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Old 02-23-2021, 01:30 PM   #101
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Gotta have the space for the solar panels.
There are places in the world where there is more dark than light at certain times of the year.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:32 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Gotta have the space for the solar panels.
There are places in the world where there is more dark than light.

Yup. Bigger boats have a much easier time going entirely solar / wind / battery as there's more space for panels, batteries, weight is less of a concern, etc. But for smaller boats, you eventually run out of space, so you either change more appliances to fuel burning to reduce electrical demand or you add a generator to handle the high power loads.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:50 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
Yup. Bigger boats have a much easier time going entirely solar / wind / battery as there's more space for panels, batteries, weight is less of a concern, etc. But for smaller boats, you eventually run out of space, so you either change more appliances to fuel burning to reduce electrical demand or you add a generator to handle the high power loads.
You mean, smaller boat run out of space sooner than a larger boat.
Larger boat needs more power, batteries, more solar panels, more space to install the 'more solar panels.'
And you thought the 5ftitish was important to increase the interior space LOL

If solar is so great, currently, cruise lines would be using it.
Maybe in 10 or 20 years things will be better.

If you wish to be an early adopter wonderful but, do not over sell what you have.
Oh I do have 2 solar for a total of about 260watts. That enough to support charging the batteries, bilge pumps and the DC fridge if I am away from the boat and I lose shore power.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:53 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
You mean, smaller boat run out of space sooner than a larger boat.
Larger boat needs more power, more solar panels, more space to install the 'more solar panels.'

If solar is so great, currently, cruise lines would be using it.
Maybe in 10 or 20 years things will be better.

A cruise ship has slightly different power needs and expectations than most of us, I think. Such as non-stop HVAC, tons of refrigeration, tons of lights on 24/7, etc.



In general, I don't think making my boat 10 feet bigger would make all that much difference in power demand outside of when I want to run A/C (but I wouldn't be doing that with solar anyway). Stove, fridge, microwave and other galley appliances would likely be similar. I'd probably have a few more lights on at times and a few extra electronic bits, but nothing that would make for a large increase in power demand.
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:39 PM   #105
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I mounted 4x100W panels on my forward rails...2 per side, each pair tilt/rotate as one panel. I'll look for some pics I recently posted...

...EDIT: found it. Sorry for the side view. Consider it pandemic neck exercise...

The strut poles were temporary trials until I graduated to the PVC prototype. Still not at the final strut support yet which will be SS rail mount.
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If I had mounted the rail mount at the mid-point of the panel so that it extended equally inside and outside of the rail, it would probably not need a prop rod in the benign conditions of the CA Delta.

Here are a few other pics I found to help visualize my prototype PVC struts. The "T" portion attaches to 2 adjacent panels so they move as one panel. The smaller portion slides up and down on a vertical rail to adjust angle. There is another PVC pipe section (not shown) that connects the two, serving as the strut.
Since I'm at the boat, I took a shot of the prototype solar PVC strut which allows variable angles for optimum performance. As mentioned, it's still a work-in-progress as I use it and decide on the best final configuration probably using SS components.
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20210223_112659.jpg   20210223_112636.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:11 PM   #106
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How are you guys running your heaters on “high setting”? They are full throttle anytime ther’re running. The thermostat just turns them off as needed to maintain the temp selected on the thermostat.

Or is that not so?
I have an Espar D2 on my 16' C-Dory. A little heater for a little boat. Two problems. First, the thermostat sets the heat based on what is returning to the little furnace. I wanted to bring in outside air and heat it, but if set up that way, it would always read cold and the heater would run constant and boil me out of the tiny cabin. So it is set up to take half inside and half outside. As somebody mentioned, the thermostat isn't marked in degrees. That doesn't matter for my application. If the outside temp is 35, can still set the thermostat so that I get the temp I want inside. Half outside air is enough to keep condensation off the windows from wet clothes and steaming coffee.

The Espar does slow down from a rapid tick of the pump to a once per second tick. So it does throttle down a lot as the temp gets close. But if the heat is still too much, it shuts off the pump and just runs the fan. That way, it can detect when the temp drops and fires up the furnace again. The problem with that is that it is cycling the glow plug. The little fan at idle uses nothing. The glow plug cycling on 3 times an hour is a lot (my house battery is a single Group 24). That type of cycling is also not good for soot build up. I have to remember to turn the thermostat "up to 11" every time I shut it down.

Here's a picture before being all tucked away. I bought 4 gallons of Kleen kerosene in 2015 and have used just over a gallon so far. Most of that was on Lake Yellowstone when the overnight temps were in the 20's.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:47 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
How are you guys running your heaters on “high setting”? They are full throttle anytime ther’re running. The thermostat just turns them off as needed to maintain the temp selected on the thermostat.

Or is that not so?
I can't speak to a specific installation, but from what I understood based on a conversation with the staff there as I was researching heater choices, Sure Marine's "Sure Wire" (IIRC) basically runs it on full all the time (it's a wiring/control type board they sell). I believe this is so it doesn't run along on low and coke up.

Based on that, I gathered that the standard Webasto operation *didn't* run on full all the time, but instead could throttle down and run lower.

Reason for all my caveats is that I ended up going with a Wallas heater for various reasons (quietness, low amp draw), so I don't have first-hand experience with the Webasto or the Sure Wire.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:35 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Flamingo View Post
I have an Espar D2 on my 16' C-Dory. A little heater for a little boat. Two problems. First, the thermostat sets the heat based on what is returning to the little furnace. I wanted to bring in outside air and heat it, but if set up that way, it would always read cold and the heater would run constant and boil me out of the tiny cabin. So it is set up to take half inside and half outside. As somebody mentioned, the thermostat isn't marked in degrees. That doesn't matter for my application. If the outside temp is 35, can still set the thermostat so that I get the temp I want inside. Half outside air is enough to keep condensation off the windows from wet clothes and steaming coffee.

The Espar does slow down from a rapid tick of the pump to a once per second tick. So it does throttle down a lot as the temp gets close. But if the heat is still too much, it shuts off the pump and just runs the fan. That way, it can detect when the temp drops and fires up the furnace again. The problem with that is that it is cycling the glow plug. The little fan at idle uses nothing. The glow plug cycling on 3 times an hour is a lot (my house battery is a single Group 24). That type of cycling is also not good for soot build up. I have to remember to turn the thermostat "up to 11" every time I shut it down.

Here's a picture before being all tucked away. I bought 4 gallons of Kleen kerosene in 2015 and have used just over a gallon so far. Most of that was on Lake Yellowstone when the overnight temps were in the 20's.
An external thermostat plugs into the heater, so you can remotely place the sensor to control the cabin heat. At least on my Webasto that's the way it is, unplug the internal sensor and plug in the external, put the sensor where you want to regulate the heat from.

My 3900 Airtop cycles down after the cabin comes up close to temperature, then cycles in and out of operation depending on what the external sensor tells it to do, if I leave the cabin door open it runs on low. It also has multiple settings for output, high, regular, eco...
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:13 PM   #109
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Regarding diesel heat...

On my Bayliner 4788 I have three Wallas forced air furnaces, each 10K BTU

I have a decade of full time experience with these units in Seward Alaska. No, I am not on my boat full time, but my boat is heated full time from October through April every year.

Why forced air, and not hydronic???

That is simple. As my friend Doug posted a forced air system can be set up to bring in some outside air to help remove moisture that is part of human bodies and living (as my friend Rob pointed out). That air exchange is very handy at humidity control, which is a real issue on a boat with people, cooking, showering, etc...

Why Wallas? As Rob pointed out furnaces can be rather noisey, and as others have pointed out furnaces can soot up requiring maintenance. This noise is because of their combustion style. Myst furnaces have a fine spray nozzle that is blown into a high volume air stream. This high air volume creates noise. The Wallas furnaces are the only ones on the market, with exception of the Dickinson, that use a pot style burner. Fuel is dripped into a combustion chamber that has a moderate amount of air entering it. The dickinson does this through draft, and the Wallas does this through a very quiet fan.

Now to the results...

In a decade of heating full time I have logged well over 25,000 hours on a couple of heaters. That is in my opinion pretty impresive. I have just went through a changeout of heaters really because the old ones had lead a good life and it was time to replace them. I could have kept them going, but at some point it just makes sense to put in a new unit.

As far as fuel...

I burn around 70 gallons a month in Diesel during my heating season. My temperatures average in the 20's with some much colder days, and some warmer.

What would I do different???

Honestly, not much. I have had only two failures of heaters while running in all that time, so I'm pretty happy.
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