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Old 06-05-2014, 09:49 PM   #61
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Just FYI, when I talk about reducing energy consumption, I look to do it without compromising what/how I want to do something. LED lights are a good example. You could same energy by living in the dark, or you could still have good light, but get it more efficiently. I definitely want all my creature comfort, but with a little thought and research, you will find widely varying ways to get those comforts, with widely varying energy consumption.

Reducing energy does not mean doing without.
Twisted, thought I'd put in the first post "...commensurate with comfort"; meant to, but didn't. Yes, energy efficiency without compromising comfort. Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:51 AM   #62
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Maybe I missed it, but insure your alternator is of sufficient capacity to do necessary on board tasks while cruising including giving the house batteries a good jolt. In the PNW sitting for days on the hook requires a good diesel heater during the non summer months, not a power saving endeavor.

My sources in the PNW regarding solar panel efficiency are not encouraging, hopefully you'll do better. This subject has received lots of TF discussion, you may want to go through those threads especially from the Li ion battery advocates.

I remained puzzled as to how propane saves on energy needs. Convection microwaves and induction cook tops are both able to operate off an inverter quite handily especially when cruising and genset off. Our primary genset needs are for washing clothes and charging the house banks.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:01 AM   #63
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Thanks for addressing my questions Twistedtree. However, I have to say I'm disappointed. I thought you might be in possession of real leading edge new type super efficient storage units, (Ok, fancy batteries), and then you deflate me by saying you manage just using good old flooded cell lead acids…well, I never….
However thanks all the same. Food for thought...
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:32 AM   #64
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I really don't have any idea how truly quiet the best AC generators are these days. Had bad memories of being anchored at The Baths with peace & beauty all around after spending the whole day beating to it--and some powerboat guy would roar up, throw out the hook, turn up the genny and tunes, and there goes that.

It seems there are at least two components of genset noise: the motor itself, and the exhaust. Last season a boat pulled into our marina, genset running, and temporarily docked behind the fuel dock for some reason. He left the genset running, and it was the loudest I'd ever heard, certainly louder than his main engines, and on the order of competing with the go-fasts at the fuel dock. SPUT-SPUTR-SPUT... It was if there was some kind of flapper on the system, acting as an amplifier.

My point is that maybe sometimes simply re-plumbing the exhaust could be a viable alternative. Installing a sound shield around an unshielded unit may also be useful. Cost comparison would be informative.

-Chris
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:43 AM   #65
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Thanks for addressing my questions Twistedtree. However, I have to say I'm disappointed. I thought you might be in possession of real leading edge new type super efficient storage units, (Ok, fancy batteries), and then you deflate me by saying you manage just using good old flooded cell lead acids…well, I never….
However thanks all the same. Food for thought...
Yup, sorry to disappoint. As a techie you would think I'd like bleeding edge everything, but I don't. I put a high priority on things that work well, work reliably, and are cost effective. If something is going to cause me headaches, I got no use for it. That doesn't mean I shun new technology - quite the opposite - but I want it to work. Electronic common rail engines are a good example. I love them.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:48 AM   #66
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In the PNW sitting for days on the hook requires a good diesel heater during the non summer months, not a power saving endeavor.

Dickinson oil ranges are the solution to no electric living .

WE built one into out galley in FLORIDA , as when we travel it is frequently >off season< . A cold boat sucks .
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:10 AM   #67
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Would you summarize those ABYC requirements for refrigerators/water heaters (and presumably gas furnaces).

We just bought an RV. I was struck by those three appliances that seem to work so well in an RV, but the industry- Dometic for the most part, seems unable to make them work in a boat (to ABYC standards).

I appreciate that a boat is a vessel that will collect propane if it leaks and it will build up and up, until..... RVs do not seem to collect it, as presumably there are enough ways for propane to leak out from the bottom of an RV.

David
Sure.

There are two key parts to the standard that come into play. The first is the concept of an unattended appliance. Things that are left active, even if they cycle on and off, are considered to be unattended appliances. A stove or grill, even though it cycles on and off automatically, is not considered to be an unattended appliance because you only run it while more or less paying attention to it. This is their definition, not mine.

The second part is that an unattended appliance has to have a sealed combustion system. This means that the only path into, or out of the combustion chamber is via the exterior of the boat. Such a device would have an air intake and an exhaust outlet, and the whole path is sealed off from the interior of the boat. The reasoning is to prevent gas from finding it's way into the interior of the boat and settling/collecting in the bilge where it poses an explosion risk.

Although I'm not aware of any fridges that are designed this way, there are definitely domestic hot water heaters that are, so in theory one might be adaptable to a boat. My house, for example, has a propane boiler with exterior air intake and exhaust,but manufacturers tend to be sticklers about how their appliances are used, wanting to avoid the ambulance chasers. So you would be on your own doing such an adaptation, and be at risk of getting flagged by a survey.

The big difference with RVs, is that any leaked gas will find it's way out of the RV's interior. On a boat, there is no way out of the bilge. So the risk profiles are very different in the event of a leak.

Of course the ABYC guidelines are voluntary, and you get to decide if you want to follow them, and what risks you are going to take. But the ABYC stuff is generally well thought out and responsive to real problems, so well worth considering seriously. Also keep in mind that although I don't really care if you blow up your boat, I do care (along with a lot of other people) if your boat is next to mine in a marina when you do blow it up.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:56 AM   #68
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"What do we do about power ?"


We run the genny almost all the time, it's about as loud as an additional AC unit. Only burns about 1GPH. We also have a exhaust separator so the water gets discharged below the waterline whilst the just the exhaust is discharged above the waterline and is nearly silent, so you don't hear the water from the exhaust slapping onto the water.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:02 AM   #69
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A big Thanks for that one, TwistedTree--

Wow, this is a huge surprise for me, and exactly what I was hoping to learn from this thread. I too live completely off-grid and with a 8kw/hr PV array in the summer and add to that a 300' head hydro system in the winter I'm usually OK (except it quit raining out here in CA) but I will definitely remember this info about Satellite Receivers. And on a boat that would be HUGE.

I'm really interested in the small diesel DC gensets too, and going with that and the inverter. The area I'm most puzzled about is water heating, as there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative to engine heat exchange and an AC genset. Looking forward to catching up with all the info here--
I will be using and testing a solar style water heater system, it uses (2) 2'X3' panels to circulate antifreeze with a solar powered 12VDC pump. It will be installed and plumbed into my 10.5 gallon water heaters exchanger.
I'll let everyone know how it works if you are interested. The entire system costs around $400.00 US.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #70
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Not many years ago NextGen made a DC generator for an online marine electrical/electronics supply organization that went bust- Jack Rabbit Marine Electronics. It used the same engine and soundshield as their 3.5 KW AC genset. It was a nice, well engineered unit, just like their AC version but after Jack Rabbit went bust, they no longer make the DC version.

I have often thought about the differences between the two as I now have the AC version. I can charge my batteries at a 100 amp rate with my inverter/charger. The DC version could do it at up to 150 amps. The AC version will run my air conditioner (if I wanted to. I never have on the hook) which the DC version will not. The DC version with help from the 2KW inverter will run everything else AC: water heater, microwave, coffee maker, etc. but not all at the same time. The DC version can be throttled back when loads are light as might be the case as the batteries approach full load and there are no other significant loads. That will reduce noise and fuel consumption.

So pros for DC: more DC charging amperage, quieter at light loads. Pros for AC: can run the air conditioner.

And the current DC genset offerings don't have a nice sound shield like the NextGen.

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Old 06-06-2014, 12:50 PM   #71
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In the PNW sitting for days on the hook requires a good diesel heater during the non summer months, not a power saving endeavor............

............I remained puzzled as to how propane saves on energy needs. Convection microwaves and induction cook tops are both able to operate off an inverter quite handily especially when cruising and genset off.....
As you say, not necessarily power saving devices, just lets one extend their time on the battery bank.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:29 PM   #72
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I just prefer not to carry or use propane on a boat. I know many here use it very safely. Just our personal choice to go all electric.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:03 AM   #73
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SPUT-SPUTR-SPUT... It was if there was some kind of flapper on the system, acting as an amplifier.
-Chris
Was his exhaust out of the side or stern of the boat?

I just got back from a fishing trip yesterday and since we've been talking about generator noise, I was paying closer attention to my gen set while it was running. My generator is quiet outside the boat, with just the sound of water running out the exhaust when at anchor or on smooth water. But rock the boat and get that exhaust outlet under water on the roll and it sounds like an outboard motor.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:38 AM   #74
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Was his exhaust out of the side or stern of the boat?

I just got back from a fishing trip yesterday and since we've been talking about generator noise, I was paying closer attention to my gen set while it was running. My generator is quiet outside the boat, with just the sound of water running out the exhaust when at anchor or on smooth water. But rock the boat and get that exhaust outlet under water on the roll and it sounds like an outboard motor.

It was out the side. Now you mention it, it might have been very near the water line, too. Sounds came in waves: simply loud, then machine gun, then simply loud, then machine gun...

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #75
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When I first read the title of this thread I thought it was about engine power. Was disappointed it was about an excess of electric do-dads.

We don't have a gen-set and never will. Just no need for all that STUFF. We cook, heat, pump water and do all that we need w just two AGM batteries a bit larger than a car batt. Looks to me like conveniences and the soft life has gone over the top.

We only anchor for a day or two though.

Using a lot of "power" is something we Americans have been obsessed w since WWII. Where did it start ... Electric toasters?
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:31 AM   #76
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Using a lot of "power" is something we Americans have been obsessed w since WWII. Where did it start ... Electric toasters?

Before that!

Remember the photos of the octopus an adapter screwed into an overhead lamp socket with 5 things pluffed in?

Have a fine Pre WWII toaster as well as cast waffle iron.

The clothes iron ,an element (no kidding) to lower into a tub for a warm bath and electric tea pots and single cup heaters also pre date WWII.

Electric is so much easier than FIRE!
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:13 PM   #77
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We don't have a gen-set and never will. Just no need for all that STUFF. We cook, heat, pump water and do all that we need w just two AGM batteries a bit larger than a car batt. Looks to me like conveniences and the soft life has gone over the top.
There are many people who would say having a boat is the soft life and over the top. While I respect your choice to not have a gen set and not have many other conveniences, we like our conveniences and the fact you label it over the top is fine with us. Yes, we live the soft life. We worked for that opportunity. We make no apologies for it.

Soft life is all relative. Everyone can site those who have it easier and those who have it harder than they do.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #78
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BandB,
It was a bit critical but meant mostly as an observation. A real softy would not get another beer out of the fridge .. they would tell someone else to get it. And softies don't crawl around in the bilge. No there's not many softies here and if my boating style was quite different I could conceivably have a gen myself. But I wouldn't operate it in the vicinity of others ...... unless they were running a gen too. But television sets and overstuffed chairs is just nuts to me. I buy into the notion that life and lifestyle should be reasonably simple. Excluding the rain factor I'd probably rather camp in a tent and cook over a fire than an motorhome or big trailer. I do have an electric head but I have no auto pilot ... Because we don't need one. I did have an AP on my previous boat but I didn't have Chris then. TV on a boat that's not a live-aboard is for the person that's addicted to football or just has to have everything just because they can. WifeyB probably has an opinion on this one.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:13 PM   #79
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I like boating, but not so fond of rustic camping. I like to enjoy the comforts of home while on the water and so do my wife and guests. Gimme power that doesn't offend the senses of my neighbors or detract from the nature around me. Wind, solar, large house banks and neighbor-friendly generators all can accomplish this. All it takes is a little consideration for your neighbors and surroundings.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:30 PM   #80
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It's nice to have opinions.

Some people have lead a tough life for moments or decades for all kinds of reasons...

Because there's finally a chance in their life to live it exactly the way they want it to be...well whose to judge?

Wow...I couldn't face the mirror in the morning if I passed judgment on someone who deserved to live the exact life they chose to for the moment.

being polite and not spoiling quiet moments with a genset for a whole anchorage is one thing...thinking someone else should lead a life like they like it to me is just over the top.
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