where do I start?

Options
Hi all I just joined to see if I can get some advise on a new set up we would like to build. We are building a 12m catamaran and would like to have it totally self sufficient for power. Our last boat struggled for power as I just made the system up my self with little knowledge of what was needed. We will have to run refrigeration-lights -instruments and so on. At this stage I don't know all the real power requirements but have a fair idea of some. I think we have room for about 6, 80wt panels. Our real concern is battery choice as we don't know a lot about the different types.
That's the sort of thing I would like to talk about so if you think you can help we are ready. Thanks Snow.

Comments

  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?

    there are a couple of good boat related strings you can read here on the BB. Don't remember off hand any key words other than 'boat'.. but that should find them...

    Cheers
    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?

    try searching sailboat here on the forum.
    basically i can say you probably won't want to have the standard leadacids to avoid acid spillage so that leaves the sealed types. there are 2 of those types. the first is gel and most don't go with those as they tend to be a bit finicky in their charging and discharging currents for the price. if you find some cheap and know what you're doing with them they will work though. the most common sealed type is the agm or absorbed glass matte. they have a high charge efficiency and won't spill their contents with a high price to go with them.
    the standard leadacids can be used if you're going cheaper and try to get aftermarket battery caps to help contain the acid. do note that no water (that the boat is sailing on) should come near these batteries as it would contaminate the electrolyte for only distilled water should enter the battery when needed and bleed off part of the charge by creating a low resistance path for current to flow through between the posts and wires.
    this page from our sponsor may be good reading for you too.
    http://www.solar-electric.com/deep_cycle_batteries/deep_cycle_battery_faq.htm
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?
    niel wrote: »
    do note that no water (that the boat is sailing on) should come near these batteries

    Mmm... Salt water and sulphuric acid = chlorine gas in deadly quantity's.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • crewzer
    crewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
  • rplarry
    rplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?

    snowjan
    As a former charter boat owner/operator, and knowing what I know now about solar, I would definitly go with the AGM batteries, and a top of the line charge controller, such as the Outback mx60. If you are going to have 120vAC on the boat then a good, weather proof inverter such as the Outback FX series, and a good generator. I found that there was almost never enough money to do it right the first time and always enough to do it right the second time. So save yourself some money and do it right the first time.
    Have fun with your new vessel,
    Larry
  • rickeolis
    rickeolis Solar Expert Posts: 110 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?

    I really think batteries can be bought anytime anywhere, but when you first start a solar project, the first thought should be on what voltage you plan on running the system at. Because of this, you should consider the inverter first. Then design the system around that concept.

    -Rick-
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: where do I start?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Mmm... Salt water and sulphuric acid = chlorine gas in deadly quantity's.

    though i was thinking more along the line of so-called fresh water with all of the contaminents in it that our lakes and rivers have, the ocean salts combining in the electrolyte would most certainly not be a good idea.

    you know my mom always said lectrick and water don't mix, but i didn't listen and i turned out ok. i turned out ok. i turned out ok. pffftt.:roll::p:D