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Thread: Bestevaer 49

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    The chain will probably be 120m of 12mm G4. At this stage we have not planned details such as a spare rode.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    3,970

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    If the windlass is fitted then you are almost, committed to 12mm - but 120m x 12mm x G4 is well over strength and immensely heavy. Its a good thing you have a Maxwell windlass - I'd hate to need to retrieve by hand.

    It depends on how adventurous your are going to be but I predict (given the yacht you will have and if you use it to its potential), spare rode, stern anchoring gear, including rode (in addition to spare) and 2-4 shore lines of 200m each. You obviously don't need them for sitting around in the Med - but other locations? - it will be difficult/expensive or messy to retrofit.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    I thought they may be some interest in some of the electronic equipment that is to be installed.

    Thrane LT1000 GPS compass:

    This is an interesting product. Until recently GPS compasses have been very expensive and only used on larger ships. Lately they have come down in price and there have been a number released, mainly by Simrad.

    A conventional GPS cannot provide any heading information, only COG. In other words the GPS does not know which way the bow is pointing, only the direction in which it is moving. A GPS compass uses two GPS units and from this information can deduce direction. This is combined with a number of gyros and a conventional fluxgate compass to smooth the output and provide a back up if the GPS signal is lost, for example inside a tunnel.

    The technology has the potential to provide better heading information than the best 3D gyro compasses. The primary advantage is that accurate heading information helps the autopilot steer more accurately, but it also has benefits synchronising a radar/chart/AIS overlay and gives improved accuracy for MARPA.

    A secondary benefit is they tend to produce a more accurate position output, so for example SOG is stable.

    The Thrane unit also has a number of other outputs that are useful. These include the heel angle, trim angle (the amount the bow or stern is pitching), rate of turn, barometric pressure and air temperature. It sends this information out simultaneously on NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000. Some GPS units that transmit NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 force you to select one or the other.

    So far I have only mounted the unit in my workshop, so a full report will have to wait until the boat is launched. Installation is easy. The unit can even be switched to include a termination resistor if you want to have it on the end of a backbone. The only difficulty is that to work well it needs to be mounted with a reasonably clear view of the sky and free from multi path distortion. On the plus side, there is less concern with magnetic fields such as from electric wires, providing these are kept a reasonable distance away.

    Some parameters can only be adjusted via PC, but there is no need to do this if the compass is mounted level and in line.

    The initial impression is very favorable. It responds very rapidly to any heading change and the readout is completely stable if the heading is unchanged. The heading information is slightly changed when there is nearby magnetic field. Much less than a traditional electronic compass, indicating it is primarily using the GPS signal, but obviously integrating a flugate compass together with the gyro into the heading output.

    One negative is that the temperature reading is accurate, but the unit slightly heats up, so the temperature is a couple of degrees above the actual air temperature. This would be less with some airflow, but the compass is likely to heat up from sunlight. An offset to the temperature is possible but accuracy is likely to be poor.

    The unit is reasonably small for a GPS compass: only 151 mm (about 6 inches) long. This makes it far more practical to mount on a yacht, but it reduces the separation of the GPS units. This will have some effect on the performance and it will be interesting to see how good the heading information is in practice. On the plus side, the compass has more sophisticated GPS units and gyros than the opposition. The claimed heading specifications are more accurate than the equivalent Simrad unit, but it is hard to compare numbers from different manufacturers.

    If nothing else, the Thrane unit should provide very accurate 10hz 72-ch. GNSS and GLONASS GPS unit together with useful outputs like the angle of heel and air pressure. It is about 2.5 -3x more expensive than a good quality conventional GPS. Not cheap, but arguably worthwhile for these features alone, even ignoring the heading information.
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  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    Vesper Vision

    I have hooked this up on a temporary basis on land. We are on the water's edge so there are plenty of ships on collision course . This gives an opportunity to try the unit and this is my impression so far:

    Firstly the software is brilliant. The dangerous targets are colour coded in two stages (orange and red) and made larger on the screen. In a cluttered waterway this makes it easy to see the ships that have collision potential. The software on the anchor alarm is also much better than is available on most chart plotters, enabling a sensitive alarm with no false positives to be set.

    The unit connects easily to virtually any chart plotter, has an internal GPS aerial and also sends this information over wifi so the AIS or anchor alarm can be seen (and controlled) on tablets or smartphones. This is ideal for monitoring the anchor alarm by the bed. The wifi signal is independent of display on the unit so you can have the anchor alarm displayed on your smartphone while the unit displays AIS information. Or two ranges of AIS.

    The other great feature is low power consumption. This is especially helpful when using the anchor alarm, as the unit will be on all night.

    Drawbacks:

    There are going to be newer, higher powered class B transponders released in the near future so if you can hold off purchase it may be sensible.

    The Vesper screen is quite low definition with a poor viewing angle by modern standards. This helps contribute to the lower power consumption and the information can seen on the chart plotter or tablet in better definition, but much better screens are available.

    The anchor alarm also displays distance to the anchor, bearing to the anchor, heading and depth. All great information, but apparent wind speed would also be useful when monitoring the anchor alarm. This should be a simple software change so perhaps Vesper can incorporate this in the future.

    The AIS information is easily displayed on the chart plotter (just plug and play for NMEA20000, but the clever filtering information is not reproduced on the chart plotter (unless there is way to do this that I have not found). I can understand why, there are no NMEA sentences to transfer this information, but perhaps a way around this problem could be found in future. The filtered information is sent over wifi.

    One other glitch I have noted concerns the wind speed alarm.

    The wind speed alarm is useful when using the anchor watch. There is also a wind shift alarm, all great features.

    However, there appears to be a software bug that when the windspeed drops to zero (but the anemometer is still connected to the NMEA network) an alarm sounds to inform that wind data has been "lost".

    Power consumption is important and there is very little data from manufacturers so I will post some numbers, which may be helpful.

    So @ 13.8v my Vesper Vision in receive mode (I cannot test transmit at the moment) wifi on, with an external GPS aerial is consuming 0.45A at full brightness . At 50% brightness this drops to 0.35A. Interestingly 0% brightness saves very little extra power with a consumption of 0.33A. I expected "Night mode" (a red a black display) to be lower, but it was almost exactly the same.

    So if you are setting an anchor watch all night and want to save a little power turn the screen down to 50%, but there is little point going lower, unless the aim is preserve your night vision.

    These numbers are very good. Using the Vesper instead of a typical medium sized modern chart plotter for the anchor alarm will save roughly around 1A for most installations. So overnight something like 10 AHrs less (for a 12v system). Older or larger chartplotters often have higher consumption so the savings will be greater.

    I will report more when I have installed the unit permanently. Vesper also sell a version without the screen and a version with no screen and no wifi.
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  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    The timberwork has received its last coat of oil and looks truely spectacular. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to catch the effect in a photo. The depth and three dimensional detail of the grain does not show up, particularly the way it changes when it catches the light as you move around.

    We specified solid timber rather than veneer. This has the advantage that any marks can be be sanded out without worrying about penetrating a thin layer, but it also gives the timber a wonderful glow. In some large areas this has been attached to plywood backing for stability, but all the timber seen is a minimum of 8mm even when this has been done.

    Our request has given the carpenters at KM a lot of headaches. They sent back two whole boat loads of timber, much of which had already been milled to size before they were satisified with the quality.

    I will try to take some better photos, but this drinks cabinet that is next to Refleks stove shows some of the detail of the grain. Its too nice to put anything on top . The two black pieces sticking up are just temporary spacers used to fit the lid correctly.


  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    Solar installation.

    Solar power has produced virtually all our power on our last two yachts. As we will be living aboard this yacht, as we did with the last one, reliable, efficient solar power is essential.

    We have installed 3 x Sunpower 335w panels. These are efficient at 21% and by all accounts have good low light and hot temperature performance. Shade is big killer of solar power and our installation is in a very shade free location (for a boat). We have resisted the temptation to install antennas, aerials and radar where they will cast any shadows.

    There are two fundamental options when installing a solar controller for this sort of sized installation. The first is one of the large good quality controllers such as the Outback or Midnite. These are wonderful controllers. They track the MPP very well, and have an efficient voltage to voltage conversion. They also have important battery control features (especially important for gel batteries) such as terminating the absorption using battery return amps and proper temperature compensation. The biggest drawback is that when multiple panels are connected they can only use one input voltage. Finally, they have reasonably high self consumption which can really hurt the output on very poor days, which is when you most need an efficient system.

    We took this approach with our previous boat, fitting an Outback controller and were very happy the results.

    The second approach is to fit a greater number (often one per panel) of smaller controllers. The biggest advantage is redundancy and the ability to track the powerpoint of each panel separately. This latter feature is very helpful when panels are mounted in different locations and/or subject to localised shade. The drawback is the controllers are less sophisticated. The tracking is potentially less precise and most of the features such as using battery return amps and on some units even external temperature compensation are not available. Self consumption is potentially higher because there are more units, although each unit tends to have lower self consumption because the processing power is less.

    The cost of one large controller tends to similar to multiple smaller controllers, although this can vary depending on exactly what is needed.

    With the new installation we have adopted the multi controller approach with three Victron Smartsolar 100/20 units (one per panel). The primary reason was redundancy. As we live aboard, reliable solar power is essential. Rigid solar panels are very reliable but the same cannot be said for MPPT controllers. The cheap units are very prone to failure and even the expensive units have a reasonable number of breakdowns. Our old system used "12V" panels. So with some care and supervision it was possible to connect the panels directly to the batteries in the event of controller failure. The new panels have a much higher output voltage. It is still possible to connect these high voltage panels directly to batteries, but the output is reduced, and critically if the battery voltage is not monitored very carefully there is the real chance of destroying all the electronics in your chart plotters, instruments etc. In most circumstances it would not be worth the risk. So relying on single controller has far more potential to leave us with no solar power.

    The all important performance of the new system will be interesting to see. Data on issues that have an important impact on output such as self consumption, voltage conversion efficiency and tracking ability are often not documented.

    I will write another post about why I chose the 100/20 model as opposed to some of the other sizes that are available and could have potentially worked.
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  7. #87
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Brightlingsea, Essex
    Posts
    854

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    Does "... terminating the absorption using battery return amps" mean "switching from absorption to float when the charging current drops below a certain value"?

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    No, it means terminating the adsorption phase when the battery current drops below a certain value.

    The charge controller will still be putting out a higher current, as some of this current will be effectively used by the loads. Many charge controllers will terminate the absorption phase when the current output of the charge controller drops below a certain value, but this is not much use on a boat unless the boat is unoccupied.

    Terminating the absorption phase on battery return amps is the most precise way of judging the absorption time, but only a couple of the larger more expensive controllers will do this.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Brightlingsea, Essex
    Posts
    854

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    Ping! I was thinking they were the same thing - I'd forgotten about the current absorbed by other loads. Now I understand, thankyou.

  10. #90
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    Jul 2005
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    2,933

    Default Re: Bestevaer 49

    Choice of controller :

    Sizing solar controllers always causes confusion so I thought I would outline the reasons for picking the 100/20 units.

    The first number (100) refers to the maximium input voltage. The panels have a Voc of 67.9 V and one controller will be used per panel. So at first glance the Victron 75 V models (which are slightly less expensive) would be fine. However, it is important to realise that panels can occasionally produce voltages over the Voc listed in the specifications.

    There are several reasons for this. Firstly, solar panel voltage is related to temperature. The 67.9 V is for a panel temperature of 25C. Lower temperatures will produce higher voltages. Secondly, the solar panel rating is for conditions of 1000 w/m2. This is very bright, but illumunation levels can briefly exceed this in some conditions. A sunny day with scattered cloud is the most common. The panels can briefly receive both direct sunlight and light that is reflected from a cloud. This is called "the cloud edge effect". Finally, good panels are sold with a guarantee of performance. The Sunpower panels have a 0 to +5% rating. This means you can be lucky and receive a panel that is 5% over specification. Most of this is in greater voltage.

    The reason this is important is that if the input voltage is exceeded even briefly, the control unit is very likely to be permanently damaged. So most manufacturers recommend the input voltage of the controller is greater than the Voc by at least 15% (more does no harm), so the 100v unit is needed.


    The second number is the maximium current the controller will handle. The panels will only put out a maximium 6.23 A and the Imp is 5.85 A. So many people make the mistake of using this number a thinking a 10A controller would be plenty. However, the contoller will take this input and convert this to higher current at a lower voltage to feed the batteries. The controller needs to be rated for the output, not the input current. The maximium output current can be easily estimated. With a 12 V system we take the rated wattage of the panel and divide this by the lowest battery voltage while the solar panels are charging. 13 V is a reasonable number. 335/13= 25.8 A. From this we should deduct at least 5% for losses in wiring and voltage conversion. So this is 24.5 A. This is the very highest you are ever likely to briefly see. The good news is that unlike voltage, most solar controllers will self protect if you try to exceed their current rating so you can size the controller smaller and accept there will be a slight loss of power under exceptional conditions.

    With our 24 V system the above numbers are halved so each controller is very unlikely to put out more than 12.3 A even briefly. So the 100/15 unit would be suitable choice. I actually went slightly bigger and purchased the 100/20 unit. The 20 A unit was only slightly more expensive and it gives the option, in the event of one controller failing, of connecting two panels to one controller with very little loss of power. MPPT controllers are not fantastically reliable units so this redundancy is valuable. The other bonus is the controller is likely to have a longer, more reliable life. The 20 A unit has a larger heatsink than the 15 A unit and will run a little cooler. This is especially important for passively cooled controllers. MPPT controllers become very warm on occasions.

    Victron currently sell Bluesolar and newer Smartsolar units. The only difference I can find is that the Smartsolar units have the wireless communication to a tablet or smartphone built in. This can be added to Bluesolar units with a bluetooth dongle. The Bluesolar units are being sold on special at the moment, but if you want the bluetooth capability, the Smartsolar units are cheaper than buying the Bluesolar units and the dongle.
    Last edited by noelex; 02-10-17 at 08:48.

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