Friday 24 February 2012

Putting on the Power

During our visit at Fernwoods the question of power was broached.  I happened to mention my Sleep Apnoea and that I sleep with an air pump on all night.  We discussed various requirements for TV, laptops etc and rather naively added we wanted an electric oven. This raised a few alarm bells for Ken and so we discussed the options further ending with Ken asking us to provide a list of equipment we would want on board.

My original thinking was to have shoreline chargers to the batteries with solar panels to keep them topped up.  We would have a 5KV travel pack on the Beta 50 supplemented with a separate diesel powered generator to cope with the oven etc when not on shore power.  Both Ken and Julia advised against this last option as at £12K on board price was a bit excessive and Ken felt this would take up far to much valuable space in the back cabin.

Following our discussion we have obviously dropped the idea of an electric oven as the 3.8KV/hr consumption would be far too much, so we settled for a gas oven, much more practical.

Ken suggested we could go for a cheaper £4K on board option of more expensive but greater capacity batteries and having more of them. He also added the 5KV travel pack may no longer be available due to belt issues and so we may have to settle for the standard 3.5KV shipped with the Beta.  I've sent him the list below and wait to see what he says.

Amp/Hr Watts Voltage
Res med Pump
240 or 12
Acer laptop charger
Samsung Netbook Charger
Mobile phone chargers

Steve camera charger
Chris camera charger

Chris Hair Dryer
9.17 2200 240
Chris hair straighteners
0.13 30 240
Steve toothbrush charger

Bose V35 unit (console and Base)
1.54 370 240

Washer Dryer
6.25 1500 240
5.00 1200 240

9.17 2200 240
0.73 175 240

Total (If in use symaltaniously)

The white goods like washing machine, fridge etx are only guestimates based on average applicance consumption measurers.  The lighting figure can be reduced by using LED as we plan.  I've also not included wireless routers etc as I doubt we would have these on unless we went online.  I've also not included TV freeview units as we are not sure what we are having just yet.

This is quite a basic list and yes it does not take into any account of cable sizes, distances run and so on.  I'm no electrician so am happy to rely on Ken's experience in these matters.

I was though, quite shocked to see just how much theses things take out of the system.  Clearly we wont be using them all at the same time but  I think Chris is going to have to look at a lower rated hairdryer and iron.  

It's becoming more an more apparent these days that electrical items are going to become more common on boats, Ipods, Laptops, the internet, Game stations, Ipads, MP3 players are all common household luxuries afforded by most people these days so electrical capacity is going to be more and more of an issue.  We are no differant and I confess to be a gadget man myself so I am hoping Ken's answer will be one we can live with


Anonymous said...

Have you thought about a Hybrid engine? Have a look at the January 2012 Canalboat Magazine - they did a test on a Kingsground boat called Barneswood.

We too are hoping to include an electric oven and are definately going the hybrid route.

NB Muleless (not yet constructed)

Keith said...

Our boat is all electric and we continuously cruise.
Washer/dryer, fan oven, electric hob, fridge, freezer, large screen TV, satellite receiver, Hi-Fi, laptop.
All power supplied by Cummins Onan 7Kw diesel generator, Battery bank is 330 amp.hrs at 24v. Batteries are Victron Gel , deep cycle.
All control is via a Victon combi 24v. 2Kva. 50 amp (charger)

All heavy duty equipment oven, hob, washer/dryer etc. is only used when generator is running.

Works for us

keith said...


Sorry typo in the last comment.
The batteries are AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Deep Cycle

nb AmyJo said...

Hi both,
I like the idea of the hybrid engine as this might suit our needs. I'll discuss this with Fernwoods to see what they think.

I think these are the batteries Ken had in mind as the name sound familiar and we'll probably end up with them.