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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Are portable generators safe?
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Thread: Are portable generators safe? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-17-2013 05:27 AM
sstuller
Re: Are portable generators safe?

An interesting article about gen sets and AGM's can be found on the Electric Boats site in Yahoo Groups (message #23054) where the owner of a Hylas 44 went with the genset - AGM combination. I gave the message number because the link may not work on Sailnet but it works on Electric Boats. Thanks. Steve S.

http://www.c-e-marineamericas.com/re...%20to%20Elect\
ric%20Propulsion.pdf
02-12-2013 03:26 PM
Omatako
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
We had, (and have again), a fully electric boat.

B&G auto helm (used 12 amps whenever she flexed her muscle)
FrigoBoat refrig
FrigoBoat freezer
Marine Labs Water Maker (SERIOUS POWER DRAINER)
Splendide Washer / dryer powered through a 5000 watt inverter
Numerous pumps
Hot water tank
computers
(2) 18,000 BTU A/C systems
radar
lights
(2) TVs
etc.....
Geez I thought I had the comforts of home aboard - by this standard my boat is bordering on primitive. Although I also have fridge, freezer, watermaker, and all the other fundamentals on the boat but I get away with 6 T105's in the main bank and just one start battery with a separate windlass battery. My daily consumption living on the hook is about 220Ah per 24 hours

I charge with 280w of solar array, a small windgen and a 180A big frame alt and the standard 90A alt on the donk.

But 2400Ah capacity? Wow. I'd have to lift my waterline.

Surely the new boat (if I understand correctly you're busy kitting out a new boat?) will have more electrically efficient gear on board. Watermakers and autopilots of today use just a fraction of the gear described above.
02-12-2013 05:04 AM
sstuller
Re: Are portable generators safe?

The Blue Sky MPPT website says that you need a minimum of 3.5 amps of panel output per 100 AH of battery capacity to avoid sulfation. The Noco Genius Chargers minimum output for recharging a 100 ah battery is essentially the same. So it seems to be a reasonable number. Given that then you can easily figure out what size battery bank your panels can support. More output would shorten your charging time but at least you have a floor on panel size re your battery bank size. Thanks. Steve S.
02-11-2013 06:24 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
We had, (and have again), a fully electric boat.

B&G auto helm (used 12 amps whenever she flexed her muscle)
FrigoBoat refrig
FrigoBoat freezer
Marine Labs Water Maker (SERIOUS POWER DRAINER)
Splendide Washer / dryer powered through a 5000 watt inverter
Numerous pumps
Hot water tank
computers
(2) 18,000 BTU A/C systems
radar
lights
(2) TVs
etc.....
Doug,

You are a prime candidate for LiFePO4 batteries.. Head over to Cambridge and investigate Genasun...
02-11-2013 05:51 PM
chucklesR
Re: Are portable generators safe?

I'd suggest you seriously study up on the chart MS posted and consider it while you are building out your next boat.
I hear ya on the simultaneous charge and drain, but the P effect is real.
The Honda on the Irwin is for running the cruisair, topping off the windlass battery (normally echo charged), emergency charging and (like I said) anything over 1kw that I need to run short term.

I suspect most cruisers are in the same range I'm in, 500-800ah on a single bank, maybe with a starter and windlass battery separate.

I can see a watermaker in my future, but it will be a 8 amp 6 gallon a hour type - and I'll run it at the top of the day when I have 'excess' power to bleed from my solar.
02-11-2013 05:38 PM
DougSabbag
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Yeah Doug, that's a tad out of the range of a portable generator

I don't have a daily draw on my Irwin yet (too new to me). On my Gemini we managed to just barely fall short with a single 80w and 210ah of AGM's, making 35-40 and using 45-50 a day.
My goal was three days of hang time, then motoring out of the anchorage, into the next caught me up to 100%. It worked.
Well, on that boat, I also had a 2000 watt Honda. Which was good to charge the Perkins engine battery if all else failed.
We also had a high output alternator - 165 amps, (I think), besides the regular 90 amp engine battery alternator.

But, until I added the second battery bank, (I raised the floor of the crews quarters cabin ) we were dying in the 3rd day.

After that second bank, we were never running low.... well, when we were, I just switched the banks!
I loved that!
02-11-2013 05:31 PM
chucklesR
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Yeah Doug, that's a tad out of the range of a portable generator

I don't have a daily draw on my Irwin yet (too new to me). On my Gemini we managed to just barely fall short with a single 80w and 210ah of AGM's, making 35-40 and using 45-50 a day.
My goal was three days of hang time, then motoring out of the anchorage, into the next caught me up to 100%. It worked.
02-11-2013 05:25 PM
DougSabbag
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Oh, and we would last 3 days until I needed to do something about it.

UNTIL I added the second bank! Then we never had to start anything.
02-11-2013 05:22 PM
DougSabbag
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Doug,

If you had a 1200ah bank draining to the point where you had to start an engine to charge it in less than a day I have to wonder what kind of washer/dryer electric stove and air conditioner you were running.
That you had two banks that size leaves me speechless. The weight alone (24 type 31's, or 8d's), just wow.

Obviously you would have to have a inboard diesel to charge that 1200ah , the 25% it's going to WANT at bulk charge would be 300 amps. Not your typical alternator set up.
You did / do know that batteries need to have that 25% of capacity for bulk rate charge right?
Unless you are waving a couple hundred square feet of solar you can't be meeting the need of that sized bank.

No way you are doing that on solar that fits on a boat

We're talking a couple hundred ah of batteries and portable generators, not 9kw Northern Lights that can throw out a couple hundred amps.

Like I said, my 300w makes 9ah, more than I'm using even when sailing and running my instruments and autopilot.
We had, (and have again), a fully electric boat.

B&G auto helm (used 12 amps whenever she flexed her muscle)
FrigoBoat refrig
FrigoBoat freezer
Marine Labs Water Maker (SERIOUS POWER DRAINER)
Splendide Washer / dryer powered through a 5000 watt inverter
Numerous pumps
Hot water tank
computers
(2) 18,000 BTU A/C systems
radar
lights
(2) TVs
etc.....
02-11-2013 05:18 PM
DougSabbag
Re: Are portable generators safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
AGM's need to be topped off at least monthly. Not doing so will kill them quick.

How big was your solar array?
We had (4) 215 watt Evergreens.
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