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AC on boat


TomIre

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For the sake of the argument, let's assume money is not an issue here. How nice would it be to have AC on the boat for those handful of hot days each summer?

I'll have plenty of solar and Lithium on my parallel electric diesel hybrid.  And, during those hot summer days the solar has topped off the batteries by noon or earlier anyway. That leaves plenty of time to replace the energy used overnight by the AC.

Locating the unit is one issue I'm still mulling over. I think putting it in the bow locker is going to be best. Gas free so no bottles there. Engine bay would create an issue on running the ducting through the boat on our reverse layout to the bedroom in the front. 

What am I missing?

Longish YouTube but it's what got me thinking. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Lots of boats have Alternating Current on them. 

In this case it is Air Conditioning, not Alternating Current. 

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For somewhere between zero and maybe three, or four days a year? Lots of other things to spend money on. Remember which country you are boating in. If/when global warming gets that far along that air con becomes a necessity on a UK boat, then there won't be any water in the canals to float it, since the feeders and reservoirs are based on 18th and 19th century rainfall patterns. Yes, a steel boat is a hot box on a sunny day, but painting the roof white is pretty effective and a lot cheaper!

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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Aircon would be a godsend to help sleeping after a night shift on hot summer days! Trust me, we get a lot more than 3 hot days a year - they all seem to be when I'm working nights😅

 

It's definitely something I've thought about, but came to conclusion the cost and power usage just couldn't be justified, even with lithiums😥

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OP's quote "For the sake of the argument, let's assume money is not an issue here. How nice would it be to have AC on the boat for those handful of hot days each summer?"

 

Why, oh why? Why not enjoy the outside space on the very few lovely days we have in the UK? Burning diesel/electric to sit inside in the cool seems a complete anathema to most of us Brits.

Edited by BilgePump
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On Parglena we had a roof mounted aircon unit but needed to run the onboard genset to use it.

On Loddon we have one of the Portable ones but it spends 99% of its time in my workshop at home.

When in use it just sits in the rear doors cooling the bedroom for a few hours prior to us going to bed.

THESE PEOPLE seem to have a reasonable reputation for caravans  and its small and expensive

 

Edited by Loddon
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450 watts of cooling* isn't a lot, could just about see it working in a camper van but think it would be as much use at cooling as an eco fan is at heating in a nb.

 

I'd have thought the obvious solution would be a car type system running  of f the engine or cocooned genset  accepting that would limit its operating hours etc. 

 

* actual cooling might be more than the 450 watts input but its still not a lot...

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11 minutes ago, jonathanA said:

450 watts of cooling* isn't a lot, could just about see it working in a camper van but think it would be as much use at cooling as an eco fan is at heating in a nb.

 

I'd have thought the obvious solution would be a car type system running  of f the engine or cocooned genset  accepting that would limit its operating hours etc. 

 

* actual cooling might be more than the 450 watts input but its still not a lot...

450 watts is the power consumption.

Cooling capacity:
2,559 Btuh - 700 watts cooling.

 

The portable one is somewhat more.

power consumption - 792W

7000 BTUCooling capacity - 2.06 kW cooling 

 

 

Edited by Loddon
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All boats, be they wood, steel or GRP, get hot inside when the weather is good, even in Blighty. Small sailing boats often use fabric air scoops to grab any outside breeze and send it into the cabin. In the UK, over the course of a year you may be sleeping in shorts and T shirt in the summer and then thermals, sleeping bag, duvet and the stove in the winter. The winter is the most important season to get right if anyone wants to enjoy a boat round the year. 

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@IanD mentioned a heat pump a while back that wasn't suitable as the only heat source on a boat - wouldn't work with intake water below 5 degrees - but could also be reversed for air conditioning use.

 

Hopefully he can remember what it was!

 

 

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Intrigued, whilst looking at Webasto products for water/cabin heating, to see that they also offer an AC system although this seems to be aimed mainly at lumpy water plastic boats. Looks like parallel technology which could work on a narra.

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54 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

@IanD mentioned a heat pump a while back that wasn't suitable as the only heat source on a boat - wouldn't work with intake water below 5 degrees - but could also be reversed for air conditioning use.

 

Hopefully he can remember what it was!

 

 

 

I was involved in that discussion and it was Dometic that couldn't be used (wasn't suitable for northern UK waters) as a heat source, but, yes, they work fine as AC, but an expensive 'toy' for the odd few days that you need AC.

 

ᐅ Marine Air Conditioners - for your Yacht or Boat | Dometic

 

ᐅ Commercial Boat HVAC Systems | Dometic

 

Heater & AC in one unit :

 

Dometic MCS T12 - Marine climate system, 12000 BTU/h, 3500 W

 

CREATING THE PERFECT CLIMATE

With its efficient cooling, heating and dehumidifying settings, the Dometic MCS T12 ensures perfect temperatures on board yachts and boats regardless of weather conditions outside. Through an easy-to-use control panel, this ultra-compact unit creates the ideal on-board climate with six blower speeds and an additional automatic setting. Supplied with all fixtures and fittings, the MCS 12 is quick to install and means a comfort climate will be enjoyed with the greatest of ease.

 

  • Consumption (at 230 V): 1030 W/1270 W
Edited by Alan de Enfield
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12 minutes ago, MtB said:

Conventionally, people here read "AC" as meaning alternating current. 

 

"Aircon" is the more widely accepted abbreviation for air conditioning.

 

I think the video embedded in the body of the original post may just have been an ever so slight clue as to which AC was being refered to.

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35 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

yes, they work fine as AC, but an expensive 'toy' for the odd few days that you need AC.

 

I find a bucket of water over the boat roof to provide evaporation cooling  and hide in the shade under a tree is sufficient.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheBiscuits said:

I find a bucket of water over the boat roof to provide evaporation cooling...

Almost amazingly effective, isn't it. Persuading the long haired Admiral to repeat at intervals whilst I have a snooze is the bit I haven't mastered ...

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5 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Almost amazingly effective, isn't it. Persuading the long haired Admiral to repeat at intervals whilst I have a snooze is the bit I haven't mastered ...

 

If I tried that technique the next bucket would be tipped over me!

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Aircon would be lovely when ot gets hot. Pre covid we had a week on Bee when the daytime temp was arounf 44 deg C, that is so hot that just moving to get a cold drink is only just possible, However shade is really effective as is moving the boat, we have a fixed wheelhouse so nobody is standing out in the burning sun. If only aircon was cheaper and didn't use electric or fuel then I would be tempted.

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5 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

@IanD mentioned a heat pump a while back that wasn't suitable as the only heat source on a boat - wouldn't work with intake water below 5 degrees - but could also be reversed for air conditioning use.

 

Hopefully he can remember what it was!

 

 

It wasn't a Dometic, it was a Frigomar SCU16VFD which is a much more modern and efficient unit, and can throttle down from 16000BTU (4.7kW) to 4000BTU (1.2kW) heating or cooling, reducing input power from 1kW to 200W. The high CoP means it's actually about 50% more efficient to burn diesel in a generator and run the heat pump than to burn it in a boiler or stove, which sounds great, but...

 

Adding a skin tank (to avoid the intake/mud box problem on canals) makes the low temperature problem worse because when heating the skin tank will always be colder than the water outside, so the minimum operating temperature is even higher than when using fresh water. So another heating system is needed for when the weather (water) is cold.

 

Apart from the water temperature problem, the other issue is fitting in the air ducting (to distribute the hot/cold air along the boat) which is quite bulky -- OK for a widebeam boat or a cruiser/yacht, not so easy on a narrowboat.

 

Frigomar-DS-SCU-2019-04-EN-web-2.pdf

Edited by IanD
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I remember being shown around a fit out at Hanbury wharf MANY years ago.

Couldn't get round the fact that the AC unit, which was wall mounted and had the sofa opposite, was controlled by a remote handset! You could only just squeeze between them. 😁

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37 minutes ago, Floating Male said:

I remember being shown around a fit out at Hanbury wharf MANY years ago.

Couldn't get round the fact that the AC unit, which was wall mounted and had the sofa opposite, was controlled by a remote handset! You could only just squeeze between them. 😁

 

That is just how a lot of them are made. Our roof mounted Truma Aventa is operated by a remote control similar to a TV.

 

Even if we had wanted it with controls on the actual unit they dont make one, or they didnt when we had ours fitted in 2015.

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4 hours ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

That is just how a lot of them are made. Our roof mounted Truma Aventa is operated by a remote control similar to a TV.

You wanna be careful with roof mounted aircon.

 

Edited by David Mack
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I have aircon in my bedroom at home as I struggle to sleep when it’s even slightly warm… I’ll have it running most nights from June through to October. 
I slept and worked in air conditioned rooms for three years when I worked overseas so I’m used to it! 

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