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Pete37
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Posted: December 30 2011 at 20:24 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allen & All,

Finally made contact with the owner of that Farymann Diesel Generator.  Will try to get to see it next week.  In the meantime I found a Utube presentation on a Farymann diesel in operation.  Look it up as "Master of the Diesel."  Rather entertaining.  Hope most Farymanns don't smoke much as the one on Utube.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: December 31 2011 at 11:35 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Maximum Safe Battery Charging Rate

I was collecting some data on batteries from the web and storing it for later use on my computer.  I found one statement which said:

"Most flooded batteries should be charged at no more than the "C/8" rate for any sustained period. "C/8" is the battery capacity at the 20-hour rate divided by 8."

Since most of our Connies have house battery banks of about 500 AH, that blows a hole in any ideas of using inverter/chargers with 100 amp maximum charge rate at their maximum charge rate.  The maximum safe rate would be 500/8 = 62.5 amps.  Some specially made batteries will take a C/5 rate (100 amps). 

Interestingly the charger installed in most of the Connies is a 60 amp charger.  Perhaps that's to prevent any accidental overcharging.

Deep discharge batteries may be able to take a faster rate but I don't have any verification of that at the moment.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 31 2011 at 11:38


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scottflys2
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Posted: December 31 2011 at 12:02 | IP Logged Quote scottflys2

Hi Allen thanks for info I've been down for a month with kidney stones
uck but back aboard Gemba now. I think my system had an inverter
and it was removed sometime. Y'all have a Happy New Year Scott

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Fantasy
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Posted: December 31 2011 at 14:42 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

What I understand is that the slower you discharge a deep cycle battery and the slower you re-charge it, the longer the battery's life.  That's one reason a larger battery bank is better than a smaller one. However, the primary reason for slow charging is so the battery does not heat up and gas too much.  Many of the 3 stage chargers control that with a temperature monitor on the battery post, as well as a programmed charge controller.

Just like anything else, there's what's "best" and then what kind of compromise is acceptable to get better utility.  C/8 is easy for a solar system on a house but in marine applications C/4 seems more common.  I doubt it puts a major dent in battery longevity but probably does hurt some.

John

PS  I've read that AGM's can be charged at several times their capacity



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Pete37
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Posted: December 31 2011 at 16:06 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Low Priced Off-Shore Power

Suppose that all this talk of $5000 auxiliary generators and $3500 Battery/Inverter/Charger (BIC) systems turns you off.  You are saying to yourself ďIíd like to have AC power when anchored out but Iíll be damned if Iíll pay that much!Ē  Thatís sort of the position Iím in now.  Letís consider the problem on a low cost basis.  What can you get at a low price?

The lowest price thing Iíve seen is the AIMS 3000 Watt Inverter/Charger from TopSales at $449.

www.topsalesdepot.com

It has a 30 amp charger but I doubt that a 30 amp charger is of any significant value.

If you want more charging capability, the next step up in the 3000 watt AC output range would probably be the Magnum 3000 SW with 100 amp charging capability available from West Marine for $1719.  At that price range there are several inverter/chargers with similar capabilities.  Prices from West Marine seem to be about the same as for most other venders.  These are probably price fixed by the manufacturer but you may be able to get it cheaper by shopping around.

The AIMS 3000 would give you plenty of AC power for anchoring out but the 30 amp battery recharging capability is inadequate.  You would have to depend on the Connieís genny and 60 amp battery charger but at 60 amps the battery recharge time would probably be about 1.5 hours (90 minutes).  However, for cruising, where the battery recharging is done by the alternators, the AIMS 3000 would be ideal.

Pete37



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: December 31 2011 at 16:49 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

Several months back, you had a post about the main 12V fuses and a new panel you created... My windlass fuses are blown due to a shorted (closed) switch that  caused the windlass to pull (stall) against the chain stopper.  They are Buss 7467 fuses (2) of unknown amperage - the body of the fuse states"see cap for symbol and amperage" - as you might guess. I cannot find any marks...

Can you aim me to your original posts on these fuses and the new panel you made?  THX and Happy New Year!

Jim



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Pete37
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Posted: January 01 2012 at 11:52 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Blown Windlass Fuses

First, Happy New Year.

Now about the windlass fuses.  I did a search for Buss Type 7467 fuses on the Buss web site but didnít get any hits.  Are you sure you have the right number?  The windlass (mine is a 1986 Maxwell Nilsson VWC 1000) is fused in two different places and I have reworked the fuse panels in both places.  The first place itís fused is at the Shipís Service Fuse Panel (SSFP) which is located on the starboard side of the aft engine room bulkhead.  The second place is at the Anchor Windlass Control Panel (AWCP) located in the chain locker in the bow (directly under the windlass).  I use a 50 amp ANL fuse on the SSFP and a 50 amp Blue Sea Surface Mount Thermal Circuit Breaker (Series 285, #7183) at the AWCP.  The old original equipment fuses located on the SSFP were Buss HBO style fuses mounted on three black plastic fuse blocks.  The HBO fuses were expensive and hard to find.  I never did find a replacement source for the fuse blocks.  So a couple years ago I replaced the whole mess.  The Engine Room Electrical Panel (EREP) is shown below:

The SSFP is actually just part of the EREP.  It consists of the three large fuses on the lower right hand corner plus the three smaller red blocks which are branch circuits for the heads. That black object on the upper right side of the EREP is one of the original SSFP fuse panels (since removed).

When I bought my Connie, back in 1994, the windlass controls were in shambles and the windlass was inoperable.  So I rebuilt the windlass controls and installed them in a new AWCP built on a plywood panel bonded to the starboard side of the hull in the chain locker.  While the windlass has been reworked several times, the AWCP has worked flawlessly for the past 18 years.  The AWCP is shown below:

Anyway, before we get started please let me know which location we are talking about.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 01 2012 at 12:26


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: January 01 2012 at 17:10 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

Thanks for the update.  I am sure the Buss number 7467 is accurate, by looking at the fuse...  On my 1985 Connie, I have two black plastic panels (appears to be itentical to the black panel left of the red battery switch in your pix), but these are located on the forward port side bulkhead of the engine room near the batt charger.

My Ideal windlass does not have any second control unit as your Maxwell does.  On the ceiling of the anchor chain locker are two solenoids that are controlled by the footswitches and a FB switch in parallel to the foot switches.  There are no other fuses in the anchor chain locker.

I have been holding onto a Buss ANL fuse block with a 100Amp fuse for a number of years... I wired it in place of the blown fuses this morning which restored the windlass to operation. The Ideal website calls for a 200Amp fuse, which I'll pick up this week.

Like you, I am not excited about the general unavailabity  HBO fuses and the plastic (cheap) fuse block.  As soon as the christmas bills are settled, I am planning on replacing all these fuses (four others).  All I need is a resource to ascertain the correct amperages to use... 

Again, thanks.  If anyone knows of a source for confirming the amperages on the HBO fuses, pls advise.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jim

 



Edited by Delaware Jim on January 01 2012 at 18:42


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Posted: January 01 2012 at 19:19 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

All,

This is an effort at "out of the box" thinking.  Pete has suggested a small genny of 2K to 4K watts at costs of up to $5K or more has me thinking.   I can purchase new a 6HP diesel "lawnmower" engine with electric/recoil start for about $550 + shipping.  If I set this up inside a dock box on the bow spinning a 150 or so Amp automotive alternator via belt, I have a means of generating plenty of watts to replace used energy from battery banks via inverter.

Costs:  Two Dock boxes - $850 (one to hold the "rig" and another to balance out the bow).  Engine $600 delivered,  Alternator- new on ebay $125.  Pulleys, belts and misc hardware $200 estimated.  A-B Switch and wiring $200. Inverter - a 1000W unit (already owned-dedicated to refrig) and a 2000-2500W for the house) will cost about $500-700.  Total cost (excluding the dock boxes) for supreme flexibility is about $1700-1900 or so - WELL less than any diesel AC genny - even used...

In total, this rig (to be run when foredeck is not occupied) can recharge a bank of three 4D batteries at 50% depleted (assuming each battery is rated at 200 amp hr) in 3-4 hours time.

Advantages - similar 3000W AC capacity at much lower costs. with recoil start, can charge any flat battery (redundancy).  Great flexibility.

Disadvantages - Dry exhaust and manual switching to charge.  Dry exhaust (diverted forward off bow away from living quarters) still might be an issue in certain wind conditions.  Should not be run at night or unatteded. 

I invite all in the forum to comment on this idea.  I will never do anything unsafe, and may spend some $$ for pretty boxes to hold the unit. However, if the idea is to get a means to replace battery power used by inverters while at extended anchorage, then this idea may have merit.  Your comments, please!

Jim



Edited by Delaware Jim on January 01 2012 at 19:28


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Pete37
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Posted: January 01 2012 at 21:27 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Generators

As I have shown on several previous posts, you can buy complete diesel generator systems for a little over $1,000. They have electric start, hush covers and control panels.  The control panels can easily be rewired to be remote if desired.  There are dozens of manufacturers and these are mass produce items currently being produced.  They are small enough to be installed in the generator room alongside the 20K Onan generator.  The only modifications necessary are to convert the dry exhaust to a wet exhaust and to provide some ducted ventillation.

Here's one for $799

Of course this one doesn't have a hush cover.  Just take off the wheels and handle, mount it on isolators, convert the dry exhaust to wet and you're ready to go.

Why would I want to spend $1900 modifying a lawnmower?

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 01 2012 at 22:29


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Pete37
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Posted: January 02 2012 at 00:41 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Deck Box Generator Set

I consider all suggestions even if my first reaction is ďNoĒ.  I found the 6 Hp. diesel on the Home Depot site at $549.  A picture of it is shown below:

Add a $125 alternator as Jim says and some pulleys, etc. for $200 and you have the rudiments of a DC generator for $874.  Youíll need some heavy duty wiring to the battery location and a switch to shift back and forth.  Jimís figure of $200 may be a little light but assuming you do all the work yourself itís possible so now weíre up to $1074.

At this point we have a $1,074 battery charger.  But most of the stuff we want to operate is AC so we need an inverter to finish the job.  I found an AIMS 3000 Watt Inverter/Charger from TopSales at $449.

www.topsalesdepot.com

It has a 30 amp charger but I doubt that a 30 amp charger is of any significant value.  This brings the cost up to $1,523.  Donít know what you will get out of this little beastie but 100 amps might be possible so you could run this thing for an hour every four hours and maintain a 300 watt average AC lifestyle as described in my posts of a week or so ago.  That certainly isnít the high-life but you can survive on 300 watts average.  This is, however, nowhere near the 4,000 watt average AC power lifestyle you can get from a small auxiliary generator.

This thing has no muffler of any significance so itís probably going to sound like a buzz saw.  Not something you want running 24/7.  Boats at anchor point their bows into the wind so all the exhaust fumes will drift over the boat.  There is no practical way of preventing it.  Fortunately, diesel fumes will not kill you although they will give you a hell of a headache.

Also fortunately, I have two deck boxes, so if they are big enough one could house the beastie.  If I have to buy bigger ones the price jumps by $850 (Jimís figure, not mine) to $2,373.

And for this type of system youíre probably going to want at least a 500 AH deep discharge battery bank at about $860 bringing the total cost up to $3,233.  Jim already has a lot of the components of this system so his cost would be lower.

In contrast, a modified diesel construction generator would probably cost about $1,500 even if I assume $700 worth of modifications.

Pete37



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Fantasy
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Posted: January 02 2012 at 09:40 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Jim,

The motor/alternator on deck would be an interesting experiment and one that I have thought about as well.  Here are a couple of things to consider.

Since you are transferring DC power, you would need very heavy cables to run from the bow to the battery bank to minimize the voltage drop and carry the load you have in mind.  2/0 cable is at least $6 a foot, 4/0 is about twice that, I haven't done the calculations to figure what would be needed but it ain't cheap.  You would also need to run fuel lines unless you plan on installing a tank on deck too, which would be a nuisance and a hazard.

Another consideration is the regulated output of the alternator.  A 150 amp alternator will put out 150 amps at peak but tapers off significantly as the batteries come up.  I don't think 300 amps over three hours is likely but that needs to be researched too.

I figured that when I was all done, I would have a system that will probably be as noisy as the Onan, maybe worse.  I might save some fuel but it will take quite a while to recover the cost of the new equipment.  My take is that it may be better to spend the money on additonal batteries and more sound shielding for the Onan.

John



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Pete37
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Posted: January 02 2012 at 10:24 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Windlass Problems

My windlass only has only one control unit and it is located in the chain locker:  It is the Anchor Winch Control Panel (AWCP) and is shown in the picture below:

My relays are located inside the box labeled ďMaxwellĒ.  Power comes from the Ships Service Fuse Panel (SSFP) in the engine room via two heavy cables that run through the bilge and come out in the chain locker.  You can see them coming out of a molded fiberglass channel on the hull and running down to the AWCP.  You can see the hot lead (with red tape) leading down to the Blue Sea circuit breaker.  Power then goes over the top of the Maxwell relay box to a terminal on its left side via that heavy black cable.  There are three terminals on the left side which attach the Maxwell box to the windlass motor (seen at the upper left side of the picture).  The right side of the Maxwell box has a terminal strip for the control side of the relays.  I have a long black terminal strip to which the control wires from the FB, lower console and deck switches are attached.  Wires then go to the terminal strip on the Maxwell box.  Each control station requires only three small wires to attach it to the long black terminal strip.

The SSFP has only one fuse related to the windlass.  Its sole purpose is to protect the cable from the SSFP to the AWCP.  The SSFP has no control function.  The fuse at the SSFP and the circuit breaker at the AWCP are both 50 amps.

But you have an Ideal windlass while I have a Maxwell windlass so I really canít say what fuse your windlass would require.  However, Ideal must have some instruction manuals which would tell you what fuse to use.  Apparently, from your post, Ideal suggests a 200 amp fuse.

HBO fuses are still available but unfortunately not many retail electrical outlets carry them.  You need to go straight to Buss.  They will tell you where you can get them.  Somewhere in the garage, I have three of those black plastic HBO fuse blocks and some spare HBO fuses.  You are welcome to them if you have any use for them.  Frankly though, I would advise not using them.  The trick will be finding them.

In the old original equipment SSFP there were three of those black plastic HBO fuse blocks.  There were two 100 amp fuses for the main shipís services and three 40 amp HBO fuses for the heads.  The anchor windlass fuse was either a 40 amp or 100 amp fuse.  I canít remember which.  But regardless go with what Ideal recommends.

BTW: The black plastic HBO fuse blocks were cheap and unreliable.  I wouldnít use them.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 02 2012 at 10:26


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: January 02 2012 at 14:22 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete & John.

Thanks for your input!  Pete, the "beast" or "rig" (I've got some other adjectives) could work... as Pete noted, I have a number of parts laying around already (including 60' of 3/0 copper cable) that would come in handy.

As to availabe DC output, the 6Hp motor (same as I saw) might spin a 200 amp+ alternaror, but it would be close.  The numbers are:

charging volts 14.0 volts * 200 amps =  2800 watts

2800 watts/746 watts/HP = 3.8 HP

So a 6 HP engine shouls spin the alternator at full power.  The limiting factor would be the speed the batteries can accept a charge.  A larger bank should accept more recharge watts faster...

I think converting a dry exhaust engine to wet exhaust could be probibitatively expensive (raw water pump and water injection system, muffler, another thru hull etc).

The idea of purchasing a commercially built small genny on the bow is also interesting... need too look at the physical sizes (fit inside a dock box?) and mounting locations.

Finally, I took Pete's advice and acquired a "kill a Watt" meter to measure actual draw of common items.  My 2 year old (non energy efficient) 18.5 ft3 GE refrig draws an average of 1020 watts per 24 hours (measured for 4 days) and pulls only 135 watts when running... pretty low!  I'm now checking TV/DVD player and other things I might use while on the hook.

More as I get info...

Jim

 

 



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Pete37
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Posted: January 02 2012 at 23:12 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Dry Exhaust to Wet Exhaust Conversion

All you need for the conversion is a centrifugal water pump hooked up by hose to one of your thru-hulls.  You would have to find a place to mount a pulley on the motor shaft and a place to mount the pump.  Usually thatís not much of a problem.  Then you tee the water into the dry exhaust and feed it into one of your existing exhaust pipes or perhaps into the water lift muffler of the Onan.  Iíve got several unused thru-hulls available for the water intake.  Probably less than $100 in parts and not much labor involved.  The key here is that weíre talking about a small engine (probably less than 10 hp.).

Trying to find a commercially built small diesel genny is difficult.  Most are built for use on construction sites and are air cooled.  Generally they seem to run from 5 Kw up and are too bulky to be used in a deck box.

There are a few small water cooled diesel gennys designed for use on small sailboats but generally they run from $5K up.  They use the Farymann and Kubota water cooled diesels.  Used ones are very scarce.

Watts are a measure of the rate of power use.  There is no such thing as watts per hour or watts per 24 hours just as there is no such thing as knots per hour.  The correct term is watt hours or kilowatt hours.  If your fridge burned 1020 watt hours in 24 hours its draw was 42.5 watts. At 12 volts the average draw on the battery would be about 4.25 amps which would burn about 102 amp hours per day.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 04 2012 at 19:00


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Posted: January 03 2012 at 08:16 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

If Jim's fridge used 1020 watts in 24 hours the amp draw at 120 volts would be 8.5.  If the power source was the house batteries at 12 volts it would be 85 amps plus inverter losses at 10%.

John



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Posted: January 03 2012 at 11:09 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John and Jim,

The Kill-A-Watt meter reads in cumulative kilowatt hours or at least Jim should have had it on that scale.  So I assume that Jim got a reading of 1020 watt hours (1.02 KWH).  If the reading was made over a 24 hour period the average wattage would be (1020/24) = 42.5 watts. That's about in the right ballpark for a modern fridge.

A watt is a rate of energy usage not a measure of the amount of energy used. A joule is the name for the basic unit of the amount of energy used but we don't use the term joule very much. Specifically, a watt is one joule per second or in one hour it's 3600 joules or in a day it's 86,400 joules.  That's why we usually use kilowatt hours rather than joules for the amount of energy used.

The measurement was, of course, made at 120 volts so the current draw was (42.5/120)=0.354 amps.  At 12 volts the current would be 3.54 amps.  So if the fridge was powered by an inverter it would draw 3.54 amps plus a little extra to account for the efficiency of the inverter.  Figure about 4.25 amps. So in a day it would draw about 102 ampere hours of charge from the batteries.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 03 2012 at 11:27


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eshover
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Posted: January 03 2012 at 11:19 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Hi Pete. Hope you had a nice holiday.

I have no problem with with this electrical talk, especially
at the level you're speaking.

However, I was curious about your assertion that; "there's
no such thing as knots per hour".

If I travel X knots in X hours, wouldn't the average of that
be discussed in terms of "knots per hour"?

Please explain to me. Maybe I can win a drink or two at
the local bar with this one.

Emory

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Posted: January 03 2012 at 11:45 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

The term "knot" is basically an abbreviation of "nautical miles per hour".  If you travel X nautical miles in Y hours your speed is X/Y knots. The term "knot" does not mean "nautical mile" it means "nautical miles per hour".  It's a measure of speed not distance.

Check "knot" out in Webster's dictionary.  It's definition #8 in my dictionary.

However, the term "knot" is widely misused.  BTW: I get a commission on all the drinks you win.  Remember to take a copy of Webster'e to the bar when you make your arguments about "knot".

Hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year,

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 03 2012 at 11:52


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Posted: January 04 2012 at 15:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Battery Charge VS Voltage Table

Here is a handy table for telling you what the status of your batteries charge is from the voltage. I suggest you make a copy and keep it near the helm for reference when checking the battery voltmeters.

These voltages are for batteries that have been at rest for 3 hours or more.  Batteries that are being charged will be higher - the voltage under charge will not tell you anything, you have to let them sit for a while.  For longest life, batteries should stay in the green zone.  Occasional dips into the yellow are not harmful but continual discharges to those levels will shorten battery life considerably.  It is important to realize that voltage measurements are only approximate.  The best determination is to measure the specific gravity but in many batteries this is difficult or impossible.  Note the large voltage drop in the last 10%.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 04 2012 at 15:16


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Posted: January 05 2012 at 13:53 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Batteries

Batteries are of course the key to any battery based off-shore electric power supply system.  We have generators which supply plenty of power when they are on but most of us donít want to run them 24/7.  Therefore we are forced into systems where the genny is used to create AC power which is then converted to DC power and stored in batteries.  To use the power for AC appliances we then draw the DC power from the batteries, convert it to AC and run the appliance with AC power.

If we had a small diesel genny producing about 1 kW the simplest solution would be run the small genny 24/7 to produce AC power and then feed it directly our AC appliances.  Heavy intermittent loads would be handled by periodic running of the 20 kW Onan genny most of us have.  But so far all the small marine diesel gennys we have found are in the $5k and up range which is too expensive for most of us.

So we are back to schemes which involve storing energy in batteries and using it later to operate AC (and DC) devices.  Typically most of us have a house battery system consisting of two 12 volt 8D batteries with an ampere hour (AH) rating of about 225 AH each.  This gives us 450 AH to play with during the periods when the genny is off.

Re-charging these batteries beyond 75% of full charge is impractical because it is too time consuming.  It takes 3 to 4 hours to charge from 75% to 100% regardless of the size of the charger available to you.  The physics of the batteries limit the charge rate.

However, bulk phase charging (from 0% to 75%) is much faster.  Batteries in this phase of charging can be safely charged at a rate up to about C/8 where C is the full charge ampere capacity of our batteries.  At higher rates overheating damages the batteries.  For our typical 450 AH house battery bank this means a maximum charge rate of about 56 amps.

Back on December 24th I posted an analysis of the AC power needs of a Connie.  Basically the day was divided into four power usage periods (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Evening).  The first three were five hours long and the last nine hours long.  At the beginning of each period it was assumed that the genny would be run for a one hour period to charge the batteries and run all the intermittent heavy loads of the vessel using genny power.  The house battery bank was assumed to have been charged to 75% of full charge and to have 338 AH of stored energy.  Unfortunately, if the house battery bank is made up of starting type batteries it cannot safely be discharged below 50% of full charge (225 AH).  This leaves only (338-225) = 113 AH available for the periods when the genny is off.

If the house battery bank is made up of deep discharge type batteries the situation is somewhat better.  These batteries can be safely discharged to 40% of full charge (180 AH).  This leaves (338-180) = 158 AH available for the periods when the genny is off.

There are a lot of myths about deep discharge batteries.  The first is that you can repeatedly discharge them to 20% of full charge without damage.  They are much better than starting batteries (which will be trashed by even a few cycles to 20%) but 100 cycles to 20% will trash a deep discharge battery too.  So donít plan on discharging your deep discharge batteries much below 40%.  Deep discharge batteries are expensive to replace.

Assuming that we have deep discharge batteries we will have 158 AH to play with during each genny-off period.  Thatís 1.9 kWh or an average of about 480 watts during each of the four genny off periods.  During the eight hour evening genny-off period that drops to about 240 watts which is awfully slim but since everyone is asleep at that time not much power is used.  The fridge at about 0.45 kWh (for a modern low power fridge) is the largest power consumer.  For those of us who have one of the old original equipment GE power hog fridges the power consumption jumps to 1.12 kWh which is 60% of our total power budget.  This probably means the old fridge will have to go.

When I made my first analysis of the off-shore power problem I assumed that the power storage of the house battery bank was the limiting factor on the power available during genny-off periods.  That is not necessarily the case.

We have set the genny-on time to one hour but since we have set the maximum safe charge rate to C/8, the charge rate is 450/8 = 56 amps.  Therefore in an hour we will only get a 56 AH charge.  In order to achieve the full 158 AH a deep discharge battery bank is capable of storing we would need to charge for 158/56 = 2.82 hours (just slightly less than three hours).  This means that the genny would be on more than half the time; not an acceptable situation.

The obvious solution is to charge faster (say C/3 or C/4).  But these are solutions that make battery manufacturers rich replacing damaged batteries.  Another solution would be to increase the number of batteries thereby increasing C.  Doubling the number of batteries would cost about $1,000; another solution which makes battery manufacturers rich.  Doubling the size of the batteries would also work but since cost is proportional to ampere hours it would also cost about another $1,000.

From where I stand, Iím adding up the costs.

Item

Cost

100 Amp Inverter/Charger

$1,700

Rewire power distribution system

$500

Four 370 AH 6 volt deep discharge batteries

$1,500

Two battery boxes

$300

Replace old fridge (parts & labor)

$1,000

Total

$5,000

What I get for my $5,000 is a rather anemic system which provides less than 500 watts during genny-off periods (only 240 watts in the evening).  A $5,000 diesel auxiliary genny which provides 3,500 watts 24/7 and doesnít require replacing my old fridge is looking like a much better solution.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 05 2012 at 17:18


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Posted: January 05 2012 at 20:58 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Check This Out!

The photo below shows the heat exchanger on my starboard engine:

The red arrow shows the zinc which protects the lower heat exchanger core (there are two cores) of the heat exchanger.  You should check this every year when you winterize.  In most cases you will find that after a year there is nothing left of the zinc other than a small stub of zinc buried in the bronze base.  This zinc is constantly immersed in salt water and is eaten up very quickly by electrolysis.  This protects the heat exchanger core which is what its supposed to do.  But the fact that almost all the zinc is gone indicates that the core is no longer being protected.  This is one zinc that should be replaced twice a year. Check it very regularly.  Heat exchanger cores are very expensive! 

There are two lower core zincs (one on each engine).

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 05 2012 at 21:20


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Posted: January 05 2012 at 23:10 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Achievable Shore Power

Iíve written posts on several shore power electrical systems that neither I nor probably you can afford.  Now Iím going to consider what I can do with what Iíve got plus perhaps some small improvements.  What Iíve got is a 20 kWh Onan generator, a 450 AH house battery bank with two heavy duty 225 AH 8D starting batteries and a 60 amp charger.

With the Onan and 60 amp battery charger I can charge the house battery bank at 60 amps.  My goal is to charge them from 50% of full charge to 75% of full charge in one hour.  This would require (0.75-0.50) x 450 = 112.5 AH.  Obviously I canít do it in one hour at 60 amps; itís going to take about two hours.  But the maximum safe charge rate is C/8 =450/8 =56.25 amps so Iím charging about as fast as I can safely charge with a 450 AH battery bank anyway,  And as long as I stay in the 50% to 75% charge range Iím not damaging the batteries.  The annoying part of this is that instead of having to run the genny about 20% of the time I have to run it about 40% of the time.  Thatís regrettable but in order to keep the cost low you have to sacrifice something.

The 112.5 AH will allow me to use an average of 37.5 amps (450 watts) during the 3 hour genny-off periods.  During the 2 hour genny-on periods all AC devices are running directly off the genny so AC power use is effectively unlimited.   In the evening 6 hour genny-off period the wattage will drop to 225 watts but since everyone is asleep during this period not much power is used.  The largest power consumer would probably be the old GE fridge if you like me still have one.  It burns about 140 watts. 

So far we havenít spent a dime to obtain offshore AC power.  But we still need an inverter to convert the DC power to AC.  For that Iíd use the AIMs 3000 watt inverter at $449.  Total off-shore AC power system cost $449.  It isnít a very glamorous system but itís adequate for modest AC use during the genny-off period and provides unlimited AC power during the genny-on periods.  Having to run the genny 8 hours a day is regrettable but itís a hell of a lot better than having to run it 24/7 and it has some useful byproducts such as being able to cool the cabins down during the 2 hour genny-on periods.  Three of those 8 hours are during meal times when the Onan would have to be run anyway to take care of the heavy duty galley, water heating, etc. loads.  So only five hours are attributable to providing AC power during the periods when the genny is off.  Some sacrifices have to be made to keep the cost down.  And at only $449 I think the cost is reasonable.

Pete37

PS: I forgot to add in a couple hundred dollars for a switch panel to shift from battery to AC power.



Edited by Pete37 on January 05 2012 at 23:20


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Posted: January 06 2012 at 14:55 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

I read your post of 1/5/12 @ 1353 hours with great interest.  Conceptually, I agree with most of what you said about charge rates and the like.  However, as the "accountant of the group", I have to push back on your cost amounts.  You posted the table showing a cost of $5000; I respectfully believe you are seriously off target in several areas.  The inverter/charger identified below is a 2000W AC/100 Amp charger at about 35% (excluding shipping) of the cost you quoted. The Wiring costs you quoted are very reasonable.  You specified 4 360AH 6V "golf cart" batteries totaling $1500; I show an alternative of Four 4D batteries (not deep cycle) giving approximately equal number of amp-hours in total, but they are a bit restricted opposite deep discharge; however, these are 1/3 the cost of your quoted value.  I do not know how you arrived at the cost or using 2 boxes for 4 batteries.  Finally, the cost of the refrigerator is not appropriate to this discussion - this is an energy consuming appliance, not an energy storage or generation item.  My table reads $1599 versus your $5000 - a big difference!

Item Model Cost Source
100 Amp Inverter/Charger Tripp Lite AW2012 580 Amazon
Rewire power distribution system AC Transfer Switch Reliance Controls TCA1006D 100 Amazon
Other items (estimated) 300 Estimate
Four 4D conventional - 200AH each   544 Autozone
Two battery boxes Custom build=plywood 75 estimate
Replace old fridge (parts & labor) Not part of the inverter question 0  
Total 1599

Comments?

Jim

 
 
 

 

 

 

 



Edited by Delaware Jim on January 06 2012 at 15:22


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Posted: January 06 2012 at 22:26 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Costs of Battery Powered Offshore Power Systems

In my post of 1/5/2010, I said ďIím looking at the cost from where I standĒ.  In other words what will it cost me to build a robust reliable system that would be a final solution to my off-shore AC power needs.  And I didnít mean a bare bones Rube Goldberg startup system.  For the bare bones startup system, look at my later post where I describe a bare bones startup system which costs less than $450.  But these systems have completely different capabilities.

I looked up the Tripp Lite Inverter/Charger and found the Tripp Lite APS2012 available for about $560 at several locations.  Itís a 2000 watt modified sine wave AC inverter with a 100 amp charger.  It seems to be very similar to the Magnum ME2012-U available from West Marine for $1,129.  I checked around and found that all stores were carrying the Magnum ME2012-U at about the same price (+/- $20).  So it isnít West Marine thatís jacking the price up.  The item is price fixed by the manufacturer.

The electrical characteristics of the APS2012 and the ME2012 were very similar.  But there may be differences I havenít detected.  The specs are quite long and complicated.  The only major difference I found was that marine use was not listed as an intended use in the APS2012 specifications.  Itís kind of strange that they wouldnít list that use, if it were suitable for marine use.  This is a red flag that needs to be resolved before you use it.  I think that the price difference could be because the electronics of the APS2012 have not been suitably protected from the marine environment.

The Magnum MS2012-U which is the true sine wave version of the ME2012 costs about $1729 (+/- $20) regardless of where you buy it.  Most of the Forum Connie owners have been opting for true sine wave so I estimated $1,700 for the Inverter/Charger

Your selection of starting batteries for your system is not a good choice.  I used the existing starting batteries in my house battery bank for my bare bones startup system because they were there at no cost.  I figured I would use them until they died and then replace them with deep discharge batteries.  They are adequate for the light duty I use them for but I would never build a new battery based shore power system using starting batteries.  

I buy regular 4D wet cell lead acid starting batteries for starting my generator from Battery Warehouse here in Annapolis.  Theyíre about the cheapest place around.  I get commercial service quality which is one step up from the cheapest.  My last 4D (in August) cost $160.  Four of them would cost $640 which is $100 more than what you quote.  A quality 12 volt 200 AH deep discharge battery costs about $420 which is 2.63 times the cost of a conventional lead acid starting battery.  Four of them cost $1,680.  I used $1,500 for batteries in my estimate.

Iíve collected dozens of articles from the web on battery powered electrical storage systems.  All of them say that starting batteries just donít last in this type of system.  Maybe thatís why people are willing to pay 2.6X the price of a starting battery for a deep discharge battery.  Are they all misguided?  Do you know something they donít know?

Do you really want to custom build plywood battery boxes to save $225?  In a few years they would be a messy mash of wood pulp.  Battery boxes not only need to hold the batteries in place they need to be watertight to keep spilled acid from getting all over the place.  In order to make your plywood boxes viable they would have to be fiberglass lined; a hell of a lot of trouble for $225.

You may have a new energy efficient fridge.  But I and most of the Connie owners donít.  The battery powered storage system would be severely strained if it had to supply power for these old fridges.  So it is legitimate to include the cost of replacing the fridges in a comparison of the cost of battery systems to auxiliary generators.  The auxiliary generators would easily handle the fridge loads so the old fridges wouldnít need to be replaced.

I think my estimate of $5,000 is reasonably accurate.  You may be able to save about $570 if it turns out that the APS2012 is suitable for marine use and about $600 more if you feel that modified sine wave operation is acceptable.  This would bring the cost down to about $3,900.

But dropping the costs nearly $1000 more by using the wrong type of batteries seems a bit ludicrous.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 06 2012 at 22:28


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Posted: January 07 2012 at 10:17 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Good Morinig All

Despite the inflamatory words such as "a bare bones Rube Goldberg startup system", Pete does make a couple of good points:

  • The inverters ARE available for substantially less that the originally quoted amount. Multiple options are available for less than originally quoted.
  • The convenienve factors of just spending $$ to buy battery boxes versus making a strong plywood box is a luxury. Yes, $225 IS a significant sum to me.   My thoghts are to build strong boxes (epoxy sealed so it doesn't turn to "mush" in a fewe years, that will resist water/acid spills).
  • We also agree on the estimated rewiring cost.

About batteries: Pete stated "Your selection of starting batteries for your system is not a good choice." I disagree.  I agree with Pete's earlier analysis that regular batteries should be discharged to only 50% versus the 40% Pete quoted for deep discharge batteries.  On four 200 amp hr 4D's, I can safely withdraw up to 400 amps (800 amps total * 50%) , discharge if fully charged.  In your model, the two pair of 6V batteries would hold 720 amp hours and be able to deliver 435 amps  (720 amps * 60%) if fully charged. The 35 additional amps delivered by the batteries you proposed is ~7% more amps per discharge cycle  for about 3x additional dollars!  I believe this mininal improvement is NOT at all cost effective.  If not overly drawn down and taken proper care of (as Pete stated above), both should give reasonable, comparable life. Even if batteries are abused, I'd rather replace a battery bank at ~$550 or so versus $1500 in your model.  BTW, a neighbor  actually purchased a couple of 4D's at Autozone two weeks ago for $134 each, which is the number I used.  In short, yes it IS A CHOICE, and with every choice there are compromizes and benefits; there is not only "one right answer".  I suggest my option may be much more cost effective than using deepcycle batteries at a much higher cost.

On the refrigerator, I understand your perspective of "this is what I would need to do". This another "choice" that you made for your situation; everyone has their own situation and can plan accordingly

Jim



Edited by Delaware Jim on January 07 2012 at 12:14


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Posted: January 07 2012 at 17:02 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Jim,

I made a plywood battery box on my last boat, not to save money but to get the size configuration I needed.  I laminated vinyl on the inside and caulked the seams.  It was still sound after 10 years when i sold the boat.

I hope you have better luck than I had using starting batteries for the inverter.  The plates are very thin in order to get quick heavy amperage for cranking and I noticed a loss in capacity very soon after installation.  My guess is that 4D deep cycles will give you twice as many cycles and years, but that is only based on my experience and the way that I used them.  NAPA 4d deep cylces are about $35 more that the 4d cranking but I don't know if a similar battery is available from Autozone.  At my last changeover, I went to two 8d deep cycles from Defender.  After two seasons, they seem to be holding up well but 3 4d's would increase capacity.

John

John



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Posted: January 07 2012 at 20:26 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

Subject: Deep Discharge Batteries

A well-known purveyor of marine supplies sells their flooded lead acid marine batteries in both starting and deep discharge versions.  The batteries are listed in their 2011 catalog; extracts of which are given below:

ID Number

Size

Type

Volts

AH

Weight

Price

ST-4D

4D

Starting

12

160

102

$200

DD-4D

4D

Deep Discharge

12

205

105

$265

ST-8D

8D

Starting

12

180

130

$245

DD-8D

8D

Deep Discharge

12

225

137

$315

Remember that deep discharge batteries get their enhanced performance from heavier, thicker, lead plates.  But the weight of their deep discharge batteries is only a few percent higher than their starting batteries.  How much thicker do you think the lead plates are?  I think the deep discharge is mainly advertising hype.  Well-made deep discharge 4Ds weigh about 130 lbs. and 8Ds 164 lbs. and cost about $2 per AH in 12 volt batteries.

When you buy deep discharge batteries make sure the ďdeep dischargeĒ is in more than just the salesmanís imagination.  Check the weight to make sure itís really ďdeep dischargeĒ construction.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 07 2012 at 20:27


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Posted: January 07 2012 at 20:42 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

John,

Your points on starting batteries versus deep cycle are valid and important.  My point to Pete earlier is that everyone has a "Cost to Value" equasion and it is different for different folks.  On my old boat,I put in an inverter with 3 Group 27 starting batteries... yes, the efficiency, did start dropping off in year 2, but it still met my needs for over 4 years until I sold the boat.  Stated another way, if I could not afford an inverter system using deep cycle batteries, but could do it with regular (or maybe the "dual purpose" batteries), I would probably use starting batteries and maybe upgrade to deep cycle batteries when needed.

Idid not know that NAPA has 4D deep cycle batts for a $35 premium per battery versus a starting battery - that is a "no brainer" and I'd do that in an instant... If the deep cycle batteries are 2X or 3X more costly as Pete was specifying, I probably would not go that way.

On the boxes, I too will likely have a space cosideration issue that will likely require special sized box(es).  Even if I bought a cheap $15 batt box used as a liner might be OK. 

John, thank you for you valuable knowledge - it is appreciated!

Jim

 

 

 

 



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Posted: January 07 2012 at 22:51 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject:  Off-Shore power System Estimated Costs

Perhaps I wasnít direct enough in my comments on the inverter/chargers.  The Tripp Lite APS2012 is much less expensive than the Magnum ME2012 because it isnít waterproof.  And thatís also why no marine purveyor sells the APS2012 regardless of what features it may or may not have.  No one is going to sell a device which the manufacturer does not warrantee for marine service.  And no wise person would use it either.

Even though Iím retired I think I can find more productive ways to save money on the upkeep of my Connie than building wooden battery boxes.  But if you like to do that sort of thing; fine.

The flaw in your argument about safely withdrawing 400 AH from your battery bank is that the only time your battery bank is going to be fully charged is just after a long soak at the dock on shore power.  Once at sea, you will never be able to recharge it above 75%.  It takes too long (3 to 4 hours) to charge from 75% to 100%.  So at sea you will be cycling from 50% to 75% and back over and over.  And 25% of full charge only gives you 200 AH to work with.

Your 800 AH battery bank can only be recharged safely at C/8 = 800/8= 100 amps (which is probably the max your charger can do anyway) so it will take 2 hours just to get back to 75% charge and (as previously mentioned) 3 or 4 more hours to get back to 100% charge; a total of 5 to 6 hours).

Theoretically you can cycle back and forth between 50% and 75% with starting batteries forever without damaging the battery bank but everyone who has tried it seems to say it doesnít work quite that way.  Probably because they occasionally exceed 50% discharge.  Deep discharge batteries seem to last much longer.  Again probably because they tolerate those lapses down to 40% charge much better than starting batteries.

The system I proposed may not have 800 AH capacity but it does have 740 AH of deep discharge batteries which I think will outlast your starting batteries by at least 2:1.  And, since they can be drawn down to 40% they actually have more useable capacity than your 800 AH system.  While thatís an opinion (my opinion in particular) itís based upon reading dozens of articles on deep discharge batteries.  Can you quote any articles (not twitters) where the author claims that starting batteries last longer than deep discharge batteries (or even as long as deep discharge batteries)?

Your argument is that you can replace your battery bank for about $540 while the battery bank I proposed cost $1,500 so you can replace three of your battery banks for the same price as replacing one of mine.  Thatís true but I think your starting batteries will only last a couple years while the deep discharge batteries may last 8 or 9 years.  So itís a difference in opinion and thatís what makes a horse race.  And since itís your money on your horse and mine on my horse who has anything to complain about?

From the standpoint of the cost of the system the cheaper batteries drop the cost from $5,000 to $4000.  But the $5,000 auxiliary generator is still the far and away winner, the advantages of which would definitely justify an additional $1,000 in cost.

However, we all know that we arenít going to solve this problem by doing the right thing; weíre going to do it the cheap way.  So weíre going to charge and discharge our batteries in an annoying but necessary never ending cycle.  The best we seem to be able to do is two hours of charging followed by three hours of discharging.  During charge periods we have a full 20 kW to work with.  During discharge we are on a 400 to 800 watt average power consumption diet (except in the evening when we are on a 200 to 400 watt diet).

Pete37



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Posted: January 08 2012 at 10:05 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

"There comes a time in the life of every project when it is necessary to shoot the engineers and start production."  It will be interesting to see who goes ahead and actually does something, even if it's "wrong." 

Boats are for pleasure and the time we have left to enjoy them is getting shorter.  Spend whatever you feel you can afford to get the most enjoyment,  it's hard to put a price on missed opportunities.

John



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Posted: January 08 2012 at 11:03 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete et. al.,

Pete stated last night:

"Perhaps I wasnít direct enough in my comments on the inverter/chargers. The Tripp Lite APS2012 is much less expensive than the Magnum ME2012 because it isnít waterproof. And thatís also why no marine purveyor sells the APS2012 regardless of what features it may or may not have. No one is going to sell a device which the manufacturer does not warrantee for marine service. And no wise person would use it either."

Despite the very negative tone of your comments, respectfully, I believe you are not seeing the forest for the trees, nor respecting the knowledge and experience of other people in this forum. Several points to your statement above:

  • I have found NO inverter manufacturer that are selling inverters "certified" or "approved" or "recommended" (or similar language) specifically for marine use. Specifically, the Magnum ME2012 unit you referenced does NOT makes no mention of "approved for" or "certified" or "recommended" type language for marine use (source: ME2012 Owners manual). This inverter is "recommended for RV or fleet type service". The APS2012 Owners manual is essentially identical in wording. Additionally, I have downloaded and examined several Xantrex inverters literature commonly sold by "marine purveyors" with identical results.
  • Your comment "because it isnít waterproof" is Ďway off base. No inverter in the world in "waterproof". If you mean resistant to higher humidity levels found in a marine environment, this doesnít mean much either. Every inverter specification I have ever read require a dry (no standing moisture on the unit such as dew) and adequate ventilation. Specifically, the Magnum 2012 and Tripp Liter APS2012 literature both identically specify  "0 to 95% RH non condensing ". No difference hereÖ
  • Safety? Both units have the UL 458 certification Ė whereís the difference?
  • Please tell me you are joking when you discuss warrantiesÖ Read the warranties for both carefully (I have, and include the links below) and there are no "exclusions" for marine use in either one. As stated above NEITHER specifically include or exclude marine service. Your point isÖ?
  • Finally, your statements "And thatís also why no marine purveyor sells the APS2012 regardless of what features it may or may not have." is naÔve at best. Just because a "marine purveyor" (e.g., West Marine) sells something does NOT mean it is somehow qualified for marine service where another similar product are "not suitable". West Marine is full of stuff at greatly inflated prices because it says "marine" on the label without any difference in the product at all opposite other vendors. West and other "Marine purveyors" are interested in selling goods at the highest profit Ė period. Any "reliance" or "comfort" you sense if you believe they are watching out for your interests by the product lines they sell is ludicrous.

 

Tripp Lite Owners Manual

http://www.tripplite.com/shared/techdoc/Owners-Manual/932727 .pdf

Magnum Energy Ownerís Manual

http://www.magnumenergy.com/Literature/Manuals/Inverters/64- 0002%20Rev%20A%20(ME%20Series).pdf

Jim 



Edited by Delaware Jim on January 08 2012 at 11:09


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eshover
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Posts: 205
Posted: January 08 2012 at 11:49 | IP Logged Quote eshover

To John:
As the old saying goes; "I like the way you think."

Well put! Have a great 2012 and make some memories (at
least while we still have a memory! :)

Emory

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David Ross
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Posted: January 08 2012 at 14:25 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Hi John,

Well put!! Amen.

 



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Pete37
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Posted: January 08 2012 at 21:01 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

In reply to your previous post

1.    Designed for Marine Use: I checked one of the Magnum ME2012 sites and found that they claim it was specifically designed for marine use.  None of the APS2012 sites claim that.

 

2.    Waterproof:  I used the term ďWaterproofĒ only because in earlier posts where I used kinder, gentler words you ignored them.  But you get the message now.  ďResistant to the higher humidity levels found in the marine environment.Ē

3.    Safety: The UL 458 document is strictly for land vehicles.  Check your facts!  UL 458 says nothing about the use of inverters on boats.  The APS2012 simply wasnít designed for use on boats and it isnít safe to use on boats.

4.    Warrantees: Tripp Lite specifically declines to make any warranties in the Tripp Lite reference you gave: They say ďEXCEPT AS PROVIDED HEREIN, TRIPP LITE MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSEĒ.  They warrant nothing in the reference so there is no warrantee on the Tripp Lite APS2012.  Isnít that wonderful?

5.    Your statement ďWest and other Marine purveyors are interested in selling goods at the highest profit Ė period.Ē is uncalled for.  All purveyors in all fields strive to maximize profits but most have learned that irresponsible business practices decrease rather than increase sales.  I believe that West Marine is a responsible company and therefore I have no qualms about buying from them.  West and all the other marine purveyors are selling the ME2012 at approximately the same price because the price is fixed by the manufacturer.  I have no relationship to West other than as a customer.

 

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: January 08 2012 at 23:29 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Battery Lifetimes

I came across the following list of typical battery lifetimes in one of the articles I have on my computer on battery theory.  You can find the full article at:

http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm

ďThese are some typical (minimum - maximum) expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are so many variables, such as depth of discharge, maintenance, temperature, how often and how deep cycled, etc. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.

  • Starting: 3-12 months
  • Marine: 1-6 years
  • Golf cart: 2-7 years
  • AGM deep cycle: 4-7 years
  • Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
  • Deep cycle (L-16 type etc.): 4-8 years
  • Rolls-Surrette premium deep cycle: 7-15 years
  • Industrial deep cycle (Crown and Rolls 4KS series): 10-20+ years"

Unfortunately, the author didnít specify what a deep cycle was for each type of battery.  For starting batteries 50% is normally considered deep cycle.  Discharge to 20% would destroy a starting battery after 3 or 4 cycles so the lifetime would be days if discharge to 20% was assumed.  The 12 months sort of corresponds to Jimís comment that his starting batteries began to fail at the end of the first year.  For golf cart and deep cycle (L-16 type) where occasional discharge to 20% is allowed the numbers appear about right.  I erased the data on a number of the battery types we never use but you can get them from the original article on the web.  In my first proposed battery powered off-shore system I used the golf cart batteries.  Later in a revised higher power version I used the Deep Cycle L-16 type.  Expensive but they last a long time.

The data isnít perfect but itís the best Iíve seen yet.

Pete37, 1/08/12



Edited by Pete37 on January 08 2012 at 23:34


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: January 09 2012 at 15:12 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

John,

I wish I had read your wonderful words earlier.  Thank you for that thought as I remind myself of the saying "God give me the strength to change those thing I can... Accept those things I cannot change... and the wisdom to know the difference".

Jim



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Pete37
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Posted: January 09 2012 at 20:26 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

I think I summarized Jim's off-shore power plans pretty well back on January 7th when I said, "However, we all know that we arenít going to solve this problem by doing the right thing; weíre going to do it the cheap way."

Good luck with the "cheap way" Jim.  Hope it works.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on January 09 2012 at 20:36


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Pete37
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Posted: January 09 2012 at 21:46 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Battery Sulphation

Most lead acid batteries die from sulphation.  In sulphation, some of the lead sulphates on the inner plate areas crystallize during recharging and become unable to accept charge.  This process is called sulphation.  As time goes on more and more of the lead sulphates crystallize until all are crystallized and the battery can no longer accept charge.  At that point the battery is ďdeadĒ.

But my house batteries, which are starting batteries and typically last 8 to 9 years, seem to be immune to sulphation.  Why is that?  Itís because sulphation doesnít start until the battery drops below 75% of full charge and since the life of a yacht is easy, the charge rarely drops below 75%.

But when house batteries are used to supply off-shore AC power they go into a cycle of charge to 75%, discharge to 50%, recharge to 75%, etc.  This cycle goes on over and over until the yacht returns to dock and can fully recharge the batteries with shore power. Sulphation starts at 75% and is much worse at 50%.  And during the charge/discharge cycling the average charge is only 67% of full charge; a state at which sulphation is rather strong.  This is why starting batteries donít last long when used in off-shore AC power systems.

According to the table of battery lifespans in my previous post starting batteries last only 1 year but deep discharge batteries last as much as 8 years.  This is due to their heavier plate construction.  I did not make that table.  You can go the web, check the source and see if you believe them.

 http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm

Personally I believe that starting batteries would last somewhat longer because most yachtsmen are in the off-shore cruising mode for only a small percent of their cruising time.  Therefore, the time spent in the charge/discharge/recharge mode would be greatly reduced.  Perhaps lifetimes of two or even three years might be possible with starting batteries.

Pete37.



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Pete37
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Posted: January 10 2012 at 11:05 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Small Portable Generators for Offshore Power

There are plenty of small portable generators available for use as auxiliary generators that cost less than $1,000.  And no modifications to your Connie are required.  One of them is shown below:

This little beauty is the Honda EU2000i.  Itís an inverter generator and puts out 1600 watts of 120 VAC. It weighs 46 lbs. and has a super quiet sound level of 59 dB.  And best of all it costs only $899.

But by now most of you guys are saying ďHey you dumbbell! Donít you know thatís a gasoline powered generator?Ē

Yes, itís a gasoline powered generator and as the owner of an all diesel motoryacht I donít like gasoline either.  But about a third of you guys have gasoline powered dinghies hanging on your transoms.  Is that any different?  My plan would be to store and use the generator and fuel on the swim platform.  Reviews from boat owners who are already running their EU2000is on their swim platforms say the genny noise is barely noticeable.

One of the best parts of this genny is that itís easily portable and will spend most of its life at home in the garage as a backup generator for the house.  This will make my wife extremely happy so approval by the Admiral is guaranteed.  When we decide to anchor out weíll take the genny with us.  For those of you with lots of bucks ($1,000 more) thereís a companion genny which boosts the output to 4kW.

Yes, I know there are some wrinkles to be worked out and I hope some of you will point them out to me.  One of the things Iím working on is checking out the possibility of running the genny on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).  CNG is lighter than air so there is very little fire hazard. There is a company (US Carburetion) that specializes in that.  But in the interim, until thatís worked out, Iíll just use gas.

This looks a lot cheaper than the charger/inverter approach to offshore power and provides a steady 1600 watts (24/7) using only 2.5 gallons a day.  Even at $4/gallon I can easily afford that.  To hook it up, just fasten it to the swim platform and run a wire to one of your 30 amp shore power plugs.

Pete37

PS:  If I can get this little beauty working on CNG it would fit in a deck box on the bow very nicely.



Edited by Pete37 on January 10 2012 at 11:30


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