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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking all over Sailnet and searching the web, and could use some input form the experts/experienced people here.

I'm setting up my fourwinds wind generator and plan to add solar eventually. The boat will be unattended for days at a time, so the wind gen will need a dump load. (No one there to tie the tail off the wind or throw a stop switch.)

Ideally, the system would have these features:

Accept power from
1) wind generator (fourwinds II)
2) Solar panels (maybe 500 watts eventually)
3) 2 x Engine Alternators (currently a separate one for starting, why not somehow put it to use when running the engine for charging?) I think means something that boosts to overcome internal resistanc eof the batteries.
4) Ideally shore power, although I have a 3-stage shore power charger in place already.

Battery Charging
1) House bank of 2x4D (eventually 4x4D) -- gel batteries
2) Engine starting battery -- wet cell
3) Temperature sensor to keep batteries happy

Inverter for 110v
1) 2500 or 3000 watts
2) remote on/off
3) Automatic switching from battery to shore power.
4) Ideally a way to separate off non-essential 110v if the shore cable comes unplugged. For instance, so the A/C doesn't drain the house batteries to zero when I'm away. (Not that I have A/C. It's an example.)

More
1) Handle dump load to water heater (2 cascading dump loads if possible)
2) Eventually measure and display amphours in/out/remaining in house bank

Anyone have any ideas if there is a single device that does most of this, or maybe a collection of devices that would do most of this?

Regards
 

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There is no single device to take care of all of this. If you are in the market for a charger/alternator the new Victron series are quite smart and do supply 2 distinct AC channels which can be set to shut down with different criteria. Xantrex Link monitors will show you consumption and capacity (I recently installed an old Link 10 and am very happy with it).
The hot water heat sink will require special consideration, I don't know of any off-the-shelf system for that.
 

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Telstar 28
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He'd only need the link 20, not the 2000, which is designed to control a Freedom series inverter IIRC.
One size almost never fits all.
This
Xantrex C60 PWM Solar Charge Diversion Load Controller - eBay (item 390026713187 end time Feb-24-09 12:07:10 PST)
Handles the wind and solar
Then add a monitor - pick your favorite depending on how many banks you run. The Xantrex XBM I use is capable of being rigged so that it will monitor two if you wire the down rocker to your start battery; saves a lot of money over the link 2000.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. That's what I'm now planning to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, so after an afternoon with PowerPoint, dinner and then more PowerPoint, here's the design I'm thinking about. Green is for things I have already. Blue is for what I have to buy. Dotted lines are choices to make. Not sure where to route the House Bank alternator.



Any thoughts?
 

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Throw in a ACR (automatic combiner) between the house and starter, dump one of the 60 amp alt's and go with the biggest one your engine can handle.

Bottom line is the alternator's should be backup's anyway, the wind and solar should cover any reasonable use.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does the ACR go in like this?

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nevermind. Google covered it.

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Telstar 28
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Use an Echo Charger instead of an ACR... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank SD. I'll google Echo Charger and see what that's all about.

I'm off to the boat shorty. I'm looking to measure the current solar panel between the davits to see what maximum size I could easily put there.

Oh and I bought a Xantrex C60. Thanks Chuckles!
 

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He'd only need the link 20, not the 2000, which is designed to control a Freedom series inverter IIRC.
SD, I'm planning to hold off on the monitoring side of things this year. I have other $$ priorities like the keel which is showing lots of rust. Would I be remiss in not having the monitoring this year? I figure that I can watch the volts to see if there is a tendency toward undercharging. Even if it isn't completely accurate due chargining and drain within 8 hours, there will be some rudementary precision (repeatability) that I can use to see a trend.
 

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The only problem with using a voltmeter to judge depth of discharge is that the batteries have to be left without a load or charge on them for a few hours to see the true voltage level. Measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte on wet cell batteries is far more accurate, but messier. :)
 

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After buying the Xantrex C60, I see that it doesn't do MPPT. Darn.

Anyone know if there is something similar on the market that does MPPT?

From Adrift at Sea » Solar Power on Boats:
An example*: Normally a 25 Watt panel will be outputting 1.39 amps at 18 volts. 18 volts is too high for the batteries to charge with, since bulk charging requires only 14.4 volts. With a normal three-stage controller, the excess voltage is shed as heat—that’s why the charge controllers heat up so much. 18-14.4=3.6 volts—3.6 volts * 1.39 amp = 5 watts. So you’re losing about 5 watts out of 25 watts to heat.

With a MPPT-type controller, it uses a high-frequency DC-to-DC converter to drop the voltage down to 14.4 volts, but increases the amperage to 1.74 amps at the same time. So, instead of getting 6.95 amp-hours from the panel for the day, assuming about five hours of full output, you get 8.70 amp-hours, or a 25% effective increase in amp-hours to the batteries. This makes a lot of sense, since you’re basically recovering the 5 watts that was being lost to heating the three-stage, non-MPPT, charge controller.
 

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electricity upgrade.

Hello,

I am in the process this month of upgrading the Beneteau electrical system.

After extensive search I chose Mastervolt. But Victron seems very good also.

- change for a externaly regulated 90A alternator
- AGM Slimline Batteries (small footprint big capacity)
- Masterbus battery controller and monitor
- Mass Combi 100/2500W charger inverter (it is compact for two applications)

We also installed a Dessalator watermaker and a stainless steel arch for davits and when needed solar pannels.

I have an Oceanis 43 (2007) , I think the 49 is very similar in conception.

The idea is to try not having to install a generator.

Are you satisfied with the eno microwave that usually comes with US beneteau's ?

denis foster
s/y HIBERNIA
 

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The Outback FlexMax 60/80 have a diversion relay option.
After buying the Xantrex C60, I see that it doesn't do MPPT. Darn.

Anyone know if there is something similar on the market that does MPPT?

From Adrift at Sea » Solar Power on Boats:
 

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bene
I saw in your diag that you plan on an automatic switch for the shorepower/inverter. You sure you want to do that? if the shore power goes out you will automaticly switch even if you don't know or aren't there. and then your batteries could get drained and possibly damages if drained too far. Plus it's another fancy device that could fail more easily than a simple switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
bene
I saw in your diag that you plan on an automatic switch for the shorepower/inverter. You sure you want to do that? if the shore power goes out you will automaticly switch even if you don't know or aren't there. and then your batteries could get drained and possibly damages if drained too far. Plus it's another fancy device that could fail more easily than a simple switch.
Good point Xort. I'm thinking things like the microwave could be plugged in to an always-on outlet. You've got me rethinking this a bit.

By the way, in showing the diagram to my wife, she said "I don't need a microwave." That changes a few things, like I can now use the 1000watt inverter that I already have. (Those big ones are expensive.) And I could take the microwave down - it blocks the view.
 

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I will try and help here as I can.

For Inv/Chg (a seperate, independent, system)

For the inverter/charger, I chose the Xantrex Prosine 2.0. I have heard that Outback may make a better unit, but its size is awkward. THe 2.0 is quite reliable. It will do everything you want, including automatic switching. I think you may be able to set the voltage on it so auto shut off inverter at a certain voltage, but not certain. It is very, very good stuff. As far as having curcuts not controlled by the inverter, that is done by your wiring at the panel. Just have some seperated from it. For example, we do not have our air conditioning as part of it. Many people intentionally take their hot water heater off of it. I did not. I left mine in as I have a large bank and if there was a time I wanted to pull some off the batts on a high solar day, I could. But I elected to keep this process manual.

For Solar (A seperate, independent system)

For the panels, I chose an Outback MX60. It is MPPT. The reality is that even if you have an array that is my size (4-130 W panels) you are only looking at dumping about 100-150 ah MAX at 12v, so I do not think that is going to do much for your hot water heater as it can pull about 12-15 amps (110v) which probably calculates to about 120 ah or more at 12v... and this is per hour. The outback kicks on an internal fan to dunp everything else off as heat. Honestly, I would not make it too complicated. I have heard that you can also put your wind gen on the MX60. However, they put out small amps at long intervals versus the solar that is just the opposite.

Others can give you advice on the wind. My knowledge on it is limited since I intentionally decided not to incorporate it. The reason I did not incorporate it is that there was no place on my boat to put the wind gen that it would dissrupt my solar. I imagine you would have the same problem. Remember, even small amounts of shading will shut down the solar or really diminish it. But correct me if I am wrong, but don't most of the good wind gens have internal regulators? Panels do not and for reasons listed above, should go through a controller. I guess I thought you could direct wire a good wind gen, but you should read your instructions.

Engine Alternator(s)

You will need to use your own regulator on that. If you have Balmar, which many have, it is independent.


I will say that I am no fan of one thing does all. It seems cheaper, and it may be, but it also creates a one-stop failure. WHen you have multiple, autonomous systems, the chances of a total system failure almost fall to zero. I say buy good stuff that is specific for your use, and keep them completely indepenedent from the rest of the systems. Safety is in redundancy.

My opinions.

Brian
 

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Good point Xort. I'm thinking things like the microwave could be plugged in to an always-on outlet. You've got me rethinking this a bit.

By the way, in showing the diagram to my wife, she said "I don't need a microwave." That changes a few things, like I can now use the 1000watt inverter that I already have. (Those big ones are expensive.) And I could take the microwave down - it blocks the view.
I dissagree.

THe microwave is awesome. I have been told that it is one of the cheapest ways (energy wise) to heat food. If I was going to invest in anything, it would be a large inverter first. You will be glad you did afterwards. Having a microwave and the ability to use it on the hook is a HUGE, HUGE plus.

Brian
 
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