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Hi all, I am well confused with the best electric set up need to power what I recon I will need. First question is there a web site were you can list all power required I.e TV 20 watt at 1.2 amp , fridge / freezer / pump / lights / washing machine / = you need 6 X 12 volt or 2v to run the TV for so many hours and so on and so on , this way I can work out what set up I would need then ask about the best battery to buy and the best thing to charge them with. Hope this make sense? I basically want the power I have in a house but on a boat with minimum charging using the engine

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Hi

 

If you want the same power that you have in your house ( why? ) you are in for a shock and need to budget many thousands of pounds for the set up. Boats are not houses and when on board you need to think totaly differently even if permenantly plugged in to shore power. Tell us all what you intend to use and how often and you will get some semblance of advice from many.

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I basically want the power I have in a house but on a boat with minimum charging using the engine

 

It just isn't going to happen.

 

If this is your intention then just buy a flat with a view of the water - or - a house boat which is connected to the 'mains' utilities.

 

To give you a rough guide - electricity generated by the boat engine will cost approximately 10x what it costs per unit from the Electricity supplier - lets say your current electricity bill is £60m per month - to maintain the same appliances on a boat will cost about £600 per month.

  • Greenie 1
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Yes, there definitely ought to be a website that allows you to enter your needs and your generating capability and then tell you how much generating time you are going to have to do and then how long your batteries might last.

No, I don't know of one.

I've started to make one several times but it is too far down my priority list.

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Solar will achieve that in the summer. A generator will achieve it in the winter. Be prepared to have to run the generator for many, many hours.

 

and in view of the OP's statement about wanting an electricity supply similar to a house I doubt will have enough area to fit sufficient solar panels to do even that on the boat.

 

I feel a rethink is required if the boat is for inland cruising - I am sure the super yachts have such systems but can the OP afford the initial price, running costs and crew costs?

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Hi all, I am well confused with the best electric set up need to power what I recon I will need. First question is there a web site were you can list all power required I.e TV 20 watt at 1.2 amp , fridge / freezer / pump / lights / washing machine / = you need 6 X 12 volt or 2v to run the TV for so many hours and so on and so on , this way I can work out what set up I would need then ask about the best battery to buy and the best thing to charge them with. Hope this make sense I basically want the power I have in a house but on a boat with minimum charging using the engine

No there isn't such a website, the problem is that there is a wide variation in energy consumption between different appliances of the same type. But if you make a list of the types of appliances you want to use and for how long, put it on here and we can probably help. And what type of boat you are creating ie live aboard or holiday/leisure boat, mostly in a marina or mostly off-grid etc.

 

Looking at your list above, the fridge freezer and washing machine are perhaps the most significant things. The fridge freezer because it is switched on 24/7 and the washing machine because it uses a lot of power, even if only a couple of times a week.

 

You can certainly have the things you mention above without it being too "extreme" but it is unlikely ever to be as much power as you have in a house - on a boat you always have to think what you are doing when you flick a switch on an appliance, where the energy is coming from and how you are going to replenish it.

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Once you've done the initial power audit (with help from here or whatever) there is a simple calculation that then needs to be done...

 

How will I generate 120% of the above power requirement each day?

 

If the answer to that question is "I can't" then you need to look at how to reduce the power consumption.

 

If the answer to the question is "With charger x driven by generator y" you can then move on to what size battery bank you require. It needs to be at the very least 2.5 times the audit but preferably 3 or more times.

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Maybe another idea would to be to look at other established arrangements on boats and decide what is acceptable to you ? There are (good) reasons why people have solid fuel stoves, gas water heaters, traction batteries, solar panels etc etc and many are down to how they intend to use the boat... The over-riding factors will be how much power you want to use each day and the budget you are prepared to devote to installing and maintaining it. I, for one, and many others would definitely be very interested in whatever you choose and how you get on...

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A house usually has a 60 to 100A mains supply, a boat on shore supply will only have a 16a connector and may well be limited to 6 to 16amps according to the fuse fitted.

 

There is NO WAY you are going to have house size electricity supply on a boat -well unless you find and pay for a well fitted berth with 63/3phase, usually only found at the more expensive marinas for coastal cruisers (gin palaces!).

 

Review your intention to live on a boat, or review your intended electrical consumption.

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You can find energy audit tools on the web. Most are biased for mains but normally you can work it out.

 

Realistically all you need is a list / spread sheet.

 

List all the items that use power. then the peak wattage (forget amps as they are voltage dependent) then the usage factor.

 

So it could be:-

 

tv 30 watts 3 hours = 90 wh

water pump 10 watts 1 hour 10wh

etc etc

 

Total up all the wh. Times by 1.2 to allow for charging losses & if using an inverter another 1.2 for that too.

 

Thats how much power you will be using each day.

 

I personally like to have 3 to 5 days (prob ecessive for boat use so use 2-3 days) autonomy & work to 50% SOC / DOD.

 

So that is times above total by 2 or 3 & then times by 2 to see total bat capacity needed in wh. Div by 12 to get ah capacity.

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The pinned post "Power Generation" in the "Equipment" section starts with two threads giving different ways to the freely downloadable Victron book on the subject of electrical power which will lead you to answers for all of your questions. This goes up to bigger boats that may even have crew!

 

The Smartgauge.co.uk website has enough technical info for all users of smaller boats, the author was -when he wrote it- a narrowboater as well as a specialist 12v systems designer. Many designs are shown for you to copy or develop.

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Someone put together an excel sheet for working out how much solar you need. I am not at home so may not be able to find it but will give it a go.

 

Here's another excel spreadsheet on the Waterways World website (linky) . Once on that page follow the other two links there which take you to an excellent set of explanatory notes plus the spreadsheet itself.

 

It looks as though this lot was put together by our very own Theo of this parish but I found it after a straight Google for "electrical audit" rather than via Canalworld (although now we use a google search on here I suppose it would come up anyway these days).

 

It helps if you have some electrical understanding to follow what the calculations are doing but Nick's notes do a pretty good job if you don't.

 

Richard

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First of all thank you everyone for your post, I will try and reply to you all on your feed ?

@ my wrong wording saying I want it be like a house , I meant to put the things you use in a house I.e TV, washing machine, fridge, lights , charging of gadgets etc etc.

 

@system move it up the list for me please please please ?

 

@NickNorman thank you I will make a list as there are no sites I've come to realise reading the posts. But will check outSmartgauge.co.uk and the The pinned post "Power Generation" in the "Equipment"

Thanks @Artur for this information and Waterways World website (linky) . Thanks @rjasmith p.s ( liveaboard )nicknorman

 

@watever great advice, I am finding with research and branch if information sorted leads to another which can lead to the answer?

 

@justme I think the above is needed an to wh

 

@Dorchester will help with above greats thank you

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  • 2 months later...
On 29/12/2016 at 12:42, rjasmith said:

 

Here's another excel spreadsheet on the Waterways World website (linky) . Once on that page follow the other two links there which take you to an excellent set of explanatory notes plus the spreadsheet itself.

 

It looks as though this lot was put together by our very own Theo of this parish but I found it after a straight Google for "electrical audit" rather than via Canalworld (although now we use a google search on here I suppose it would come up anyway these days).

 

It helps if you have some electrical understanding to follow what the calculations are doing but Nick's notes do a pretty good job if you don't.

 

Richard

Back on line after a protracted absence.

The time to run the engine calculation is nonsense

I haven't read the rest of this topic yet.  I hope that someone has already pointed this out.

 

Nick

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