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Betty1

Electric Hook Up

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Thinking about adding electric hook up to a boat. Over winter I want the batteries to be charged via an electric hook up point. Or would you go for a solar panel to do this? A solar panel won't charge the batteries to full capacity when you are on the boat and you would need to run the engine. So is a solar panel a good idea or use mains hookup or if mooring where you can't use a hookup just render the engine, respecting the neighbours of course.

 

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

 

 

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During the winter months, and if a hook-up is available, then I would make use of it. Silly not to if it's there! 

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7 hours ago, Betty1 said:

A solar panel won't charge the batteries to full capacity when you are on the boat

That depends on your power usage and the output from your solar panels. If they are large enough they will fully charge your batteries.

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The great thing about solar panels is that they are always providing a small charge, which will prevent damage to the batteries themselves if the boat is left for long periods.

A reasonable size solar panel should give you around 5 to 7 amps at 12 volts. If you want any more than that you will end up covering most of the cabin top with them!

5 amps would be sufficient to run a 12 volt fridge.

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35 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

The great thing about solar panels is that they are always providing a small charge, which will prevent damage to the batteries themselves if the boat is left for long periods.

A reasonable size solar panel should give you around 5 to 7 amps at 12 volts. If you want any more than that you will end up covering most of the cabin top with them!

5 amps would be sufficient to run a 12 volt fridge.

Yes 5 amps times 24 hours gives 120 Ah....plenty for a fridge :default_biggrin:

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4 minutes ago, Philosophical said:

Yes 5 amps times 24 hours gives 120 Ah....plenty for a fridge :default_biggrin:

24 hours? Do yours generate at night? :default_norty::default_norty:

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10 minutes ago, oldgregg said:

24 hours? Do yours generate at night? :default_norty::default_norty:

That reminds me of the old joke about a space rocket to the sun; when the scientists were asked if the sun's surface would be too hot and the rocket would burn up, they replied that they had thought about that so were going to send the rocket at night. 

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A female point of view for you. We have shore power and make good use of it. When we arrive at the boat, the first thing to go on is the fridge, without shore power it would mean running the engine for a while and, as we don’t dash straight off, that’s a non-starter. The batteries are on trickle charge when we are away from the boat and during the winter we run a small oil-filled radiator on very low. That has kept us moisture free now for 9 years. The radiator is great too when we arrive in colder weather. We also keep a dust buster fully charged and that is ideal for a quick whizz round the boat every now and again, with 2 dogs it’s very useful. 

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We are about to have solar panels fitted under the silly masty thing. So we can keep making ice cubes when we stop early in the summer and its 30 degrees (ok I'm optimistic) without running down the batteries too much, the kids (all three of em) with 90 million electric 12v devices (Ipad, Iphone , lappy and so on) on charge all the time really saps the energy. I'm swallowing my hypochrisy over the mining of the rare earth metals though. Feel quite bad about that. 

Anyone remember the flood light scandal and solar farms? The feed in tarrif was so high it still made money to run a diesel generator to flood light the solar panels to send voltage to the grid at night. they got found out though.... OOPs... Only in California of course ....

Modern ones are so much better than the early models and use way less rare earth metals per panel and are way more efficient too. Apart from the mining spoilage issue, they are for me great things. So I would say go for it.

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8 minutes ago, Malanka said:

the kids (all three of em) with 90 million electric 12v devices (Ipad, Iphone , lappy and so on) on charge all the time really saps the energy.

Worth mentioning that all these appliances actually work on 12v DC and have adaptors when they are plugged in the "mains", so if you buy a simple 12 volt cigar socket charging lead for use on the boat, they will charge quicker and use less batteries.

 

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Hi Vaughan

Your point is very well made and taken however it's a little late, as they already are using 12v charging. We had several 12 sockets installed when we upgraded the electrics. They are very discreet as I didn't want ugly plastic 12 sockets all over the mahogany panel interior. 

Time for a rant........

The issue is that those on board under 25 streaming video and facetiming really kills the phone batteries. They do it all the time 24/7, so they are charging everything in cigar chargers all the time. We have two and three m long charging cables too. Looks like an explosion is a spaghetti factory at times. The other issue is the way teenagers graze the fridge (Waeco 80L) every five minutes, the poor thing has time to cool down a bit and someone gets something else to eat out of it after gazing inside leaning on the door for five minutes and the cycle starts again.

My youngest (17) can, and does, play FiFA, text, and also stream video, or facetime on three different devices all AT THE SAME TIME AND HOLD A CONVERSATION VIA HEADPHONES with someone else. Its simply incredible.

Rant over......

One good tip though would be to buy a phone sim top up that is unlimited data for a limited period (say a month )and then put that into your dongle...He he Dongle takes up to 5 or ten devices Bob's your Aunty. Easy for us as we have unlocked Phones by law here in Switzerland. 

The most ridiculous thing I can think of is using an inverter to convert 12 v to 240 v then use an adapter to take it back to 12v to charge devices... Makes my blood boil. Hence the 12v sockets. 

Smart chargers don't make the task easy either if the batteries are under significant load or damaged in any way as well. We had a dicky engineering battery cell last season (just one) and the smart charger had a fit of not charging the others fully even though we pootled all day. New battery fixed it.

For interest our biggest real issue is the wiring for the ceiling lights as that is the ORIGINAL wax paper wrapped wiring from 1952. 66 years old and leaking current all over the place. All the rest was replaced 8 years ago with state of the art stuff, inverter, domestic and inverter suitcase batteries x4 almost 900 Ah, smart charger et al (all hidden so you can't see it of course). That lot of vintage crinkly wiring is set to be removed at the end of this season when we replace the cabin tops and the sloped cabin tops/sides with new grey lino with hessian backing and brown track mark for the edges. No modern fixes. The wallet is getting plenty of notice and no crying will be permitted. (will be posted in the restoration thread)

Any sympathy greatly received.....

Remind me again why we bought a wooden boat. Love and being a tiny bit potty as a fruit bat.

 

See you all floating. 

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3 minutes ago, Malanka said:

The most ridiculous thing I can think of is using an inverter to convert 12 v to 240 v then use an adapter to take it back to 12v to charge devices... Makes my blood boil. Hence the 12v sockets. 

We are agreed!

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Something I tell my teens now two twenty somethings REGULARLY...

Teaching of Physics and Engineering basics sadly lacking in modern schools it seems. Where is that Wheat Stone Bridge gone when you need it ...LOL

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2 minutes ago, Malanka said:

Something I tell my teens now two twenty somethings REGULARLY...

Teaching of Physics and Engineering basics sadly lacking in modern schools it seems. Where is that Wheat Stone Bridge gone when you need it ...LOL

Some of us can remember the time when electricity had to be conserved, cars with dynamo's for example.....if the headlights were not switched off on for periods at tickover i.e stop start in traffic, the battery would go flat.

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3 minutes ago, Philosophical said:

Some of us can remember the time when electricity had to be conserved, cars with dynamo's for example.....if the headlights were not switched off on for periods at tickover i.e stop start in traffic, the battery would go flat.

A worthwhile schooling!

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Talking of 12v charging, I have seen many of the flush mount USB chargers but this was the first which combined a voltage readout which is handy. Since almost everything can be charged by USB these sort of things are great.

USB .jpg

Amazon Link

You can also get one that fits into a a common switch housing found on many boats these days:

USB 2.jpg

Amazon Link

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19 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

Talking of 12v charging, I have seen many of the flush mount USB chargers but this was the first which combined a voltage readout which is handy. Since almost everything can be charged by USB these sort of things are great.

USB .jpg

Amazon Link

You can also get one that fits into a a common switch housing found on many boats these days:

USB 2.jpg

Amazon Link

I like that , 2 bases covered in one small neat unit :default_beerchug:

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613ElZkaipL._SL1000_.jpg

I've got three of these to fit (aft cabin, cockpit, forward cabin), though I will mount them on the panels up the right way...

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5 hours ago, TheQ said:

613ElZkaipL._SL1000_.jpg

I've got three of these to fit (aft cabin, cockpit, forward cabin), though I will mount them on the panels up the right way...

Does it cost extra to get ones that fit upside down :)

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7 hours ago, Malanka said:

The most ridiculous thing I can think of is using an inverter to convert 12 v to 240 v then use an adapter to take it back to 12v to charge devices... Makes my blood boil. Hence the 12v sockets. 

I agree.  We have a 12v TV on Moonlight Shadow.  It has an enormous adaptor.  We put a 12v lead on board to plug into the 12v socket so that the adaptor is surplus to requirements.  

SueH

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12 hours ago, Maxwellian said:

Does it cost extra to get ones that fit upside down :)

yes, a couple of thousand pounds to fly to Austraia to get them...

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Our old solar panel had a little blue blinking light when it was charging. Upon arriving at the boat one evening (dark) the wife said "the solar panel is broken", I ask why, and she said the little light is not blinking, I replired its dark, and her reply "yes I know but the solar panel isnt working....."

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