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Old 01-19-2019, 10:22 PM   #41
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And thanks too to gmarr. That was right nice of you.

Pleasure ma’am
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:29 AM   #42
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Ok, I am going to step out on a limb here is suggest you take a look at this web site https://www.gonewiththewynns.com
The Wynn's are from Texas, knew nothing about sailing, now they are globally sailing. They did lots of research and you can actually watch videos of how they evaluated their gear on line and Utube. Very well done segments, in fact over 150 and counting. Watch the one about how they picked the solar system and how its working, the batteries they use, very good detail, and very fun people to get to know! They will respond to when connected.

Best of Luck, as an FYI, I am right in the middle of purchasing a Mainship 390 so its great to connect to another Mainship owner!
Charlie

Charlie,

Always good to connect to another Mainship owner..... and thx for the Winns link. The Winns link has some very good info, especially for an ocean going off the grid voyage, but not appropriate for my needs. However, I'm sure going to take a few good ideas from them. Their solar evaluation had some good points.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:41 AM   #43
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Were I in charge of your perfectly good money I would do this:

Measure the space you have. I love those panels that are mounted vertically for a boat like yours. She's so pretty, I'd not want to mess with her lines. She is too beautiful!



Side Note regarding the movable panels: My friend on a 40' motor sailor spent considerable time and effort getting panels that rotate. Mostly they sit in one position as the "hassle factor" of moving them is more than she is willing to do. Keep that in mind.

For me, I'd place them in one position and call it good.

You'll want the greatest quantity of watts that will fit and still look good. I suspect that will be the 100 watt Renogy panels. Figure 35Ah per day per panel. [Take your wattage, divide by three and call it amps. MPPT controllers will increase that total.]

The thing is, you already have a generator so I'm wondering if this is an exercise you really want to undertake. When running, your alternators are charging. Your genny is most likely quiet. Do you really want the $$ outlay?

Please note I LOVE my solar panels. That said, I started with one 75 watt panel, which ran my netbook (1.5Ah) and the anchor light. Next I added two 100 watt panels. That "should" have been enough, however it was't. So, with the gift of two 85 watt panels I'm at 445 watts and totally fine.

Seaweed's alternator is not hooked up. When I am underway nothing good happens for my batteries so I am totally dependent upon solar and the Air-Breeze wind generator. Except at Gulfport, over here the wind genny has been mostly useless. I don't get the sea breezes I experienced on the east coast.

Details on how to totally mess up an alternator install can be found here:
Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake article on janice142


However, I believe there is also an issue with your numbers. I suspect you're counting the power consumed with air conditioning running inside your boat. In the heat of summer or even when the sun is shining on that side of the boat your figures Might be substantially higher.

There are a couple things you can do to ameliorate that.
#1) Install a pair of fans behind your units. I have one fan that blows on the compressor and a second that pulls air out of that compartment. Those are on a switch and only run when the starboard side of my boat is in direct sunlight.
#2) Keep the units filled. Contents will keep the temperatures stable far better than empty space.

The switch for my reefer fans is just to the left of the reefer on on that strip of vertical wood.


As for power consumption, as tested in 80 degree ambient weather, my 3.1 cubic foot two-door Haier refrigerator used 60 Ah in 24 hours.

Of course yours may be far more energy efficient.

A hardtop is another option though for most boats I don't like them. Yours however is heavy so the additional weight topside would not be such a concern. Weight aloft may cause lighter weight boats to roll more.

A mounting system using hard panels above the bimini may be a viable option -- IF you need it.

In any event, though you say you're comfortable with 440Ah of batteries in the bilge, I will say that Seaweed has twice that. When I say I don't worry about power, I mean it! Those extra batteries did effect my stability (for the better) though it cost me speed.

I would First increase your battery bank to at least 1kw. That's because when you're underway you'll be filling those batteries with power via your alternator. That will in my view give you the best bang-for-the-buck.

So here's your list:
#1) Increase the battery bank A LOT.
#2) Confirm that the Renogy 100 watt panels will fit vertically along the rails on your fly bridge.
#3) Buy an over-sized MPPT solar controller. You may want to add more solar down the road so having a too-big unit now will pay off in the end.
#4) Use large cable. I upsized to a controller that fits 6 gauge wire. It took ferrules (to get the round wire to fit into a square peg) so ...!


In any event, first upsize your battery bank.
Then see if you really do need solar for your life underway.
IF so, then add vertically mounted solar panels around the rails of your fly-bridge, with the associated MPPT solar controller.

Anyway, that's how I would spend your perfectly good money.
See you at the Legion!

Janice,

Thx for the great thoughts.

The idea of adding more batteries has occurred to me, but a tight fit. I just install the Lifeline 220a batteries 5 months ago so would expect that adding two more wouldn't be too bad (they say replace ALL the batteries at once). However, not really sure I need that.

The 220a usage that I posted is a maximum that would be needed for overnight stops, and often it's not that much. A bigger battery bank would allow me to use the SAME power, but reduce the capacity less, perhaps down to 65% instead of 50%. This would probably be better for the batteries, correct? However, it will still take the same amount of energy to recharge them, regardless if thru solar or the genny or shore power. Experts?

As for running the AC with the batteries, suspect that would be close to impossible as it's a 220v system and would need a 220v inverter for that, which I'm not going to install.

The Mainship 400 is really an "electric" boat. Everything is electric and lots of it is 220v (grill, stove, AC, pumps....). I don't ever expect to get to the point where I won't have to start the genny or plug into shore power, and that's not the goal.

Right now, the boat is sitting at my dock with no power, so nothing is keeping the battery topped off. Granted, with everything shut down, there's little drawn, but the solar would at least keep it topped when just sitting there. Now, I'd like to run a simple dehumidifier (65a, 110v) off the solar, but have been told by at least one seller that it would not work.

Comments?
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:42 AM   #44
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And Janice,

When are you going to bring the Seaweed back to the Legion?
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:16 PM   #45
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Janice , read your tale and have a couple of suggestions.

Both Nani and Beta seem to marinize that brand of motor , call them

1st question,,, How many HP can I take from the front pulley?

IF its over 4-5

2nd,question , Do you sell an alternator that is larger ,OR do you sell a better foot mount to fit a larger alt?

Should both these approaches fail ask if they sell a kit to mount a compressor for eutetic engine driven refrigeration.

This will need at least 5hp.It may require a dual sheve pulley for the engine, but their mounting brackets wil lhelp installation a lot.

If available mount an auto air cond compressor and purchase the gear to operate for air cond use.

Wont be cheap as air handler will need to fit your space (hot rod conversion sets are small ) and a marine freon / sea water exchanger will be required.

You might be OK with the engine sea water pump pulling thru the heat exchanger before supplying the engine.

Fingers crossed, its a lot to ask from a 15 HP .
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:02 PM   #46
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"The 220a usage that I posted is a maximum that would be needed for overnight stops, and often it's not that much. A bigger battery bank would allow me to use the SAME power, but reduce the capacity less, perhaps down to 65% instead of 50%. This would probably be better for the batteries, correct? However, it will still take the same amount of energy to recharge them, regardless if thru solar or the genny or shore power."



SeeVee,
Yes that is correct. You would still use the same amount of power as you do now (all things the same), but would have a longer run time before "requiring recharge" with a larger bank. Or, you could recharge on the same schedule as now, but operate with a smaller "depth of discharge" which should lead to a longer battery life if you are getting back to 100% charge with regularity.
Most boaters who anchor out regularly, and don't supplement their charging with solar, wind, or? do not obtain a full 100% charge often enough (this applies to most battery chemistry, but not some of the "new" (expensive) types). Operating regularly with a partial state of charge is what "kills" most battery banks. (All things being equal).
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:57 PM   #47
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This isn't at all to your question...but please do make sure you have your controller set up correctly. I just bought a boat and the PV system was boiling the batteries and ended up exploding one of them.

When I looked at the boat, the batteries, which were relatively new, were low on water. The sales person bought some and corrected it. The solar panel breaker was turned off -- but I later discovered that they'd connected both wires to the same screw on the back of the breaker, so there was no "off".

Sometime between the sea trial and when I took possession, one of the batteries exploded (literally). I ended up having to replace 2 of the 5 batteries that there were when I bought the boat (and of the 6 that had reportedly been installed a year earlier). Oddly enough, the two house batteries.

I went through all of the wiring on the boat. When I got to the solar controller I was shocked. First, that there was no panel-side cut-off. Then, that the breaker for the battery side was over-sized. Next that the battery side breaker had both wires connected to the same screw -- so there was no turning it off.

And, finally, when I pulled the cover on the controller, I found that they'd set both the float and bulk charge modes to 14.7V. This is obviously too high for a constant float.

I suspect that they did this under the influence of the ammeter they installed between the charger/controller and the batteries. With the charger/controller set correctly, it (correctly) seemingly always read near-0. I think they "cranked it up" to see the current needle move.

The reasons that ammeter were reading near-0 were (a) The batteries are typically charged with nearly no load and don't need much current, (b) The AC charger was turned on and charging and otherwise supplying current via shorepower or the generator, so what little current they needed they got, at least in part, from it, and (c) the ammeter was mechanical with a range way too large, especially for float charging, so the needle barely moved in use.

By setting the solar charger/controller to a voltage that was too high, they got the batteries to accept current and getting the ammeter needle to move a bit-- until the batteries boiled and exploded.

I added (functioning) circuit breakers on both sides of the controller. The one between the panels and the controller is mostly as a disconnect so I can de-energize the controller during daylight hours to work on it, if ever needed. I replaced the output-side analog ammeter with a digital one that can read much lower currents (and measure voltage, wattage, watt-hours, etc). And, I set the controller back to the same float voltage as my main AC chargers (I think it was 13.3 or 13.6 volts, but don't hold me to that). Next time I'm at the boat, I'm going to add a panel-size volt meter, just so I can see panel voltage, even if the batteries aren't taking much current.

Everything seems to be good now. And, when I have tested by disconnecting from shore power (without running the generator) -- I see the output current climb fast and stay high.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:05 AM   #48
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My replies in Bold below:

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Originally Posted by Seevee View Post

The idea of adding more batteries has occurred to me, but a tight fit. I just install the Lifeline 220a batteries 5 months ago so would expect that adding two more wouldn't be too bad (they say replace ALL the batteries at once). However, not really sure I need that.

When I doubled my capacity what I did was split into two banks. Bank one is the batteries circa 2011 and the others are 2017. At five months I would not be so concerned. But that's just me.


The 220a usage that I posted is a maximum that would be needed for overnight stops, and often it's not that much. A bigger battery bank would allow me to use the SAME power, but reduce the capacity less, perhaps down to 65% instead of 50%. This would probably be better for the batteries, correct? However, it will still take the same amount of energy to recharge them, regardless if thru solar or the genny or shore power. Experts?

What I'm imagining is that you're running your boat for let us say five hours to get to the next stop. During those five hours with a larger battery bank you could (theoretically) pump more juice, thus using a smaller percentage of your battery capacity.

That additional power could take you through an entire day and night.
You might not need anything at all, as long as you're underway every day. If not, run your generator.

If I remember correctly you had a nice new power install done recently. I suspect your man added an external regulator to maximize what the alternator(s) put into your battery bank.

Calder says that the less we take out of our batts, the longer they will last. We should get more cycles out of a battery using just 25% versus half. Still, as I understand it, we get the same AMOUNT of amperage out of the batteries. It just depends on how frequently we replace 'em. Twice the capacity Should allow you twice the time between replacements. Provided you're following specs, charging, etc.


As for running the AC with the batteries, suspect that would be close to impossible as it's a 220v system and would need a 220v inverter for that, which I'm not going to install.

Understood.Those things are Very pricey. Ouch!



The Mainship 400 is really an "electric" boat. Everything is electric and lots of it is 220v (grill, stove, AC, pumps....). I don't ever expect to get to the point where I won't have to start the genny or plug into shore power, and that's not the goal.

Friends of mine also have a 40'er, all electric. I'll see what their power set up is and get back with you. They also have an electric grill though Cheryl told me they found a 110 version.

The next time I see them I'll mention your dilemma. Fred may have some "been there/does this" advice. He and his wife spend months away from a dock, relying on solar and a built in generator.

This is Fred's boat:


His set-up is (as I understand it) if his batteries do not have enough capacity to run what he wants, the generator automatically comes on to provide sufficient power. It's complicated, and I'm not certain how exactly he does it. But golly gee, his power situation sounds just about perfect!


Right now, the boat is sitting at my dock with no power, so nothing is keeping the battery topped off. Granted, with everything shut down, there's little drawn, but the solar would at least keep it topped when just sitting there. Now, I'd like to run a simple dehumidifier (65a, 110v) off the solar, but have been told by at least one seller that it would not work.

Okay, that makes sense. To top off the batteries solar is just the thing.

As for the dehumidifier, I believe some give problems if you are using a modified sine wave inverter. I'm quite certain your installed inverter is pure sine wave. [In a nutshell, I have found digital items do not play well with modified or square wave inverters.]

That 65Ah seems like a large power draw for the dehumidifier, unless that's for two units. Often what keeps our boats dry is the circulation of air, not just drying it out.


I've not worked on 220 volts boats. I'm still learning.

As for when I'll be heading over the the American Legion, I'm not certain. No real impetus to move the boat when it's this cold. The days go by so quickly.

I'll message you when I get into gear. Today I spent the afternoon smashing together hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Ration 2:1. In case you wondered...
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:18 AM   #49
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I don't know anything at all about 220V w.r.t. inverters or generators. But, these accessories don't seem to be too expensive, where supported:
-- https://www.hodgesmarine.com/XANTREX...an809-0915.htm
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:31 AM   #50
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I don't know anything at all about 220V w.r.t. inverters or generators. But, these accessories don't seem to be too expensive, where supported:
-- https://www.hodgesmarine.com/XANTREX...an809-0915.htm
That is a thought to auto start the gen.....

As for a 220v inverter, that makes no sense.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #51
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Here is what I installed on my Marine Trader 36. See photos and text published in 2014.


http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...m-15837-2.html
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:01 AM   #52
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For the 220 V, I suggest you forget that!
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:08 AM   #53
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The Mainship 400 is really an "electric" boat. Everything is electric and lots of it is 220v (grill, stove, AC, pumps....). I don't ever expect to get to the point where I won't have to start the genny or plug into shore power, and that's not the goal.

That's sort of a surprise. I'd have guessed maybe 50A/250V input but all 110V appliances...

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Old 01-22-2019, 03:46 PM   #54
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That's sort of a surprise. I'd have guessed maybe 50A/250V input but all 110V appliances...

-Chris

Chris,

Kinda wondered what the thinking was all the 220v stuff. Also, I cannot connect shore power to anything but a 50a service (or 2 30s out of phase). Would love to be able to plug in a 30a and keep the batter charged, run a micro. I have a 30 at my dock and would be easy. To install a 50a will not be cheap.... thats next on the list.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:14 PM   #55
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Chris,

Kinda wondered what the thinking was all the 220v stuff. Also, I cannot connect shore power to anything but a 50a service (or 2 30s out of phase). Would love to be able to plug in a 30a and keep the batter charged, run a micro. I have a 30 at my dock and would be easy. To install a 50a will not be cheap.... thats next on the list.
So, plug in one 30A or the other. One of those would power the inverter, and if you are lucky, power the micro too.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:15 PM   #56
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So, plug in one 30A or the other. One of those would power the inverter, and if you are lucky, power the micro too.
Wont work with one 30a... needs 2 to make the 50a 220v.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:23 PM   #57
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Even the inverter needs 240? Who wired this boat, a european?
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:26 PM   #58
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Even the inverter needs 240? Who wired this boat, a european?
Inverter is 110v but nothing comes into the boat except 220 and goes thru a transformer.

there is no line from the inverter to shore power. Suppose one could be added, but I'd probably just opt to install 220 where the boat is based and run the genny if needed on the road.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:36 PM   #59
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Inverter is 110v but nothing comes into the boat except 220 and goes thru a transformer.

there is no line from the inverter to shore power. Suppose one could be added, but I'd probably just opt to install 220 where the boat is based and run the genny if needed on the road.
did you describe what you have for the inlet connector(s)? I may have missed that one.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:50 PM   #60
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did you describe what you have for the inlet connector(s)? I may have missed that one.

I've got one 50a, 220v cord, and can put a reverse Y that is 2 30a, 110v plugs onto it but only if the outlet is out of phase so I end up with the same 220v going to the transformer.

The transformer sends power appropriately to where it's needed, either 220 to appliances or the 110 to the inverter and thru breakers to 110 v outlets.

I do have a "boost" switch on the transformer that will kick up the power at marinas that use the "Y" connection when the wire the project which results in 90 or 100v for the 120 volt circuits. And there's a ton of them.
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