Monday, 15 October 2012

Power, Budget (2)

When looking at calculating the power budget on the boat. Also take a look at other items that might be using current all the time. On Rosie, we have a black water tank meter. We have an electronic shaver adaptor/charger. We have a few external plug in chargers for computers, mobile phone, hand vacuum and sat nav. The inverter,  television and sound system also have a standby mode.

There are items that we can isolate on the main power control panel as they are on their own wiring system. So we power up and check the black water tank level meter about once a week. The rest of the time it is left turned off. It's the same with the shaver socket/charger in the bathroom which is also left turned off when not needed.

There are certain items that we try to target for charging whenever we are moving under engine power. The small battery powered hand vacuum cleaner and the laptop computer for instance. Both items have a mains charger adaptor. Otherwise the mains inverter is also left turned off. 

Some plug in chargers seem to use quite a bit of standby current even when not actually being used to charge the device. So we have also started to unplug or turn off all unused charging devices. Other items that have a standby mode are also turned off and disconnected  This includes the stereo and television systems which are both powered direct from 12v sockets.

It's a good idea to turn off the battery isolators when leaving the boat for extended periods. We know someone who does this every evening before settling down for the night. However, it is essential to ensure that items such as automatic bilge pumps, smoke and fire detectors and burglar alarms remain powered up on a separately fused system that bypasses the main battery isolator.

Small items that consume power can soon aggregate together into a significant overhead that might otherwise be considered as insignificant and not added into the power budget calculation.


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