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Author Topic: Just suppose,...  (Read 14019 times)
Amy
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« on: March 14, 2010, 11:29:40 AM »

Im trying to decide on the best design option for live aboard electrical options.

Im planning on having a 4 cyl, 70hp main engine for propulsion and hot water via a calorifier, plus possible option of 2 x 24v alternators feeding an inverter/ batt bank to supply 2 ring mains round the hull, one being 12v and the other being 220v.

Only the washing machine, macerator, microwave, hoover, hairdryer etc will be 220v, the rest being 12v, ie, engine room, galley, heads extractor fans, all lighting, tv, radio.

So, ........is it better to spend the money on a large bank of batts and large inverter,  OR
go for a stand alone diesel genny, one for sale is 8kva, marinised in a sound box.


I anticipate most time will be spent moored and it doesnt make good sense to run a larger engine for a few hours per day just to charge batts (hot water is a by product). Diesel, bore glazing etc is downside for an engine which is well oversized for making some electric.

I could just run the jenny when washing and hoovering needs doing and go for a smaller inverter to just run the microwave which needs @1200w and the toilet macerator @800w. Macerator will only run 15 seconds with each flush, maybe 5 mins with a shower.
Microwave only needed maybe 15 mins a day. The jenny can be set up to auto start on demand.

Which is the best way to go?
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dhaslam
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 12:02:13 PM »

What sort of boat sail or  engine only and  are you planning on just living aboard or  using it to  move around?    Obviously if you are going to use the engine anyway for long periods batteries would be the way to go  but if static  or sailing mostly the separate generator and other sources would be better.           
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 12:27:37 PM »

Its a barge, so no sail power sadly, but they are expensive when you factor in the wear and tear, winches, rigging etc
initially planning to stay put or not move too much.

A floating caravan with the option to move occasionally.  I guess that makes me a ditch pikey, but, 'Water Travellers' now have their own rights under the Eu infrastructure.

Now all I need to collect in the human rights board game are the 'economic migrant, lesbian, black/paki, asylum seeker from a war zone, disabled, learning difficulties, minority culture member' status labels and Im all set for a loony left life of spineless limp wristed dependance on the state.

One day at a time..........
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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 12:48:26 PM »

Amy,

Good to hear from you again, hope you are keeping well.  This subject is right up my street as I've been thinking about electrifying my pocket cruiser.

First of all how big is the boat and is it a sail boat and what climate will it be in? 70hp is a lot or power (52kW) so I suspect its a motor boat (environmentally a dinosaur?).

You could go the PV and wind generator route, if you are in the Med I would think seriously of PV and solar thermal. That means you need a lot of batteries...for a sailing boat that can double up as ballast. Then get an electric motor for powering the boat (quite achievable for a sailing boat). You will of course need a genny for when the sun don't shine or the wind does not blow.

From March onwards we get all our hot water free in the UK climate, tubes will be vulnerable on a boat though.

cheers
Paul
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 01:15:32 PM »

Hi Paul

Its a Barge, .....no sails. displacement @ 10 tonnes, 15m x 3.5m

Solar isnt an option as I would need a lot of panels, they might be vulnerable to damage, I would need a lot of batteries to store it all, so I might as well just buy a lot of batteries anyway and a jenny to charge them anyway and a genny would cost a lot less than the panels, AND the genny works on cloudy days and dark nights.

Wind isnt an option either as rivers / canals are often sheltered by trees and the vibration through the superstructure would be a deal killer.
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dhaslam
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 01:18:24 PM »

A barge  suggests a solid fuel stove for heating and hot water and plenty of space to hide a generator.  
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 01:30:37 PM »

A barge  suggests a solid fuel stove for heating and hot water and plenty of space to hide a generator.  

I will have a woodstove, and thats another choice to investigate. Canal boaters all seem to love the Morso Squirell for some reason I havent yet figured. Are there any others I should be thinking about?

Its gonna be a big ish boat, so will need a lot of heating, but im maxing out the insulation I can fit to keep the heat in and prevent condensation. Im horrified that most new build boats still use the horrible single glazed aluminium framed flimsy windows that are always running wet.

Im not having a back boiler but will fit rads and underfloor in the bathroom, fed from the engine for now and later from a LPG system boiler once im on board and have a bit more money.
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 01:53:42 PM »

Amy
The Squirrel is a fantastic stove - can highly recommend it. It's very efficient and exceptionally well built. Ours heats our small, well insulated house all winter with no additional heating at all. The copper kettle is always on top for coffee or quick washing up!  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 02:00:34 PM »

We lived aboard a 45 footer shortly after we married, and had a solid-fuel stove with backboiler, and as the bottom of the bath was below the waterline, the palaver if you wanted a bath was as follows..................Ensure you've been to the fuel jetty for coke, petrol for the genny, diesel for the main engine and filled the main water tanks, then ensure that you've filled the header tanks that feed the water system (manually!), then make sure you've run the genny long enough to charge the batteries that pump the water out above the waterline....... then run the boiler long enough to heat the water, THEN you can have a bath (and by golly, by then you need one!).
What would I do? - probably make friends with Mr Eberspacher - the hot-air and hot water producing diesel powered units are superb - economical to run, reliable, and can often be picked up off Fleabay for peanuts*....... then go about minimising electricity consumption (bottled gas for cooking and refrigeration - with suitable precautions!)
I'd probably go for a modest but good battery bank, SOME pv and a Rutland turbine for my modest leccy needs, topped up when needs be by a smallish good diesel genny.
In my experience, unless you can afford the ludicrously expensive "super silenced" jobbies, you don't want the bally things running for any longer than you have to....
Then add a small multifuel stove (or two) for comfort in the living area(s) - there is also a small and beautifully-made steel charcoal-fuelled job ideal for various spots on the boat (lovely but pricey.......) http://www.bengco.co.uk/large.html
*or if you're in "gas"mode, the "Carver" type water heaters and blown warm air systems are excellent too - we've got an oversized one of the latter in our 12' land yacht (caravan)- instant heat - (it's party trick is to dry a loo full of soaking wet clothes at a festival in around half an hour!)
Hope that helps!
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Justme
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 02:29:34 PM »

I dont like the idea of auto start for small ish short term loads like the microwave, hoover, Hairdryer. The genny will glaze up & have excessive wear & tear on all its parts like the starter. The washer would be bad to assuming the water feed will be heated via the DHW system, if not then would still be best to use the dryer at the same time cos the water heater will be on & off & only used for a total of a short time but over a longer period.  I think I would go for a large ex forklift bank, big & small inverters (or one that has an intelligent mode & can reduce its consumption for small loads) with a smaller genny for extra charging & to boost the output of the inverters (by tandoming the inverter & genny, like the multiplus range so a smaller genny is needed) when needed.

Dont discount solar. It could make a viable contribution. How big is the cabin roof?
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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 02:37:33 PM »

Amy,

On the subject of windows and solar, the U-Fit window company in Brum are perfect for you. They custom build for DIY install and I have bought some to improve my Dad's house.
They cannot be beaten on price so I would think about rebuilding the cabin for solar gain using double glazed windows and patio doors.

-Paul
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30 tube thermal,
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http://www.solarmanpv.com/portal/Terminal/TerminalMain.aspx?come=Public&pid=17067

LED lighting in every room
NO tumble dryer, +370 kWh per year
Amy
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 02:39:46 PM »

The solar PV option isnt viable for several reasons. The cost is prohibative, the mounting location isnt ideal, the output will only be a drop in the ocean for the need plus I will still need a backup for cloudy days.

Im not the kind of woman who wears a dress AND trousers underneath.
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billi
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 04:08:56 PM »

..... Roll Eyes but on the otherside  we are a renewable energy forum , and a livingspace/transport idea   that only utilises diesel , is a bid missplaced here  Wink

But i am happy to help later, when you have killed a few diesel generators and search for a reliably PV idea  Grin

Billi
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 05:23:19 PM »

How will you heat your water when moored up?

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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 08:37:52 PM »

How will you heat your water when moored up?



If I had shore power, I would use the immersion heater in the tank, if not, it would have to be from the engine via indirect coil in the tank
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