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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 05-22-2010
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batteries... keeping it simple?

I have a minimum need for power, safty lights, auto pilot, radio. cabin lights are oil lamps. I want a 3 batteries bank, my enging is inboard.
I also dont use fridge or fans or any other ellectrique appliences.
at least none I can think of.
I want to keep it at a minimum when it comes to power usage.

what auxilary charger is best, WIND, SOLAR, WATER.
if you have experience with anny simple reliable charging device pleas share.
rgds
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Old 05-22-2010
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I like solar, it just sits there and makes power (as long as it isn't shadowed).

Wind generators are big noisy and possibly dangerous depending on where it's located. Depending on where you are located it may make power more reliably than solar however.

I never considered a water-based generator. I imagine it would slow you down underway, and it won't make power if you're at anchor.
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makes sens!
how much solar will do?

thanks
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Old 05-22-2010
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If you want to keep it simple and get the most bang for your buck, charging from your alternator is the way to go. If you don't want to spend a lot of time running the motor charging the batteries that get a higher output alternator.
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Old 05-22-2010
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I have a two battery bank, no shorepower, no charger, no fridge, an inboard diesel with alternator, and a 15 watt solar panel. we spend our summers aboard. I have no problem meeting my charging needs.
One of the upgrades I made to my system last year was installing a Microlog DMM-3 Battery monitor, just to give me the peace of mind of knowing what the status of my system is.

Microlog dmm-3 dmm-4

Last edited by bljones; 05-22-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010
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perfecto alternator it is then.
I guess a 15watt solar could be usefull and not to intrusive.

thanks
rgds
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Old 05-23-2010
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I second the above advice. I use three batteries, one is strictly a back-up. I also have no refridgeration, just lights and very limited electronics. The alternator does fine, I recharge ashore twice a year.
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I prefer more solar, 200+ watts, and not running the engine at all.

One of the many great things about solar is that the batteries tend to sit fully charged when you are away from the boat, whereas with an alternator they sit discharged and are only fully charged for short periods of time when you are on the boat using it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I prefer more solar, 200+ watts, and not running the engine at all.

One of the many great things about solar is that the batteries tend to sit fully charged when you are away from the boat, whereas with an alternator they sit discharged and are only fully charged for short periods of time when you are on the boat using it.
With solar panels you start to feel the battery bank's natural state is fully charged, it just keeps itself charged all the time, if you run the bank down all you have to do is stop using so much electricity and let it recover.

With an alternator it always feels like the battery bank's natural state is fully discharged, and you have to constantly keep charging it up by running the engine, it feels a lot more like a chore, and even when you manage to fully charge the bank you know that it'll be discharged again tomorrow and you'll have to repeat the whole process.

I just find solar panels to be more friendly.
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surly we dont need 200 watts solar just to maintain a bank of 3 batteries charged?
I mean the only thing that needs power is the tiller autopilot and the radio, witch are mostly off and used occasionaly. the navigation lights too.
rgds
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