We had two good customer calls this morning, then I tackled 3 electrical projects that I’ve been equipped to complete, but have not been able to fit them in.
Over a relatively short period of time, this gadget will tell me exactly what the Amp-Hours consumption is for our biggest consuming DC appliance when on the hook. This will help finalize the battery storage requirements.
Also shown above is a separate volt meter to show me, at a glance, what the voltages are for the house and starting battery banks.
These are great additions to our boat’s operation that I have wanted for a long time. Finally, these projects are DONE! And they enhance to current use of solar and planning our next steps with that system.
Rick, our mechanic, is here installing a “like new” heat exchanger and new impeller on our generator. The flow should be substantially increased once he is done. We had an anomaly with the thing shutting down after 30-60 minutes (4 times in the past month). There are no gauges or indicators to tell us why. So I’m hoping the apparent low flow of cooling water was the culprit, and this should fix that.
Rick is going to see if there is a way to hook up this generator “backwards” so that it produces diesel fuel from the excess solar power we have on sunny days. That would be sweet!
It is official now, one of our biggest goals has been accomplished. The large load of our refrigerator-freezer is now powered by the sun!
When out on the anchor for the day or for overnights, our batteries really take a beating from the fridge. This afternoon, we have totally isolated that load, as well as my work’s laptop and monitor, and all the Internet connectivity. That stuff is no longer on the boat’s main battery bank.
At some point, I’ll move the cabin lights off too.
Below you can see the battery is fully charged so only a small amount (0.76 Amps) is flowing into the battery. The rest of it is being consumed by the fridge, laptop, monitor, Internet routers, etc.
Key components of the solar project:
Qty 3 Solarland Monocrystaline Panels 300 watts, 19 volts, 13 amps, 61.8 x 27.8 x 1.4 inches (rigid panels), 25 year warrantee. $367 ea ($1.835 per watt)
Victron MTTP 150/35 Solar Controller max 150 volts input, max 35 Amps output. This is hooked up to two aft panels wired in series (36vdc/13A). $323.
Victron MTTP 100/20 Solar Controller max 100 volts in, max 20 Amps output. This is hooked up to the third panel up forward. $167.
All the wire, mounting hardware, taxes, and shipping added up to another grand. So, it was a $2500 project. The vendor, https://www.emarineinc.com had the most helpful website, and knowledgable staff to assist in the system’s design.
The storage was already on the boat: one Interstate 8D flooded lead acid battery (2 years old). Estimated 300 AH (150 AH useable). With the ability to temporarily jumper it to a second bank when needed.
When the time comes, the 8D battery will be replaced with more capacity. Our current yacht insurance (Markel) is not “friendly” to Lithium batteries. So, my guess is QTY 4 Group 31 flooded lead acid will be what we go with. 6vdc golf cart batteries will also be explored. Our agency is exploring other carriers as well.