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Techniques: electricity


As a ship is mobile, different sources of electricity need to be considered:

  1. 230VAC or 400VAC from the shore

  2. 230VAC or 400VAC From a generator

  3. 230VAC or 400VAC converted out of 24VDC batteries (option solar/wind energy)

  4. 24VDC from the batteries

option 1, 230VAC or 400VAC from the shore is the most intesting, if available. A few docks in the city foresee shore connection points, but most dont. If you get shore electricity, beware that the power might be very dissapointing (sometimes only 6 or 10 Amps on 230VAC). You might need to have a battery buffer (see option 3) to boost the power needed. Anyhow it is worth to foresee one or more shore connections to your ship. Convenient if you can make one connection in the front and one connection in the back, but keep it safe and have at least a contactor that removes the electricity from the unused end!

Always interesting to take a maximum size 3 phase plug. You can always make or buy a converter cable going from the one type to the other type. Our ship has a 63A 400V 3 phase plug, one at the front and one at the rear side of the ship. Another extra could be to foresee a KWh counter for in case you want to borrow electricity from somebody and pay him the consumed electricity.

If you decide to stay forever on a certain place, you can negotiate with the city and energy authorities to connect you to the electricity net. If they have the technical possibilities, it might not be a big deal; If they don't have, they might not be willing at all or give you a quotation that you cannot afford.

Option 2, 230VAC or 400VAC from a generator is a good choice for somebody who wants to have reliable electricty when shore is not guaranteed (or when sailing the ship). Generators come in all forms and shapes and power ratings. It is possible to make an automatic change-over system which even automatically switches on the generator.

Option 3, 230VAC or 400VAC converted out of 24VDC batteries (option solar/wind energy)

needs a serious investment and re-investment to maintain the capacity. To work without generator, it cost a fortune because you need to dimension the system on the darkest days of the year needing a huge battery-bank. In combination with a generator, it seems a bit easier. With a so-called hybride-generator, it sounds even more easy.

A good file to get informed is:

https://www.victronenergy.nl/upload/documents/Whitepaper-Self-Consumption-and-Grid-independence-with-the-Victron-Energy-Storage-Hub-NL.pdf

https://zonnepaneelkiezen.nl/noodstroom-met-netgekoppelde-zonnepanelen

Tip: your network needs to be dimensioned on the maximum power needed. A huge peak is caused by electric cooking and electric heating. Heat pumps might give a constant high energy consumption.

One way to reduced the maximum power needed is to cook on gas (butane / propane bottles) and heat by dieseloil. Who wants to go a step further can buy gas-refrigerator and freezers and clothes-dryers. If you really want, you can find generators on gas that give less noise and are green.

Below a picture of the cable network of Lucie

The electrical cabinet; just like a house-installation; only exception is that everything is on 30mA loss current switch. In a house it is 30mA in the badroom and 300mA everywhere else.

Renobato is expert in electricity installations. www.woonboot.be

The sockets and switches are exactly like in a normal house ; hollow wall mounting.


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