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Battery Bank for 1986 32 foot 3270

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    #16
    Like Mr. Darcy said, we are all different in our approach. Our last boat electrical situation was more like yours than our current boat, and over the 29 years we owned it there were several various battery configurations. The most successful was a 27 series starter battery and an 8D house battery. I had a 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter and a ship/shore switch. I did not separate the outlets and refrigerator from the rest of the panel but today I would. I have used a CPAP for enough years that I’m on my fifth one, we could operate our microwave, toaster oven, tv, charge the cell phones, whatever for two days on the hook. Obviously we had to be careful with how much and couldn’t do like at the dock plugged in, but comfortable amounts. Or refrigerator was a Novacool that ran on 12v only which I found to be much more efficient in battery use than the Norcold AC/DC unit we replaced.
    When I went on the inverter I’d turn the hot water heater and battery charger circuit breakers off, for obvious reasons.
    If I were installing an inverter today, I would get an square wave Inverter/charger that, like my current boat is in the 2500 watt range. The square wave is the latest technology in inverting dc (I think) but has been around for eight or ten years in the pleasure craft market. The difference between a modified sine wave and the square wave is the modified is like an ocean wave, very round. The square wave is like someone with a light switch, on off, on off. The difference comes with using some of the newer electronics really needing that square wave to operate. I’d replace the alternators with some really high output units, buying them after careful shopping on line. I’d probably install a pair of 8D deep cycle or two pair of golf cart batteries. For battery cables to and from the inverter, I’m currently replacing my 2/0 cables to 4/0 at the recommendation of my marine Electrician and running the ground to the batteries instead of an engine block. The case will be grounded with 3/0 to an engine block. Also, separate the inverter circuits that it will power both at the load (black wire) side and the neutral (white wire). That will or should keep you clear of any ground fault problems at marinas with upgraded power supplies.
    Congrats on doing the loop. It’s on my bucket list, but the Admiral, well, not so much.
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
    MMSI 367770440
    1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
    Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

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      #17
      Pete, I would have to disagree with you on this one.
      old-fashioned square inverters are the cheapest to make, but the hardest to use.
      Many devices will run hot, make buzzing humming noise too. For this reason square wave inverters are banned in many European countries.
      Pure sine wave inverter is what you want especially with modern sensitive electronics.
      Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
      Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
      93 3058 sold
      92 2855 (day boat)
      91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
      Longbranch WA
      Life is Good

      Comment


        #18
        Ruffryder, it appears I had them reversed. My bad
        P/C Pete
        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
        1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
        MMSI 367770440
        1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
        Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

        Comment


          #19
          Bobby,

          I believe before one starts to design and build an electrical system for your boat you should have a complete understanding of all of the factors involved. My suggestion is to start with a reading of Nigel Calders excellent book here:

          https://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-Me...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

          As he suggests first start with an inventory of your expected electrical loads. He goes through how to convert from AC to DC so you have a full accounting. I realize that for some devices you wont have a good measurement and for those he has a listing of what devices on average might use.

          Once you have a usage schedule in place you can begin to specify what size battery bank might meet your requirements.

          After you have the size and type of battery bank decided you can specify what type of inverter/charger will be needed. He covers efficientcies of different battery types and adds that to the sizing criteria.

          Then you can decide on how you are going to charge this bank and if a generator or solar charger might meet your needs. There have been some valuable suggestions on types of inverters and Calder does a very good job describing the differences in "laymans" terms.

          There have been many helpful anecdotes related to you in this thread. None are necessarily wrong but none of them can account for your particular needs. Going this route will allow you to design and build a system that will meet your specific needs for now and well into the future.

          Hope this helps,

          RB Cooper

          Comment


            #20
            I have 2 L-16 6v deep cycle batteries for about an 400 amp hour bank. I have 2 start batteries in which are charged by their respective engine alternator. Which are I think Motorola 55amp alternator.

            On both alternators i have an acr that when the start battery is charged it switches to the house bank. So when both start batteris are charged which is a matter of minutes it switches both alternators to the house bank.

            I have found this to be pretty effective and i couldnt be happier. I switched all my lights out to led lights and put a 12v cooling fan on the refrigerator coils.which helps fridge to run much less.. With all that I can run several days on the hook. In just a couple hours of cruising the batteris are mostly full. I have a portable generator but i havent used it in 3 years.

            I have a 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter. I would prefer at least a 2000 pure since wave. I also have a xantrex link battery monitor system.
            1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
            twin 454's
            MV Mar-Y-Sol
            1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
            Twin chevy 350's inboard
            Ben- Jamin
            spokane Washington

            Comment


              #21
              X2 on Calders book. I have it and it is gold.
              P/C Pete
              Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
              1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
              Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
              1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
              MMSI 367770440
              1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
              Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

              Comment


                #22
                Thank you all very much for your input. It is greatly appreciated. I did find a spreadsheet that was created by Calder, that takes in account every piece of equipment, light, etc..., that would allow me to calculate the Amp Hours in a 24 hour period, and then size from there. Currently in Key West with the family, to hide from the cold, and will be visiting the boat in March to begin the process of putting a bank on board, and what equipment is needed to make it efficient.

                We have considered just purchasing a portable generator, as that would be the easiest fix for what we would need it for, but am looking for something more "permanent".

                Thank you all again!! Will let you know if I get "stumped" with anything!!
                Bobby Wilson
                1986 Bayliner 3270
                Gold Looper 2017

                Comment


                  #23
                  Just to add a few points you may find useful:

                  Inverters are electrically expensive. The rule of thumb at least used to be that it took 11 amps DC in to provide 1 amp of AC out. This clearly adds to the complexity of installing a high-capacity inverter; if you need 750 watts AC, you need about 70 amps DC to the inverter (P=EI). If the wire run (round trip) is 40', you need #1 wire to maintain a 3% or less voltage drop. You can use #6 wire if a 10% voltage drop is OK but this may affect inverter operation. (Blue Seas has a nice phone app to calculate wire size.)

                  As someone has pointed out, not all inverters are equal. I have one that gets 115v by putting about 60v on each of the hot (black) and neutral (white) wires. Not all AC devices are happy about that.

                  High-output alternators are very nice but they do have a couple of downsides. The output wiring has to be large enough to take the load. The drive belt may need to be more robust -- my half-inch V belt kept turning to dust driving a 110a Balmar. The serpentine belt conversion was expensive and complicated.

                  If your daughter's medical equipment is critical, I would absolutely have a small generator, even if you don't regularly use it. It would turn what could be an emergency into a mere nuisance. Backup is a good thing.

                  FYI -- I have 3 group 29 house batteries charged by the 110a Balmar. I boat in cold weather and run the diesel furnace a lot. Occasionally, I need to run the motor to charge the house bank but not often. I watch the battery monitor so that the house batteries don't get too low. I have a lot of switches and a combiner to vary the configuration but essentially all 3 batteries are always connected in parallel. In the dead of winter, I take a small generator but rarely use it.

                  Good luck. Read Nigel Calder.
                  100T MMC 2307794

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Bobby,

                    Read the book. Calder does a good job covering the usage of electric power. I'm sorry but if it was my decision I would never rely on a portable gas powered generator to supply the power needed to cover the needs of anyone on board for any extended period. Even an installed diesel generator is not the device of choice. The associated noise or exhaust would be a no go item for me. You need to seriously examine exactly what your electrical needs are and design a battery driven solution accordingly. The difficulty with the small portable gas powered generators is not just the noise they might generate but also the CO that they produce. No one can survive a significant CO over dose without medical intervention and running one of these types of devices over night (no matter where you place it) is just tempting fate. I stick to my original recommendation to do an electrical survey of your total electrical needs based on battery power with inverter as neccessary for any AC loads. The generator/solar should be sized to supply replenishing power in the morning or during the day.

                    RB

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