive a car. That's great if you use your car for business and can deduct that cost but does anyone ever figure that $.55 per mile into the cost of driving all over town to save a dollar on a boat part?

If you're pleasure boating you have to throw most of this stuff out the window. Besides, if you cut down your genset use because of the cost, the cost per KWH goes up.

For the person who posted that it costs as much to anchor out as to stay in a marina, that would take some pretty creative accounting to make that add up. You have your slip fee, electric fee, possibly taxes and user fees vs. pretty much nothing for anchoring.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:54 PM   #14
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...I would say that this discussion depends on where you live. Two persons from the Northeast USA can have this discussion. Now having a guy from the Northeast arguing about this issue with a guy from South Florida, makes no sense.
Just like the water purification thread. Can that discussion take place in India, for example??
FF, I would like to see Mr. Calder cruising in the tropics without a Genset, specially now that world temperatures are rising. In my home town this year since January 1st, we did not have a single day below 107F during the day and 94 during the night. Humity goes as high as 65%.

See? The need for AC power depends on your cruising grounds
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:44 PM   #15
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...I would say that this discussion depends on where you live. Two persons from the Northeast USA can have this discussion. Now having a guy from the Northeast arguing about this issue with a guy from South Florida, makes no sense. Just like the water purification thread. Can that discussion take place in India, for example?? FF, I would like to see Mr. Calder cruising in the tropics without a Genset, specially now that world temperatures are rising. In my home town this year since January 1st, we did not have a single day below 107F during the day and 94 during the night. Humity goes as high as 65%. See? The need for AC power depends on your cruising grounds
We run the genny whenever cruising and anchored.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:01 PM   #16
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I dont think running a genset typically leads to its demise..it is usually the opposite..underuse. my buds 60' charter cat got 15,000 hours on one and 18,000 on the second..both 20k units and they were frequently overloaded. I never think twice about using the genny and its fuel consumption...the oil changes are more of a p.i.t.a than anything.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #17
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Our 12KW Northern Lights is about .75gph no load and 1gph under load so three hours a day under gen is not free. We just finished a new Magnum MS2812 inverter charger Install today with an advanced battery monitor system, not cheap but a good way to check what's happening from the Used and available amp side of things
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:39 AM   #18
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My 2K Honda cost $700 to purchase and even at full throttle, just burns 1 US quart per hour..about $1 in gasoline. If it runs at low throttle, it's 12-14 hrs per $4 US gallon of gasoline.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:08 AM   #19
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My 2K Honda cost $700 to purchase and even at full throttle, just burns 1 US quart per hour..about $1 in gasoline. If it runs at low throttle, it's 12-14 hrs per $4 US gallon of gasoline.
Winner, Winner - Chicken Dinner!

Al, Only way to beat that gen set fuel cost is to have it pay you! Congrats!

Will 2 Kw run elect stove or oven (each seperatly during operation) and small elect fridge and 40 to 80 amp batt charger at same time? Inquiring mind wants to know - i.e. Me
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:49 AM   #20
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Doubt if the decision on whether to have a generator or not is based on the operating costs. The new boat market is not as price sensitive as the used boat market. In the used boat market those who do or plan to anchor out a lot will select a boat with a generator. In terms of use the operating costs are important in deciding to put in solar panels or wind generators. I did operating costs comparisons and decided that both solar panels and a wind generator would have a reasonably fast payback in terms of reducing my generator run time. With 120 days a year at anchor, reducing run time by an hour a day saves $500 - $700 USD per season and pays for the wind generator and solar panels in four to five years.
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