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Mark Rendelman

build of hull #24 (electrical requirements )

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Still not able to work on the boat much due to life happening, which gives me time to plan ahead with the electrical requirements of the boat. While I may not compete in costal events I still want to rig the boat for them anyway. The boat will have electric bilge pumps too fill and empty the ballast tank, she will also have all the standard running lights, with some interior lighting. All of the lights on the boat will be LED so they will be low amperage draws the bilge pumps will probably have the most draw. She will probably have some kind of GPS and radio. I do plan to use AGM deep cycle batteries but do not know how many amp-hours I should get? I will do as many others have done and install a solar panel on the front hatch cover to keep the charge up. The question I have is how many watt panel should I use and a good starting point for how many amp-hours the batteries should be given the requirements I have. As always I thank everyone for supporting me in my build of hull#24.

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Hi Mark, my CS20.3 has 2 gen 1 flexible solar panels and if memory serves they are 18 watts each, so on the deck with some shadows, I expect 20-24 watts total, so crew electrocution isn’t a problem.  I have several led cabin lights, and a really cool NASA Supernova mast head light, also charge a small vhf handheld. I use a 24 series AGM battery and have never had any electric supply problems.  As always, YMMV.  

 

 

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I have group 27 battery on Carlita and a 50 watt Renogy solar panel on the forehatch. All of my lights including the masthead tricolor are LED's. I run the GPS and charge cell phone and tablet and occasionally run a small fan mounted near the forward bulkhead vent while sleeping in hot weather. I have used an inverter to charge my laptop.

 

Except for my first battery that had some age on it when it went bad on me, I always have enough power. I have spent hours at night after a days sail, checking the forecast, plotting the next days routing and have not run out of power. It is a good idea to allow for more power than you think that you need as it is more costly to to increase later plus you do not know how much charging you will get if it is overcast or your course puts the panel in the shade.

 

Another key component is the charge controller, don't go cheap or undersize or it will restrict charge when conditions are ideal and give you less in poor charging conditions. I like to size it so that I can add another panel if I find that my demands get ahead of what my panel can give. Another pleasing thing I find with this system is that with Carlita being stored under shelter during the winter is that there is enough light to keep the battery up. 

 

 

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Hey Mark, I bought a 50watt flexible panel for my boat. They are plentiful on amazon which is where I purchased mine. Prices are about the same as when I bought. I've linked a few options into our new website which you can see here!  bandbyachtdesigns.com/hardware-and-accessories/electrical/solar-power-system/

 

As for batteries, it is still hard to argue with the price of lead acid but we are really liking the LiFePo4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries these days. much lighter, more energy dense, and far longer lived than AGM but they are about twice as expensive even if you build your own pack from cells. I plan to have an electric aux motor so i'll be saving up for a 24v battery bank of about 2.5kw minimum to start with. A very small battery should run that bilge pump no problem. 

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I haven't had a ton of experience with my set-up, but so far so good. I have a 50 watt flexible solar panel with a controller in the cabin. I put a single one of these AGM wheelchair batteries

 

https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/SLAA12=35C?storecode=820&locationofinterest=9051644&locationphysical=9005566&utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=ecommpla&gclid=CjwKCAiA-P7xBRAvEiwAow-VaT-3KRWS2cA4VUk-vUibuc_OMGWJMYZNIvRXX1mPFMwbWNxm9C62xRoCaq8QAvD_BwE

 

in the after center compartment of the berths. My electrical needs are phone, tablet, charging AA batteries, switched depth sounder, LED cabin lights and LED nav lights.  This year I am adding a small bilge pump to drain/fill the water ballast, but I still think I'll be OK. My backup plan is to add another battery if necessary. I am tall and wanted to be able to stand on the floor without a battery in the way, otherwise I would go bigger on the battery.

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Build of #24

  spent a couple of hours going over all the information out there on the internet and your recommendations and came up with a 50 watt semi-flexible solar.panel, 30amp charge controller, and a 35 amp-hour agm battery to start off my power supply if I need more storage the batteries are small enough I can add an additional one quite easily. The next thing will be the switch distribution panel, more time on the internet 

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