Glad I found Sailnet
Join Date: Jul 2008
Thanked 51 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine
Living last week on the hook and doing 2 days of heavy laptop use, I can say that we do ok with solar (135 + 40) and wind (Fourwinds II), when I'm not working. That's because we are usually on shore exploring or at the beach and not using any electricity during the day. Running the inverter to power the laptop put me at a big deficit. (I don't have a 12v adaptor for my company's laptop.)
We have a Victron battery monitor. I HIGHLY recommend getting one.
I converted the 8 halogen lights in the salon to cheap warm-white LEDs. At 1/10th the price of the good ones, they'll do for now. Specifically, for just the salon, 3.6amps dropped down to 1.1 amps. That's a 70% reduction. I'm slowly working on replacing the lights in the 4 staterooms and the 6 reading lights too.
Note that we don't get too much wind generally -- looking back over my "pre-wind-genny-purchase weather research" leads me to think that by "average wind" they mean "the average of the daily highest wind speeds".
We have a separate freezer. The neighboring fridge gets some cooling though the adjoining wall. When I do install the fridge compressor, I'll need another 135w panel. I'm in the market for 2 of them, if I can find a decent price. I really don't like running the engine for charging. Due to the large size of our bimini, mounting another panel is reasonably straightforward.
We also have long range wifi, which burns about 0.5 amps. That includes the Wireless Access Point on the boat.
Last edited by Bene505; 07-09-2012 at 01:26 PM.