SailNet Community banner

241 - 260 of 284 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,643 Posts
....“it’s expensive to be poor”.....
Exactly my point. I certainly don't blame anyone for taking advantage, but tax subsidies and national subsidies are underwriting rich people having access to solar. Otherwise, they wouldn't, in most cases. In the grand scheme, it's isn't fair.

I’m tending toward German panels
Me too. Quality stuff, built at higher cost, but more expensive.
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
4,498 Posts
Mike you might want to flip to LiFe or carbon AGms ( firefly). I have 1020 ah in lifelines but when they go probably will go with firefly as I don’t want to reconstruct the rest of my electrical system. It’s the money honey. Even now run the genset to dry the boat out with AC or make water on windless and cloudy days. But otherwise just to “exercise “ it.
Test your current batteries. See how much life they have left. Maybe reasonable to replace everything with firefly and not have more weight or use up more space. If I didn’t have years left on mine think that’s the way I’d go.
Thanks OB. I had to look up Firefly batteries … fascinating stuff. Expensive to buy though, but if they live up to their claims of being able to fully discharge without damage (so doubling normal capacity compared to standard wet cell) AND lasting 3x longer, then the 3x price might be worth it.

Do you know how long they’ve been around? Do they live up to their promises?

Every time I consider new batteries I look at the alternatives to standard wet cell, but every time the cost-benefit has led me back to this tried and trusted old technology. But I’d be happy to move to something else if it’s truly better.
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
4,498 Posts
The wife just gave me the ok on the solar setup but only a 750 dollar budget. The budget is for panels and the controller we already have 8 batteries in our boat. What controller and panels would you all recommend. I was looking at the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 Solar Charge Controller 100V 30A with Bluetooth controller or the Blue Sky SB3000i. For panels I have no idea what to get. Also for liveabord sailors which we will become the April 1, how many watts would be recommended. 200W ,400W? We need to run the refrigerator ,led lights , computers maybe a small tv, cell phones etc. Any advice greatly appreciated.
There’s a few ways to approach the “how much do I need” question with solar. Ideally you should match your charge capacity with your battery bank which should be matched to your usage. But the simpler approach for most sailboats is to just install as much solar as you reasonably can.

Sailboats are terrible platforms for solar. Small space to begin with, and then there’s all that shading to contend with. I’ve got 400 watts installed. I would be hard pressed to find reasonable locations for any more panels.

I have a single Victron 100/30 controller. I like it a lot. The bluetooth link to my iPad makes it very easy to set all the parameters and to monitor the production. But there are other controllers which also get rave reviews. Probably can’t go wrong with any of the big names.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
That’s great. It will definitely be better. I find with my 400 watts there is no problem keeping the batteries fully up (meaning they reach float) as long as the sun shines. I can run for three or four days with mediocre sun, but really only 24 hrs with zero sun or wind. This is why I want to add to my battery bank — to extend my no-sun range.

Our boat is fairly modest: LED lights, instruments, pumps. The biggest hogs are radar (which only gets used a little bit), the fridge and charging all the other little doodads like pads, phones, cameras, computers, etc.
Mike, a much easier solution for you. Initial cost a bit higher, totally DIY with lasting benefits for mind, body and soul. Plus your batteries will love it.

Sail that blue water cruiser south to where it is warm and a place where the sun shines, the water is warmer and de wind blows...easy..:grin
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
11,803 Posts
The wife just gave me the ok on the solar setup but only a 850 dollar budget. The budget is for panels and the controller we already have 8 batteries in our boat. What controller and panels would you all recommend. I was looking at the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 Solar Charge Controller 100V 30A with Bluetooth controller or the Blue Sky SB3000i. For panels I have no idea what to get. Also for liveabord sailors which we will become the April 1, how many watts would be recommended. 200W ,400W? We need to run the refrigerator ,led lights , computers maybe a small tv, cell phones etc. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thank you all!!!!

:pirateraft::pirateraft::pirateraft::pirateraft:
First you need to figure out your usage. NoT hard to do,
Also what type of 8 batteries....Ah?

With that info you can figure out what as t it takes to replenish daily.

For example our electrical diet daily us 78 Amps , 46 refrigeration, 6 pumps, lighting 8 all led ,,,,12 other ( computer ,,,TV ....Etc.

We have 6-6 volt lifeline agms ... Total ah = 240x 3= 720. Usable is 50% or 360 ah.
That means we can go 360/78 = 4+ days without putting anything into the batteries


Figure out what size panels you want to buy and how many volts/ Amps that will produce in 6 hours and add to thE batteries. In our case it has to be 78 Amps.


This is an ultra simplistic way of looking at it though but it will give you as on Ed rough estimates. Batteries must be taken care of, brought back to 100% charge if possible and dedicated/ equalized periodically so they don't suffocate.

This all starts with ft figuring out you daily electrical diet and battery capacity do get to we work and come back with some figures⛵😀
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Outbound: I am puzzled by your comment about your house HVAC ground loop efficiency. Any direct water cooled system will be more efficient than your ground loop. The regulations concerning the installation of the ground loop piping prevent good flow design and effective heat transfer, especially if you are penetrating the groundwater level in order to prevent contamination of the groundwater. Direct water cooling using the water surrounding your boat involves only one stage of heat transfer where a ground loop involves two. Ground loops beat air units in both heating and cooling modes but not direct water. The largest problem I see in heating and cooling a sailboat is the inability to insulate the shell from the outside ambient. Perhaps if the manufacturers sprayed the inside with polyurethane it would help a lot but then you would lose some interior space.
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
4,498 Posts
Mike, a much easier solution for you. Initial cost a bit higher, totally DIY with lasting benefits for mind, body and soul. Plus your batteries will love it.

Sail that blue water cruiser south to where it is warm and a place where the sun shines, the water is warmer and de wind blows...easy..:grin
I like the way you’re thinkin'. Probably will head south — eventually. But I’ve still got some exploring to do up this way. There’s Newfoundland and Labrador, maybe Greenland. The whole maritimes beckons.

And to be honest, I’m not really a warm weather kinda guy. With cold weather you can always put more clothes on. But with warm weather, at some point you can’t take any more off. Besides, the chill in the air and water keeps the tourists away. Never a worry about a crowded anchorage up my way.

You’re welcome to join me up north — there’s plenty of room :Luxury:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,069 Posts
Surface area of heat exchange in marine AC is small. Pump works hard. Run tubing over larger area more time for heat transfer less work for pump less draw. Simple thermodynamics if I understand correctly. Same as in drystack exhaust. Bigger unit more cooling even using the vast ocean as the heat sink. Think same pump at same draw running two systems with one twice as big. Even if flow rate is less in the bigger one it will still allow more heat exchange as both surface area and time in the exchange increases. . Maybe I’m wrong. If so set me

Mike have sever friends who flipped. They have me convinced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Not sure about Canadian panels. A lot of them actually are Chinese panels with some Canadian content. Don't know if that's even true anymore. So, would be pretty hilarious if China were able to avoid the tariff by dumping them into the US via Canadian Solar, for example.
I'm not sure what you think is hilarious about that if it's true because it will only increase the pain for all involved. It's difficult enough for US corporations to go head to head against businesses in countries where labor is much cheaper than in the US, but when foreign governments start subsidizing these companies as well, that's the surest way to ensure that area of production in the US is completely eliminated, along with the associated US jobs. We've had enough of that already. This recent tariff may cost some jobs in the US over the short term, but hopefully it will be effective in sending a message to China that it's to their advantage to be satisfied with their cost of labor advantage over us and we will no longer tolerate China's government subsidizing businesses that result in the elimination of American jobs. If they can find a "work around" by funneling cheap, subsidized panels through Canada, then US job losses will continue and more drastic measures will have to be used for the message to get through to China. That will just mean more pain for all involved. I'm against protectionism and hate to see trade wars, but the way to avoid them is not to just ignore that you're getting beat up. Hopefully this small symbol will succeed in getting the appropriate message through to China.

As a US consumer of solar panels, I can't see this making a huge difference to me. They are SO worthwhile to those of us on sailboats who don't have the option of getting electricity via the grid that even a 50% increase price jump in the cost of the panels themselves, which would only amount to about a 20% jump in the overall cost of adding them to a boat, wouldn't have much effect on the decision making process when considering them. Hopefully, eventually we will have a booming solar panel industry right here in the US!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
You should really do some reading on tariff wars and how nobody seems to win them. You really think this is a one way street? You think they can't simply retaliate and tariff something else from some other vulnerable industry...maybe one where even more jobs can be destroyed?

This is not as simple an issue as the Great Orange Humiliation might try to lead you to think. Treating China as though this is still the 20th century, the US is still on top of manufacturing, and China can be slapped around is some dangerously outmoded and anachronistic thinking. If Agent Orange understood macroeconomics even a little bit, we'd not be playing this stupid game. Watch and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
You should really do some reading on tariff wars and how nobody seems to win them. You really think this is a one way street? You think they can't simply retaliate and tariff something else from some other vulnerable industry...maybe one where even more jobs can be destroyed?

This is not as simple an issue as the Great Orange Humiliation might try to lead you to think. Treating China as though this is still the 20th century, the US is still on top of manufacturing, and China can be slapped around is some dangerously outmoded and anachronistic thinking. If Agent Orange understood macroeconomics even a little bit, we'd not be playing this stupid game. Watch and see what happens.
No, I don't think this is a one way street at all and realize there are no guarantees, but when another country decides to "slap around" a particular industry in the US, what other entity other than our government has the power to take a position to protect them? Are you saying that because China has become a major economic power that the US should simply allow them to use subsidies to destroy any US industry they choose to and our government should just stand by and watch that happen? If so, I disagree.

This is very far from "slapping around" China and is more like a gentle reminder on a very small scale that they need to play fair and won't be allowed to target particular US industries and expect no consequences. Since you apparently disagree with this action, what would you do to give solar panel industry workers in the US a fair chance at keeping their jobs? I see only 2 obvious choices, adding the recent tariffs, or using US taxpayers money to match the Chinese subsidies to prop up US corporations. Ideally, neither course should be necessary but I think the tariffs are the lesser of the two evils.

Whatever the outcome of all this, I still don't see what you find to be "hilarious" about the Chinese finding a way to continue using government subsidies to their industries to destroy American jobs and an American industry.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Just as a note. The vast majority of our guests are Europeans and today I looked up the Euro/dollar exchange rate, to update our consumables' pricing. In the one year this administration has been in power the dollar has fallen 23 cents! Even the Canadian dollar is gaining ground against the US dollar. I can't see how American industry can survive if this trend continues. Nor can I see how any tariffs will be advantageous to us.
In the 50's and 60's US shipping was the largest ocean shipper on the planet, by far. In 1966 I was a first year electrician aboard a 600 foot ship, making $5600.00 base pay, with all kinds of perks, including overtime and penalty pay, with an average gross pay of over $12,000.00. I met a British licensed master on a freighter in Manila, who was shipping as mate because there were no openings in his company for masters at that time. He had over 15 years at sea and was earning 2300.00 pounds, with no perks or overtime.
Today there are so few American flagged vessels in the commercial trade that the only ones I see are Tropical vessels, in the Caribbean trade. No cruise ships, either, when we used to have a goodly number of American flagged passenger liners crossing the Atlantic, monthly.
If we can't look back and see that Americans have a history of pricing themselves out of international trade, then we are doomed to repeat those mistakes and will soon be an isolated, impoverished nation. Check out "economy America isolated" if you wish.
This nation cannot survive economically on what it consumes. Our standard of living will deteriorate to 3rd world status very quickly if we continue on this course.
All this has been tried before and failed, not just in the US, but in many modern, industrialized nations. Do you really think anyone in this administration is smarter than all those who are building trade agreements and unions around the world? Even the Eastern Caribbean nations (which I have recently seen referred to as "primitive" on this very site) can see the value of a union between themselves. Why can't Americans see that no nation can survive in isolation, today?
I'm sorry guys, but the promised prosperity that this administration is forecasting will never come to pass if the American dollar drops by nearly 25 cents per year against the strongest currency on the planet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,726 Posts
I was responding to the statement that a weak dollar was bad for US industry, and assumed that meant manufacturing and other export-related goods. Yes, imports are more expensive with a weak dollar, and that would be bad for non-manufacturing industries like retail goods (Walmart), etc.

Good for tourism, though. And Hunter sailboats, Mantus Anchors, and M15 rifles...

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
Yes, but bad for imports. Isn’t the USA a net importer of stuff?
The current regime has delusions of reversing that situation.

Personally I think it's time to acknowledge the U.S. is the first developed nation well on its way to reverting to third-world status.

Those of its citizens not in the top few income/wealth percentages will have an average standard of living well below that of more rational and civilized societies.

Only fair historically, and about time. . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,384 Posts
241 - 260 of 284 Posts
Top