Well as its been a while since i added some tech to the boat, so as i was updating the blog anyway, i thought i’d tell you about it.
Cruising yachts have to be mindful of electricity consumption virtually every day, most of the common things we just except on shore as the norm use hefty chunks of power on a boat, fridges, freezers, water pumps (we don’t have gravity or mains water on a boat so it all has to be pumped) as well as lighting all has to run from a 12v or 24v battery bank, so care has to be taken to make sure you have enough energy stored to last you your time at sea.
Its ok when you’re in the safe haven of a marina, you can plug into shore power, which not only means you can run 240v stuff, but means all your 12v stuff and your batteries stay fully charged. Things are slightly different at anchor, you then have to rely on running your engine every couple of days to charge them or as in the case of Allegrini have a bank of solar panels, some wind turbines and as a last resort the 240v generator.
All this kit makes life easier, and by todays standards solar power is much more efficient now than it was in the past and is getting better every couple of months or so. We have 4 x 150w panels on Allegrini, with a couple of additions by way of a couple of 150w semi flexibles to go over our Bimini (can never have to much power at sea).
All this is great and makes travel so much more bearable, with the right control and decent battery bank you can store huge amounts of power enough to run all your fridges,freezers, pumps and even a fair amount of 240v through an inverter (transformer and clever electronics that steps up 12v to 240v) letting you have even more of the creature comforts from home, TV, computers, microwave etc
Earlier on when we were refitting the boat, we decided to go down the Victron route of control gear, we have a Charger/Inverter, a solar controller, a step up transformer (allowing us to run 240v on a 110v shore line, when we get to the States) and now the last piece that we’ve just installed, a System Controller which reports back in nice simple graphical form what the whole system is doing.
The Color Controller (its american so Color not Colour) displays exactly what your using from your battery bank and also shows you what your putting back from your sources, be it Generator, Shore power or Solar Panels. Making life easier to give you’re energy system a health check every morning. ( the picture below is a web download not our boats vitals, couldn’t get a decent shot on the phone cam)
Oh and just one more thing…
We had a great sail down to Yarmouth Saturday, coming back Sunday in gorgeous sunshine and a nice little breeze 😉