Clean, green energy for your boat or barge.

Any electrical installations on boats and barges pose a few extra challenges compared to installations on land. You have to contend with a harsh and damp atmosphere along with constant vibrations from the engine and waves and wind if out at sea. It is not a surprise that installations that would be fine on land do not last very long on water. This is why it is important to choose a company that has the relevant credentials. At Off Grid Engineering all of our work is carried out to the BMEEA code of practice and installed by BMET qualified engineers. If you are fitting out or fully refurbishing a boat or barge or upgrading an existing boat or barge, we have the perfect solution for you.

Generate your own energy

There are many options available to generate your own energy on a boat or barge. You can harness the energy from the sun using standard or flexible solar panels and there are plenty of small turbines designed to generate energy from wind. These will continue to generate even when you are not on board meaning you can always start your trip with a full battery. It is also better for the health of your battery to not let it run flat especially during the winter season. Save money and time by not having to plug into the marina to charge your battery.

Cut the noise and run your engine less

By using a battery to power your boat or barge you can benefit from some peace and quiet by turning off your engine or generator but still having power available. You will also use your engine less which will result in less wear and tear and help extend the life of your engine. You will also save money by burning less fuel. So whether you are out in the open ocean bluewater sailing or enjoying our historic waterways, you will have the power you need.

Completely integrated with your existing system

We will design a bespoke system that completely integrates with your current electrical and electronic equipment. This also means if you require more power in the future we will easily be able to add to the capacity of your battery or generation equipment.

Upgrade from Lead-acid to Lithium

Battery chemistry has developed rapidly over the last few years. Lithium technology has replaced lead acid as the battery of choice. Lithium can store more energy, has a longer lifespan, and takes up less space. Upgrade your existing lead-acid leisure battery to Lithium and have more power without taking up any more space or adding to the weight of your boat or barge. We use a combination of lithium and lead batteries so we can ensure your critical load is always maintained.

Monitoring and GPS

We can connect your system via an off-grid 4G device to the internet. This will enable you to monitor every aspect of your system from how much energy you are using to how much charge is in your batteries. At Off Grid Engineering we will monitor your system to pick up any potential issues such as your battery health for the lifetime of your system. You can also track your boat or barge using GPS monitoring and set up a Geofence this will send an email alert if it goes outside the area you have fenced.

An AC supply

Run standard household appliances and charge your electronic devices by installing an inverter.

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How it works.

Flexible solar panels.

Flexible solar panels are an excellent option for boats and barges. As the name suggests they are flexible which means they can easily be fitted without the extra weight of a frame. As they are super low profile there will be no wind resistance. They are also lightweight, a standard solar panel weighs around 20kg whilst a standard flexible panel weighs in at less than 3kg.

Flexible solar panels.

Flexible solar panels are an excellent option for boats and barges. As the name suggests they are flexible which means they can easily be fitted without the extra weight of a frame. As they are super low profile there will be no wind resistance. They are also lightweight, a standard solar panel weighs around 20kg whilst a standard flexible panel weighs in at less than 3kg.

Discuss your project.

Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Usable capacity or depth of discharge

The usable capacity of a lead-acid battery is only 50% whereas a lithium batteries usable capacity is between 80% and 100%. This means you will need a larger lead-acid battery to satisfy your demand as opposed to lithium technology.

Weight of battery

Lead Acid batteries are both larger in size and weight. A lead-acid battery weighs 4 times more than a lithium equivalent. This is important as space is at a premium in most boats and barges, and the more weight you carry the more you will spend in fuel.

Ability to cope with high peak demand

Lead-acid technology is designed to release a steady amount of power whereas power demand can vary dramatically in practice. When working at peak, the higher the level of discharge required, the less of the battery capacity becomes usable. For example, the usable capacity can drop to as low as just 8% if the demand is high. This means a lead-acid battery system would need to be substantially oversized to cover peak demand. Lithium, due to its different chemistry is relatively unaffected by a higher load and even at peak power capacity would only drop by a few percents at most.

Charge rate

With lead-acid coping better with discharging in low amounts the same also applies to the charge rate. Lead-acid performs better with a low continuous trickle charge. Charging lead-acid from a high rate generator will burn twice the amount of fuel as lithium. Lead-acid batteries will charge to around 80% relatively quickly (bear in mind only 50% is usable) but it then takes an agonisingly long time to fill the final 20%. When it comes to storing renewable energy from wind or solar PV you need to install around 30% more generation equipment with lead-acid as you do with lithium to cover the same load. Another aspect to take into account is that when not used lead-acid will start to discharge of its own accord as it is not very efficient at storing energy for a long period of time. By contrast, Lithium can quickly charge to 100% and can hold that power for as long as needed.

Cycle life

Lead-acid batteries can cycle from 500 – 1500 times generally whereas Lithium batteries can cycle over 6000 times and still retain two-thirds of their capacity. This means you have to replace lead-acid batteries far more often than lithium batteries.

Cost

Lead-acid is initially cheaper than lithium technology, there are factors to take into account, however. Firstly as the lifespan is shorter it will need to be replaced more often and it also costs more in fuel or require more generation installed to power. These extra expenses mitigate the smaller initial costs. If you are on a very tight budget to complete the project maybe it would be worth considering lead-acid initially, however, if you are looking for long term value for money lithium is the best choice.

Summary

To summarise, it is clear to see that Lithium technology has huge advantages compared to lead-acid. The only time when Lead-acid scores against lithium are for those on a tight budget where the initial costs need to be kept as low as possible. It must be understood, however, that in the long run due to lifespan and running costs it will be less economical. Within the marine and automotive sector, Lead-acid does have a place, like a starter motor for example. As both chemistries are very different, with the new Victron management system it is great to seamlessly link both technologies and get the best of both worlds giving you the most efficient system.

Find out which products we would recommend for your project.

Why Off Grid Engineering is the preferred choice.

Here at Off Grid Engineering, we feel our knowledge, experience & passion for all aspects of marine electrical and electronic work, sets us apart from the competition. We are members of British Marine and all of our engineers are NMEA and BMET qualified. In 2018 Scott our lead marine engineer was awarded Newly Certified Electrical Technician of the Year by the BMEEA (British Marine Electrical & Electronics Association). We understand how important it is that you have fail-safe equipment whilst out in the open ocean and we guarantee that your sensitive navigational equipment will be unaffected by our products.

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors, we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have uninterrupted power supply when you need it. Mistakes can be costly, the installation of marine electrical and electronic systems are best left to highly-skilled, specialist marine engineers.

2

Bespoke System

Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to powering their boat or barge. We will design and install the perfect solution for you. We will integrate all of our equipment with your existing system.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever-changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows.

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors, we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have uninterrupted power supply when you need it. Mistakes can be costly, the installation of marine electrical and electronic systems are best left to highly-skilled, specialist marine engineers.

2

Bespoke System

Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to powering their boat or barge. We will design and install the perfect solution for you. We will integrate all of our equipment with your existing system.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever-changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web-based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on the performance of your system both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

GPS tracking and Geofencing

If you charter your boat or hire out your barge you can keep a close eye on where your vehicle is at all times using our GPS tracking system. You can also set up a Geofence alert so if your vehicle leaves a certain area that you have selected, you will receive. an email alert.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web-based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on the performance of your system both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

GPS tracking and Geofencing

If you charter your boat or hire out your barge you can keep a close eye on where your vehicle is at all times using our GPS tracking system. You can also set up a Geofence alert so if your vehicle leaves a certain area that you have selected, you will receive. an email alert.

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