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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.
As I said, you can pull off some switches if you want. THe microwave draws nothing unless it is on. Also, the Xantrex 2.0 has a manual on/off to control the inverter so that it does not always have to be on.

The thing that will drain you batt is hair dryers, coffee pots, microwave (somewhat... when in use), space heaters, and water heater. The water heater, should you forget to turn it off when not plugged in, is the kiss of death. Hair dryers, coffee pots, etc pull around 80ish-100 ah but they are very short cycled.

Remember, without a inverter - no coffee without brewing. No hair drying. No microwave. WIth us (and kids) that was too much to give up.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Good perspective CD. I do want to make life easy for my family.

The water heater should be covered. It's the dump load or it's shore power. If the switch fails there ought to be no harm done.

I'm wondering why there isn't an inexpensive MMPT with dump load. (Other than the fact that it has the word "marine" in the product description.) Still noodling that one.

By the way, I appreciate all the great input. Finding all this out on Google would be exhausting.
 

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Good perspective CD. I do want to make life easy for my family.

The water heater should be covered. It's the dump load or it's shore power. If the switch fails there ought to be no harm done.

I'm wondering why there isn't an inexpensive MMPT with dump load. (Other than the fact that it has the word "marine" in the product description.) Still noodling that one.

By the way, I appreciate all the great input. Finidng all this out on Google would be exhausting.
Seperate the systems. Seriously. Redundancy is safety.

Have you already installed your windgen? If so, I bet it will interfere with the solar. Look at these pics:





There is nowhere to put the wind gen without interference. I can produce more than I need on my current setup - or close to. However, I live and will cruise primarily in the warm and sunny parts of the world. In the Neast, it has been explained to me that the sunny days are less frequent. If that is the case, I can see the use for the wind gen. Howsever, most people I know have been dissapointed with them. On the flip side, I have heard that 4wind is probably the best unit out.

Regarding the dump... I am telling you not to put too much into that. Once you and your fam are on it, you won't be dumping anything. Simply won't happen. While on the ball and not being used, you wil not need the hot water heater anyways.

If you and your wife are not pretty conscientious about turning on/off switches, I would not put the hot water heater in the circut. Especially with only 2-4d's, you will suck that thing below 50% in an hour to 1.5 hours. I am giving you real world experience. As such, all it takes is one "oops" and you will come back to dead batts. Put some thought into that.

You can install, all said and done, a inverter for about 1500-1700. Talk to sailnet about a great deal. I think they will help. Go to Cobra Wire for your lugs and wiring. I can walk you through a bunch of this if you want.

I would then spend some money on two more batteries. I would buy an optima and another 4-d gell/agm. I would put the optima on a totally seperate, independent charger (cheap one like the Xantrex 10amp) and the other in parallel with my house. I would wire the house onto batt1 switch on my boat. I would then put in the optima and wire it into batt 2 switch. I would always leave the boat on batt 1 unless there was an emergency. I would put the 10amp charger ON THE INVERTER panel so that when you are off shore, your inverter can run the 10amp. Being that it is a fancy agm, it has almost no discharge which means almost no load off of the 10amp charger. Should the house go dead, you can simply switch over to BOTH and start your engine. Should the starter battery go dead, the same thing. It is a very inexpensive redundancy system.

I will tell you that the ONLY time in 15 years or so of sailing that I have lost a bank was when my charger got stuck on bulk and cooked my batts. I have found that happens more than you know. This system will give you the safety to get home should that happen.

Does all of that make sense? That is how my boat is wired.

Brian
 

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You guys have me confused. Do you have 12v water heaters ? If not how can you dump 12v into a 120v circuit ? The other Dumps mentioned to a 12v Refer makes sense but the water heater...... :confused:
You can invert it. Your inverter ties into your main 110 bank (unless modified to pull some switches out). As such, the boat basically thinks it is plugged into dock power. If your hot water heater is on, and you have a large enough battery, you will invert for it.

Most of the dumps I have seen go into a cooling plate system (I am not sure the name). It looks like the cooling grid off of some elctronics, etc. Basically, it is dumping the electricity on the plate, which produces heat, which is removed via a cooling fan or just plain air.

Did that make sense?

Brian
 

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You can invert it. Your inverter ties into your main 110 bank (unless modified to pull some switches out). As such, the boat basically thinks it is plugged into dock power. If your hot water heater is on, and you have a large enough battery, you will invert for it.

Yes, I'm aware of all that. I have a Generator and Inverter and a switch to select which source - Shore or Boat that all the 120v outlets and devices such as the Hot Water Heater and AC run off of. So it sounds like when you or someone else speaks of 'Dumping the excess' into the Hot Water Heater it's just a 'figure of speech' for Dumping it into the battery bank with the inverter on and Hot Water Heater on..... :confused: yes.....:confused:

Most of the dumps I have seen go into a cooling plate system (I am not sure the name). It looks like the cooling grid off of some elctronics, etc. Basically, it is dumping the electricity on the plate, which produces heat, which is removed via a cooling fan or just plain air.Did that make sense? Brian
Yes ..... That Does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
An inverter is not required with a 12v heating element.

Since we will be on the hook most of the time, I'm planning to eventually put in a 12v heating element, to replace the current 120v heating element. They do exist. the one I saw is 600W. I'll find a link if anyone wants it.

This will be for dump load only, which we might not see much of. At least when we get back to the boat, there might be hot water.
 

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Incidentally, when discussing hot water, I have found that by far the quickest way to heat water is via running the engine. The electrical method seems to be a high energy, long result method. Given that, since you have to run the main every once in a while anyways, it seems a good effort to make sure you have a well insulated hot water heater and when you want a hot bath, sniff some diesel.

Brian
 

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I'm planning to eventually put in a 12v heating element, to replace the current 120v heating element.
Thank you. I'm sorry for being such a nit-picker but when I see Apples and Oranges or 12v and 120v used in the same sentence as if they were interchangeable (whether it's verbatim or not and not necessarily by either of you) I need clarification....... and now I see ....... After.... you replace your heater element you will actually be dumping the excess into your hot water heater.
Sometime in the next few years I'll be adding Solar and Wind so that's why I'm so nosy :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
No problem Christy.

By the way all, I read that fans don't run well as a diversion load. Something about the waveform. (Ok I could be more specific, but have other things to do just now than to look up the threee letter acronym.)

Of course, it's probably nothing a big honking capacitor couldn't fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
PWM -- Pulse Width Modulation.

Someone mentioned somewhere that PWM also interferes with ham radio reception. (That I believe, unless you put some capacitors in the right place.)

The Tristar has a switch on it to do PWM or "on-off" battery charging. See the datasheet here.

That probably fixes it. I didn't buy the Tristar, I have the Xantrex C60 on the way, but I'm still looking for a MPPT that handles a dump load -- sounds like an opportunity to capture the "wind and solar both" (a.k.a. "belt and suspenders") market.
 
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