THE CHERRY ON TOP!
OCEAN STRIDER’s, renewable, sustainable electrical system, explained.
A boat can be as comfortable as a house & more sustainable.
I’ve lived on boats, on the inland waterways and the salty sea since 1989. I’m not sure I could live any other way.
For personal use and through business, I’ve fit out and built in-excess of 65 boats and when I see some of the boats people live on. I wonder how they do it and why.
If you’re going to live aboard, surely the boat should be safe, comfortable, warm and dry.
Before you fit a renewable, sustainable electrical system. You need to know, roughly, the electrical usage on the boat. Over estimate it slightly.
Consider where you live. It’s doubtful you’ll manage to live, on sustainable electric for all time but if its sunny and windy where you live, you have a better chance of free power.
A description of the renewable, electric, generators on my boat.
Include: 100w x 4 solar panels, = 400w, 497w of wind generator and the electric drive itself.
I’m not academically, technically minded. However, I do know, when fitting electrical equipment. For safety and functionality reasons, it has to fitted correctly. Using the recommended fuses and I personally go slightly over the top with the cable and use tinned cables. This helps the equipment work to the max and reduces the chance of overheating the cables. If in doubt hire a professional.
All the sustainable energy on my boat, is fed to the 48v DC, propulsion, battery bank. The battery bank is 400amps @ 48v. / 8 x 12v, 200amp batteries.
The Rutland 1200, 48v wind generator feeds the bank through the Rutland controller.
The solar power is fed, through a 3000w, 48v inverter charger with solar controller included. A fantastic bit of kit.
The electric drive is reversed to become a generator, using the propeller to turn it, under sail. It simply feeds back to the 48v battery bank. There is no controller, I have to be careful not to overcharge.
The 48v DC to 3000w AC inverter, charger & solar controller, then converts the 48v DC to 230v AC which runs the leisure systems on the boat. It took some thinking out, but it works really well.
The inverter powers the 230v AC system. I have 2 x 10amp battery chargers. One to my leisure and one to the anchor windlass battery banks. They keep those batteries charged, left on all the time.
When I’m in the marina, I plug into the marina land line and use the charger. I fully re charge the 48v battery bank and have the inverter turned on. That gives me all the power I need.
When I’m at anchor, sometimes I use the generator to top up the battery bank to the max. This is not a necessity but if you do a lot of anchoring and for lots of consecutive days, I recommend it.
After I’ve topped up the batteries, I leave everything on. I’ve tried turning fridges off but have found its not really worth it, as they only have to cool down again. The wind generator and solar do a very good gob of keeping the battery bank charged up. Which keep them in good condition.
I’m sure you clever chaps will have a few comments. Please keep them positive! I realise this isn’t, as efficient as it could be but nothing is perfect.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss a system for your boat. Ill do my best to help.