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1 hour ago, enigmatic said:

The power use of a computer/router is tiny compared with the power use of running a fridge anyway, never mind starting a Webasto/Eberspacher heater

 

Laptop with a 12v power supply (easily bought offline for most laptops) is the most energy efficient way of doing things as you don't need your inverter to be on

The OP has to use the companies equipment 

 

Edited by ditchcrawler
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4 hours ago, enigmatic said:

The power use of a computer/router is tiny compared with the power use of running a fridge anyway, never mind starting a Webasto/Eberspacher heater

 

 

Except the power use of running a computer/router is in addition to running the fridge and everything else, not instead of it, so I'm not sure a comparison it's really relevant.

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14 hours ago, enigmatic said:

The power use of a computer/router is tiny compared with the power use of running a fridge anyway, never mind starting a Webasto/Eberspacher heater

 

Laptop with a 12v power supply (easily bought offline for most laptops) is the most energy efficient way of doing things as you don't need your inverter to be on

It’s significant, more so than you think with a high spec laptop. My 15” Lenovo will pull 12 amps from its 12v power supply when charging its battery and under load. When fully charged it’ll still chow through a constant 6-7 amps if doing something graphics intensive like editing video. Emails etc will only pull 2-3 amps, but 24ah is still something to factor in over a 8hr working day. 
 

A desktop PC is even less efficient, and you also have the losses of the inverter. 

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It may also be worthwhile using a directional aerial to gain a stronger signal and accept the need to orient it each time when mooring.

 

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16 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

The OP has to use the companies equipment 

 

But what's to stop him using his own 12V power supply to run the company computer?

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34 minutes ago, David Mack said:

But what's to stop him using his own 12V power supply to run the company computer?

 

4 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

It seems the company computer is a desktop not a laptop.

 

It's possible to run a desktop PC directly off 12v; you can get ATX power supplies which convert your boat's 12-15v to the precisely regulated 12v, 5v and 3.3v the motherboard and hard drive needs. However, they're typically not very powerful (only around 300w) as they're designed for small PCs in bespoke builds and cars. About 12 years ago I built a PC into the dash of my first car (a rusty VW Polo!) based around one of these powering the guts of a point-of-sale machine with a little touchscreen. Worked really well, even with the voltage drop when cranking. 

 

To install it needs warranty-voiding modification to the PC, which the company wouldn't be very happy about! Still though, might help someone knowing that it's an option. Would work fine for a low spec desktop machine for office tasks. Wouldn't run anything with a graphics card, a high end CPU or lots of hard drives from it though!

 

Here's a few sources, the cheaper ones tend to have less precise regulation and more ripple in the output:

 

https://www.mini-box.com/DC-DC

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KASILU-Dlb0216-DC-ATX-160W-Switch-high-performance/dp/B08WPBHM38

 

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51 minutes ago, David Mack said:

But what's to stop him using his own 12V power supply to run the company computer?

I think it's a "her"🙂

 

Howard

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Laptops do much better than desktops as low power consumption is obviously a big factor in laptop design.

We don't know what the OP has to do for work but it might be possible to do most of it on a laptop and only fire up the works PC once or twice a day to transfer data.

 

..............Dave

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1 hour ago, cheesegas said:

 

 

 

It's possible to run a desktop PC directly off 12v; you can get ATX power supplies which convert your boat's 12-15v to the precisely regulated 12v, 5v and 3.3v the motherboard and hard drive needs. However, they're typically not very powerful (only around 300w) as they're designed for small PCs in bespoke builds and cars. About 12 years ago I built a PC into the dash of my first car (a rusty VW Polo!) based around one of these powering the guts of a point-of-sale machine with a little touchscreen. Worked really well, even with the voltage drop when cranking. 

 

To install it needs warranty-voiding modification to the PC, which the company wouldn't be very happy about! Still though, might help someone knowing that it's an option. Would work fine for a low spec desktop machine for office tasks. Wouldn't run anything with a graphics card, a high end CPU or lots of hard drives from it though!

 

Here's a few sources, the cheaper ones tend to have less precise regulation and more ripple in the output:

 

https://www.mini-box.com/DC-DC

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KASILU-Dlb0216-DC-ATX-160W-Switch-high-performance/dp/B08WPBHM38

 

Or get a decent inverter.

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15 hours ago, blackrose said:

Except the power use of running a computer/router is in addition to running the fridge and everything else, not instead of it, so I'm not sure a comparison it's really relevant.

And for related reasons, she'll need to charge the batteries for a couple of hours every day in winter with or without a computer, unless she turns the fridge off, exclusively uses the stove for heating and is very frugal about electric light. 

 

Point being a computer is very unlike running a power hungry device like a washing machine, and so the OP need not worry about "running her engine all the time" . Seems like she's already taken into account avoiding stuff that's inappropriate for continuous cruising and probably won't even power up like electric kettles and toasters, and computers don't fall into that category, not even really inefficient company-supplied ones. 

 

Any decently specced battery/solar setup should be able to cope with the power draw -which might well be instead of TVs or sound systems- and if it uses up enough amp hours to require an extra half hour's charging in winter when she's running the engine daily for power anyway, a battery monitor (very useful anyway) should give her an indication. 

 

But yeah. if she has the ability to persuade the company to allow her work on a 50w laptop instead of a 120w desktop it might be worth doing

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Given that most of us run some kind of computer, beit a laptop or desktop, we all need to provide the required power for charging and/or running, so nobody is reinventing the wheel here. If things need to be run off 240v, (lots of boaters have 240v fridges and freezers), so inverters are in regular use. Lots of boaters work from their boat, many in computer intensive professions.

 

It would be useful to know exactly what desktop the OP is running, (make and model?), along with the type of software and work she is doing.

 

If it cant be run off the 12v system, a decent inverter does the job. (Victron Phoenix Smart 2000VA, (1600w), about £750... many cheaper makes/models available).

 

As far as I know, a frugal boater tends to use around 70Ah per day, and a profligate boater tends to use around 130Ah per day, (there will be some exceptions, who use much less and much more).

 

A 450Ah battery bank would probably be more than enough. 600W of solar would break the back of power supply throughout the summer. Either a big alternator for engine running/charging in winter, or some way of storing and running a reasonable sized genny, or both.

 

 

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

But what's to stop him using his own 12V power supply to run the company computer?

 

Many companies have policies in place that prohibit using 3rd party power supplies to run their equipment. it might seem ridiculous bit mine does. They do PAT testing on all their equipment.

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If they have policies like that, they might not be too keen on their equipment being powered by 240V ac from a generator or inverter which probably doesn't meet the mains specification for voltage and frequency tolerances.

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6 minutes ago, David Mack said:

If they have policies like that, they might not be too keen on their equipment being powered by 240V ac from a generator or inverter which probably doesn't meet the mains specification for voltage and frequency tolerances.

It's doubtful that the person writing the policies would even think of that.  But people using non-standard chargers/mains leads is far more likely.

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2 hours ago, David Mack said:

If they have policies like that, they might not be too keen on their equipment being powered by 240V ac from a generator or inverter which probably doesn't meet the mains specification for voltage and frequency tolerances.

 

A decent inverter such as a Victron or Mastervolt will easily meet the mains specification. 

 

Indeed, they will prevent the inverter from paralleling with the mains when it is outside of the inverters tighter voltage and frequency limits.

Edited by cuthound
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9 hours ago, cheesegas said:

 

 

 

It's possible to run a desktop PC directly off 12v; you can get ATX power supplies which convert your boat's 12-15v to the precisely regulated 12v, 5v and 3.3v the motherboard and hard drive needs. However, they're typically not very powerful (only around 300w) as they're designed for small PCs in bespoke builds and cars. About 12 years ago I built a PC into the dash of my first car (a rusty VW Polo!) based around one of these powering the guts of a point-of-sale machine with a little touchscreen. Worked really well, even with the voltage drop when cranking. 

 

To install it needs warranty-voiding modification to the PC, which the company wouldn't be very happy about! Still though, might help someone knowing that it's an option. Would work fine for a low spec desktop machine for office tasks. Wouldn't run anything with a graphics card, a high end CPU or lots of hard drives from it though!

 

Here's a few sources, the cheaper ones tend to have less precise regulation and more ripple in the output:

 

https://www.mini-box.com/DC-DC

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KASILU-Dlb0216-DC-ATX-160W-Switch-high-performance/dp/B08WPBHM38

 

I am sure his company would be over the moon when they find out he has ripped the company computer to bits, IT departments tend to get upset about such things.

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