A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
I think it would be a good topic if we all shared what electrical charging and management systems works well for you and your needs aboard. Obviously it is all down to replacing the amperage juice we like to consume on a daily basis. On Cookie, we have mainly shunned electrical technology over the years but during last years adventure I wanted to keep in touch with family and any followers of the Jester Challenge. Here's what worked really well for us:
An 80Ahr AGM battery that feeds a 10watt masthead light, cabin lights, 12V outlet sockets and a NASA AIS radar display. I worked out that running the AIS display, 2x handheld GPS and charging satphone, VHF periodically we used approx. 0.5Amps - so about 12 Amps per day.
To charge up again we used an Aquair 100 water towed generator. It worked really well and as long as we were doing about 5kts plus it would top up the battery in about 4 hours after every 3 day period. Of course if I used cabin lights a lot or the masthead light I would be charging much more. The Aquair from Ampair did slow us down about 1kt when towing, but hey Cookie is only a 500kg lightweight - I expected some sort of performance loss when towing. In fact one or two of the other monohull Jester sailors towed their water chargers 100% of the time to keep on top of radar set demands, autopilots etc. So for larger Wharrams, I doubt there would be any hull speed loss. Ampair state a load of pull from the towed propeller of around 40lbs at 6kts and that seems about right from what I observed on Cookie.
So although it was some manual work to deploy and retrieve the tow to charge each time, It meant that as long as we were not becalmed I had control of my green charging ability. For North Atlantic I think it was the perfect solution for us rather than solar panel and the lack of sun we had.
If I had a larger Wharram and wanted to go cruising without fossil fuels, I would probably have a combo of solar, wind charger and water towed charger.
What feedback do others have that works well for them? Equipment specific would be helpful.
Cheers, Rory & Cookie
Update to the Mango Elephantset up: We now have a water maker and a cool box and we have noticed that the Forgen makes a difference when we are running the water maker. We are just upgrading the solar panels to 4 35 watt ones as the originals were degrading and we were spending a lot of time worrying about the battery state having inadvertently run one or other down at one time. We have also upped one of the batteries to 140 amps and will do the same on the other when it dies.
Having a battery in each hull and the Forgen switched so that it can go just to one side via a regulator, both sides or directly to the side the water maker is on has worked well.
We have a 3 way switch in the pod which allows us to pick which hull to run the pod off which has also been boon.
Cold beer should not be a problem then
On our Ariki 48 we have installed 1164 watts of Aurinco solar panels with 4 8d AGM batteries totaling 980 amp-hours. The motors have 26 amp alternators and we have a 2000 watt Honda for back up. All lights are LED. There is 12vdc reefer, autopilot, fans, instruments, stereo, flat screen,toilet and 2 water heaters. We are still doing the final rigging in the water and do not have any real life with these systems yet. So far everything is working well. Our house bank is separated into two banks so that we can charge one bank wile drawing down the other. This allows us to fully charge one bank easier.