Date: 16 July 2018. Generating Power
(#2 in reefer series)
#2) To run my life of decadence I need
to generate power. Here's how I do it:
Aboard Seaweed I have two ways of creating power. Having more than
one method means that I have contingencies in place. If the wind
blows my batteries are charged. When the sun shines, I get still
on my Wind Generator and Solar Panels:
↓ I have an older Air
Primus Wind Power Air Breeze Turbine Generator
Renogy 100 watt panels
A wind generator was my
first purchase for life at anchor. It powered my off-grid power
needs. On the east coast that was an okay decision. Here the
morning sea breezes simply don't happen. Now don't let yourself
think I would not buy one again. I would because at night or
during thunderstorms (cloudy weather) the wind blows.
retrospect, I should have started with solar panels.
Renogy is my choice for
solar panels. Aboard Seaweed I have one 75 watt panel ($150 in
2010), two Renogy 100 watt panels from Amazon ($330 in 2013) and
two 85 watt panels gifted to me by Larry and Eva. That totals
445 watts of solar. Unless there is a long stretch of overcast
days, I should be okay.
Two Renogy 100 watt panels on pilothouse, two 85 watt panels over
galley and one 75 watt panel above cockpit.
An Air-Breeze wind generator is mounted on strong
thick-walled stainless pipe over the cockpit.
When underway every engine I know has an alternator. Seaweed is no
exception. Except mine does not do anything. The alternator is not
wired up (at all) thus I get no benefit from the power made by said
At the St. Pete Boat Show I spoke with Rick
↓ of Beta Marine.
Beta is the marinized version of my Kubota.
One of the best parts about
attending a boat show is meeting the vendors. Rick was in the booth
representing Beta Marine engines. Because Betas are built on a
Kubota base I was hoping I could utilize his expertise.
To his credit Rick of Beta Marine
did attempt to help me understand how those wires attach. It all
seemed so simple at the time. Then I got home my mind drew a
complete blank. What is particularly frustrating is that I know that
at one time I would have comprehended it all with ease.
Such is life. Getting old is not for sissies!
I have a great engine. She starts
every time. That makes me happy. It is such a blessing to be able to
start the engine and know all will be well. I can be underway in
just a few minutes. I am very fortunate.
Gulfport at dusk... the anchorage is just off the pier.
Unfortunately the alternator
currently on my Kubota does not charge the batteries. I do not know
how to set that up. Yes it has been explained to me. More than
twice. And no, I still fail to havee a clear understanding. Thus, when
I am underway I am not charging my batteries.
I told you about the alternator
fiascos in the
Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake
The 15 amp
alternator was originally mounted to the engine
with a single bolt. Then I improved things until I broke the system.
Because I do not know how or where the wires from the original
alternator attach, they aren't hooked up to anything. Instead the
alternator is mounted so the fan belt will drive the raw
water cooling pump. This is of course not ideal. But it works.
no object I would opt for a serpentine belt too...
Yes, life is truly wonderful aboard Seaweed.
I went over to the Madeira Beach American Legion to enjoy the
wish the alternator was wired, I do have both wind and solar power
charging my batteries. Life aboard Seaweed truly is wonderful.
Thanks for reading.
Part Three is posted:
Storing the Power (battery charts)
I'd love to know the charging methods you utilize.
And, what would you change/improve?
© 2018, 2023
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