Re: How do I know how much I need?
I appreciate your thoughtful and polite response to my post, thank you.
Without getting into a debate over what a substantial change is and isn't, I would say this -- the basic design is simple, and shared by most, solar panels, wind generator, shore side chargers (often used with the generator), alternator, etc, with chargers, into a bank, connected to loads. Throw in the fuses, cabling, etc, and I think we are all basically using the same design. But, that wasn't what I was talking about ...
What I was talking about is what you mentioned as a minor change, that being the addition of batteries, more panels, etc. In my opinion that isn't usually a minor change at all. If you want to add a panel you are often going to be changing the way you have your panels mounted to accommodate, it is the rare person who thought ahead and just happened to leave empty space next to their panels for an extra one or two panels, usually you end up redesigning the mount and doing it over. Same for batteries, it is the rare person that thought ahead and made extra space for more batteries, or batteries of a different design, that doesn't have to go back and create a new well for their batteries, redesign whatever system they are using for tie downs, and all the rest. At some point when you are adding capacity you are probably going to have to change your fusing, often have to upgrade your wiring to handle more amps, often change your chargers out because you reached capacity on them, sometimes upgrade your shore side charger to allow for more amps because your larger battery bank can accept a bigger charge, etc.
I don't think I know anyone who hasn't made changes like that, often substantial changes, and often resulting in a complete rebuild. Yeah, sure, it is still just panels, through a charger, to a bank, to an inverter ... but almost every system out there has that basic design.
Edit - I forgot to mention the math. I don't mean to make it sound like the math is totally useless, I just meant to convey that I don't think it matters that much in the sense that it rarely leads to the final design (battery capacities, number of panels, etc) that the boat owner ends up with. I know that is the case in many electrical systems, it seems like just about everyone has ideas about how they'd do it "next time", because few who have experience with their system seem to feel it has reached some pinnacle. Contrast that with a water maker, most people who install a water maker never have to touch it again except for maintenance, they don't sit around with pen and paper imagining how they'll change it on their next boat.
What are you pretending not to know ?
Please support my
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Last edited by wind_magic; 12-25-2012 at 02:16 PM.