Revised Sept 28th : presently, I think the Firefly battery will be too big for the battery location.
Thanks Rick for the great questions. Electrical consumption is probably the biggest issue for all boaters. You never have enough!
1. We liked to use the Wallis stove/heater on cold, rainy nights and mornings. Unfortunately, both of my batteries developed bad cells and wouldn’t hold their charge, so I was having to monitor carefully the use of equipment. We didn’t use the heater as much as we wanted.
2. I have one 100 Watt solar panel which I believe could not keep up with the freezer, which uses approximately between 1 and 2 Amps per hour. Therefore, in one day the freezer would require around 40 Amp hours. I had to run the motor every day. I will have a better idea in June when I’m on the water with new batteries. I believe that 100 W solar panel would take several days to fully charge a 100 Amp Hour battery. Please look at my consumption calculation below.
3. I have two batteries. Currently my research is suggesting that an AGM battery would be a good replacement. I have considered a Lithium battery but the overall cost of batteries and required modifications with the charging system became too costly. I believe that the AGM battery yields approximately 140 Amp hours.
4. Interesting, I was at MEC yesterday looking at Yeti ice packs, which cost approximately $40 per 4 lb pack. Presently, I have 4, Cryopak Icepak Xtreme ice packs which weigh 2 lbs each. At the beginning of a cruise the Engle is used as a freezer and contains packaged meals and 2 ice packs. The cooler contains 2 ice packs and every day the ice packs are switched. Remember a container of frozen food takes approximately 2 days to defrost in the cooler. I bought the ice packs at Canadian Tire..$10 each?
5. Our Engel fridge/freezer is AC/DC model MR040F-U1. Normally, we set it at 2 or 3 with 1 being cool/fridge temperature. If I’m running the motor, then I would crank it up to 3 or 4. During the night I turn it down to 2.
You might want to run your Engle with some frozen meat at 3 and the try lower settings until the meal begins to defrost. Remember that your Engle manual suggests that you run your Engle regularly during a storage period.
My principal electrical consumption is as follows:
VHF, AIS 1.0 amp/hr x 10 hrs = 10 amp hours
Chart plotter, depth/fishfinder 2.0 amp/hr x 10 hrs = 40 amp hours
Fridge/freezer 2.0 amp/hr x 20 hrs = 40 amp hours
TOTAL 90 AMP hours per day
Therefore, my assumption is that 2 AGM batteries with 280 AmpHours could last me for 2 days without running the motor and if the sun is strong, then I might even get 3 days.
Hopefully, Todd will have more information on the Club night.