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  #21  
Old 04-15-2013
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

I had a D400 on my last boat along with the FP 5000 and the D400 was a great wind generator - it covered my main electrical drain - the fridge & freezer and when sailing upwind it would charge the batteries plus run the autopilot, occasionally I could feel the 2 resistance sinks get warm because it was producing too much power.

Back to gensets - I run mine about 1 to 1 1/2 hours every second day now that I've turned off my freezer. When I fire the generator up I turn on the watermaker and then I wait until the bulk battery load is finished (I'm putting in 100 amps @ 24V in bulk) before turning on the hot water heater; all my electrical battery powered devices are charging up as well. I also turn on the freezer for the genset run time, that brings the temperature of all the water and liquids in the freezer down to fridge levels.
Every two weeks or so I will run the genset much longer to get the batteries back up to 100%, I'll also run the washing machine and dishwasher during this period to keep the genset under some sort of load during the lengthy float charge period. I am thinking of getting a D400 again in order to save on this genset runtime on light loads (but I can't figure out where to put the pole so haven't done that yet).
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  #22  
Old 04-15-2013
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

We're going to be coastal this year then headed to eastern carib. Great advice all and thank you. Will hold off for a year. Hopefully, better products ( quite/efficient) to come.
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Old 04-15-2013
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

Small loads? I would also suggest the battery bank should be able to carry those. You probably need to look at the complete power system so see what is "reasonable" versus perhaps what was done wrong, or done cheap when the boat was put up for sale.

In a perfect world, you have the genset, use it. Maintain it, use it up, whatever, but if you are using the main engine instead of the genset--then the genset shouldn't be there. If you actually can price out the long-term maintenance on the main engine, including little problems like carbon in the exhaust elbow caused by extensive running at low rpms, the genset damn well ought to come out cheaper, including whatever maintenance it might need. If it doesn't...trash it.

But a coffee pot, a hairdryer...these things should all be insignificant loads to the battery bank, on a boat that's big enough to be carrying a genset as well.

Is there a power monitor on the boat, to show you total watt-hours in and out of the battery bank? That might be a good place to start.
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

Phillipi- as battery (1000a house and separate engine) and tanks ( 4 diesel/2 water/two holding) monitor
balmar 100amp w max guard regulator
both D400s and both banks of solar independent controllers then monitored output by Phillipi
Vitron multiplus 3000 invertor

Have room for another 2-3 batteries but holding off as neither wife/me energy hogs.
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Last edited by outbound; 04-15-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

Phillipi makes good equipment! I didn't know that they made a battery monitor; does it show the Amp-Hours removed since last charge?
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

boats done. went in the water today for final checks. Goes on the ship thursday. Once it gets here send you pictures/particulars if I can figure out how to upload. (I T challenged)
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Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

This has been chock full of goodness! Thank you for the replies.

I do indeed plan on outfitting solar panels at some point down the road. I REALLY liked the way they worked, normally enough to power the fridge and keep the house batteries in good shape. The only time they did not keep up was when the prettier of the two of us left the inverter on, they have a pretty high parasitic load.

The decision on how to proceed is very cut-and-dried now.

And Zanshin...please do not bring up that you have a washer and dryer on the boat if we ever meet. My wife gets all wobbly kneed when she sees those
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Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
So my initial decision to spend the money on the D400s, panels and controllers may have not been so bad. The usage addition suggests they are sufficient to run the autopilot, electroinics ( including computer and SSB) frig, incendentials ( lights etc.) and still have a bit left over to charge the bank. I figured to run the genrator only when running AC or watermaker. Thought was to actively generate what was lost. ?In that setting was thnking of ~4kw genset. ?suggestions.
You will find that you run the generator more than you think, I suspect. This is especially true in south Florida where it is hot. 4kw is pretty low IMHO. I have owned two different generators, and going back, would not get anything smaller than 5kw. The Farryman on the Tayana is 5kw. This allows mom and dad to run the air conditioner, freezer (its a cold plate), and water heater. Anything beyond that starts really putting too heavy of a load on it.

Also, the best thing you can do for a generator is run it, the worst thing is let it set. I used to hardly run my generator at all, and it always seemed to be causing problems to the point I couldn't trust it. Since I started using it more regularly, it has been without problems.

1000 ah of batteries is a LOT of AH. Instead of that large of a battery bank (mine is 840), if I could go back, I would have spent more money upfront on more solar panels and less on batteries. Plus the cabelling for those batteries is a PITA to put in (nothing less than 0000, and probably 250 or 350). The truth is that most of your power loss will be during the day when it is hot (fridge) and you are running toasters or hair dryers or microwaves. Most of the night you will be asleep, and lights are no longer a major draw (assuming you are all LED). THe TV can be a draw at night, but realistically, you are looking at a few amps. So once you make it through the night, come daytime, you are back to making power and likely exceeding your needs with solar.

We have found the real killer for power was not air conditioning though. A nice breeze and good covers keeps the boat surprising cool (as a general rule, there are many exceptions). THe killer for us is hot water. The hot water heater draws 13 amps (110v), or 130+ inverted. I do not have a hot water dump for my solar. Going back, I would have put that in too. But it gives us an opportunity to run the generator or main while at hook. We often will run the main to heat the hot water on the boat. It seems to do it faster, though we sometimes will use the generator is the load on it is very small (like on the back end of charging the batts).

My experiences.

Brian
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  #29  
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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
boats done. went in the water today for final checks. Goes on the ship thursday. Once it gets here send you pictures/particulars if I can figure out how to upload. (I T challenged)
Congrats! Cant wait to see it. Are you shipping it down here (Florida)?

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Re: Gen-set vs. engine

No Norfolk Va on May 23. Then stick goes in and a few details. If weather permits Admiral and I leave from there ~May 29 to head up to R.I.
Misspoke about Phillipi. Have separate panel monitoring all electrical in and out.
Appreciate your kind wishes. First time I ever had a new boat. In past would spend years and tears getting a boat just right. Usually in time to sell it. This time the boat goes as part of my Viking funeral. (GRIN).
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