Calypso came from the factory with Victron gear for charging but it had another brand of batteries. We replaced those batteries, upgrading to Relion Lithium batteries, not long after buying Calypso but the charging system itself was aging. Plus we wanted more functionality.
Calypso, like most boats, required AC power for several items to run. Hot water heaters, Air Conditioners, Washer and Dryer, etc all required either dock power or generator power to run. That means when it's roasting hot out at anchor, we'd have to run the generator at night in order to get AC. Which obviously shouldn't be left to run overnight as you slept. So we'd run it, cool the boat down and then shut it off right before bed. This method usually resulted in a gasping wake up at about 2am from the heat that's poured back into the boat from the tropics outside. We always hoped to get a system aboard that allowed running AC and other items off of battery power as well as AC power. That way we could, theoretically, run the AC all night...Flip on a hot water heater without needing to run the genset, etc.
Fast forward about 5 years and that's exactly what we've done! We had Dave at Marine Craft come in and completely rebuild our battery charging and inverter system.
Calypso's new charging system schematic.
Almost everything was removed and a new system was installed. First up, batteries!
Our old house battery bank was 600ah of Relion RB300-HP.
We really didn't want to buy more batteries. We had just bought these very expensive batteries about 2 years ago, they still work great! But we got word from Relion and other sources that if we wanted to add more batteries for a larger bank, that we'd have to replace them. So we did. We decided to replace these Relions with Victron Lithium batteries. Victron batteries allow the system to communicate better as all the gear will be from Victron.
The first step was to modify the battery locker to fit the new gear. Dave went into work cutting and fiberglassing the locker. He removed the left side and extended the locker to the wall. This provided space for the new set of Vicrons as well as removed some wasted space on the left side of the locker.
Our new battery locker with 4 Victron lithium batteries totaling 1320ah of power.
Now it was time to go inside the salon to create the new charging/inverting system.
Dave and his crew removed our old KVH sat internet system from behind the salon settee and installed a massive power system. All Victron. We're talking multiiple MultiPlus 3000s totaling 9000w of power. Lynx smart Battery Monitoring System and more.
The thing is state of the art and beautifully done. This system controls battery charging, inverting power from the lithiums and powering EVERYTHING on the boat...Not only can it power everything, it can run everything at the same time. It's a game changer, as SV Mira stated (who we got this idea from). It truly is.
Monitoring the entire system is easy on the newly installed touch screen Victron panel.
Some other components that were installed included new Blue Sea Systems breakers, wiring, Charge Controllers, dual Cyrix system to control engine starting battery charging and Cerbo GX .
The system is amazing! We couldn't be happier with our decsion to go all Victron. It all communicates perfectly and we can monitor the system from anywhere in the world. Additionally, with the new Maritime Starlink that we installed, we can have Dave monitor and troubleshoot the system real time, even if we're in the middle of the ocean.
We chose Dave at Marine Craft out of North Carolina for this install due to many reasons. He's familiar with the boat as he's an Antares owner himself, he's professional and he knows his sh*t. When we were in the planning stages, he would take the time to email huge amounts of detail, options we had, etc. He was so detailed, in fact, that we felt bad for his taking so much of his time up without any compensation. He drove from North Carolina to Florida to do a consult and then completely relocated himself and his crew (thanks Jim and Jesse) to Florida for the two weeks this job took to complete. Once here, he didn't stop. He and his crew were probably the most professional crew we've seen aboard Calypso, we couldn't be more pleased with their work.