In Part 1 of our series on Integrel, we dug into how it works, why it’s innovative, my worries about reliability, and why it is neither fault tolerant or easily repairable in the field.

We concluded that it was too expensive and complicated to be of use to cruisers who have reasonably modest daily power needs.

But what about those of us who want all the comforts of home and therefore use a lot of power in the run of a day, or even those with one foot in each camp?

In the last two chapters we took a deep and considered dive into analyzing the electrical loads on our boats and thinking about ways to reduce said loads through smart systems thinking. Now we get to the payoff: How to calculate optimal battery bank size or, alternatively, how to live with the battery bank size we already have. I have built a spreadsheet to make the whole process easier. And I have updated my thinking on lithium batteries too.

Two core decisions we must make when designing a cruising boat electrical system for living aboard full time and making offshore voyages, are the size of the battery bank and which charging sources we will need: generator, solar, main engine, wind, etc.

But the first thing we need to do, before getting into all that fun stuff, is think about electrical consumption and how to keep it reasonable.

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