I have 195 watts of solar to run my boat - nearly never run the engine. The boat includes a Norcold refrigerator/freezer and a Blue Sky regulator - both took re-engineering to make them work because of terrible designs - I would recommend neither unit unless you were prepared to make electrical changes.
See shearwater-sailing.com for lots of details under Gemini Restoration and Solar Power
I am researching the alternatives for renewable power but have none as yet. I am interested in the question of whether the 195 watts is at 12vdc or 24vdc as watts are voltage independant. What am I missing?
sorry for the confusion. No you are not missing anything. What I was meaning is taking it back to what amperage your will see going into your batteries. As in are you Running one 195w panel rated 24v nominal) to a 12v system using the 24/12 controller + the MMPT for a little boost. Or are the panels being used, a combination of 12v panels to give you the 195w. Also if so are the panels wired up in series or parallel?
I would recommend a combination of both and here is why. The 230 watts of solar is fine, operates all electronic equipment fine with current to spare. Even after an evening of TV, DVD watching our batteries are recharged by noon. We added a 400 watt wind generator 2 years ago to supplement the solar for sunless days. This turned out to be a wise decision. Last summer we made a 200 mile offshore passage with night sailing. The wind generator was able to power all the electronics and navigation lights (LED). We set the radar up to go into standby every few minutes to save power. The point is if you sail at night, solar does not work and wind does. The first year we installed the wind generator we had 5 days of rain, stuck in an anchorage during our vacation. Glad we had the wind generator.
i have solar fo rmy ericson and i am in process of getting solar and wind for my formosa.......there are pros and cons for everything but i donot plan on staying in a dock or mooring very long and i hope to be able to go long distances before having to stop for gas for the genny..or use the engine. oops or what have you for juicing up my batteries...is a good feeling to be independent of the grid for electricity......
I think this is a great site about wind and solar. I talked to Lou on Starrider for quite a while today about this topic. Something I am curious to see what you think about is. I have 240 watts of solar, and will be adding my KISS wind gen this spring once the dang snow melts, The control I have is a zantrex c-40. Right now I have it set up as a solar controller. I am contemplating changing the setup within it parameters. Setting it up so what will basically happen is that once the batteries are full, it will then dump the excess amps into a dual water heater element a 120v/12v. Other wise right now as being a weekend sailor atm I will need to shut down the wind gen in fear of over charging the batteries during the week. For the batteries I have 4 T104 Trojans and a echo charger that charges the start battery. What is you thought on the setup here? Would you change anything?
Randy & Jeannie,
There are some things that you need to consider before making that deciding to use the Hot Water Element for your Diversion Load.
1. How much time do you spend or going to spend away from the Dock?
2. The AC/DC Water Heater Element is 500w on the AC side and 300w on the DC side
3. Your Current Water Heater Element is most likely in the 1200w to 1500w range
4. It will take you at least twice as long to heat the water using AC power.
5. If extended Cruising are your batteries going to come up to full charge so that excess power starts going to the Water Heater Element.
6. The C-40 needs to be set at a slightly higher voltage than what the Alternator puts out so that it is not trying to compensate for the extra 300w of load created by the Water Heater Element on the DC side
7. Personal experance with Installations on various cruising boats is that the short time that the batteries come up to full charge from wind and solar, is not enough to heat the water. Compounded with the fact that it will take at least twice as long to heat water from an AC source.
8. Obviously there is a little bit of a grey area if your water heater has a built in Heat Exchanger and is also plumbed up to the engine. And/Or to you have a Gen-Set to provide AC power to heat the water.
Hopefully I have answered some of your questions and not created several more. Please feel free to ask me to clarify any thing stated above.
i donot use water heater on board as it is a 5 gal cube with high failure rates...sinks boats with pressure water----overboard--equipment suicide rate is high with those....instant on is good---but i can heat with sun...donot need hot water for anything besides dishes and body anyway----and washing hands---why risk the boat for something unnecessary.....fridge is a borderline necessity----i have in formosa and not in ericson--lived on her 4 yrs without.....no sweat.....have 80 amp alt on ericson engine....heart xantrex chg-invert system 1000 watts--and self sufficient solar.....formosa is a different duck........still.....restoring....but for cruising i will remove the cube, re assess need for fridge, etc---figger ou tmy electrical needs and add heart-xantrex 2k watt charger-invertor........for a start....and solar and wind genny and a tow genny for backup.....i donot use dockage space----i cannot afford to havfe my boat sink while i am looking at something else.....had 3 water heaters fail in one yr in lost angeles---wont go there again---the third time---hubby left water for pressure water hose turnede on---water heater failed--i came back to find the sounds of trying to sink boat and 2 very unhappy kats--was lucky i got there when i did...
It is unfortunate that you have had so many problems with your water heater. Are you at a dock with the shore hose plugged into the boat? If so there could be a problem with your pressure regulator. Most on board systems are running at 60psi MAX!!! (normally around 45psi) Town supply is usally around 80psi. You run a very High risk of damaging your hot water tank if hooked up to Town Supply that is unregulated. Other wise if there is a failure in the water heater tank the boat should be able to hold the amount of water that is in the water tank with no problems or any threat of sinking. As far as Instant hot water I agree with you. We have a LPG gas instant hot water, as well as a 11gal Hot water tank that is hooked up to the Engine. That way if you have been motoring you can change the 3 way valve and pull off the tank and not use LPG gas.
no--the hot water heater , alone will not sink your boat , but when hooked into the pressure water system, there is a connection and it wasnt happy with the way my ex had his boat hooked up and we had about 12 in freeboard left when i got home--YES THE HEATER WILL SINK YOUR BOAT....LOL especially if you have pressurized water....we only started out with 3 1/2 feet of freeboard.......i remove heaters as soon as i get a boat--they all show signs of having leaked--i prefer to use a solar shower--i have 2 on board.
this was 1991 in lost angeles. i am moored now ..jerry jug the water ..lol....
when i was cruising the gulf with phillip we had solar only for first part of trip---worked but we stil overused the juice..lol...so added some wind--was an improvement--didnt have run down batteries as often--still fine tuning-i want wind for my formosa...as well as my 240 wtts plus 3 amps input solar.......