BATTERIES The batteries are the heart of the 12 Volt Direct Current (VDC) system on DREAM AWAY. The batteries are located under the main salon deck, very low and on the centerline. The Lifeline AGM batteries were replaced in April of 2009 with West Marine Gel batteries. There are seven size 8D batteries total. One 8D is the main engine and generator starting battery, and the remaining six 8D batteries, connected in parallel, are the house battery bank. The West Marine Gel 8D batteries are rated at 225 amp hours each. This gives me 1350 amp hours for the house bank. Originally DREAM AWAY had gel batteries. I replaced the gel batteries in July of 2001 with seven 8D Lifeline AGM batteries. As it turned out this was a waste of money. These batteries barely lasted two years, and they would not hold a charge. All of the batteries are held down with stainless steel braces that are bolted into the keel. In 1999, the original DC and AC wiring were removed from the boat, and the boat was completely re-wired using tinned marine wire for the DC and AC circuits. All circuits are breakered at the electrical panel in the main salon.

AC POWER SYSTEM All AC receptacles use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles. Dockside shore power electrical service comes through a "Y" adapter (one 50 amp 250 volt male plug to two 30 amp 125 volt female connectors) and 30 amp 125 volt shore power cord sets. There are two 30 amp receptacles on the port side at the outside of the cockpit for the two 30 amp 125 volt shore power cord sets. With these two receptacles is an inlet for a land-line telephone and cable TV connections.

BATTERY SWITCHES There are three battery selector switches in the engine room, each with 1-2-both-off settings. One is for the house battery, one for the main engine start battery, and, one for the generator start battery. At this time the start battery for the main engine and the generator is the same battery. The alternator on the generator has been disconnected from charging the battery. The house battery switch switches the house battery or the start battery to the electrical panel. The main engine selector switch switches either the starting battery or the house battery to the main engine starter. The generator selector switch switches either the starting battery or the house battery to the generator starter.

BATTERY CHARGING The batteries are charged at sea in one of three ways: 1) If the main engine is running, the 190 amp Powerline alternator (Series 24) charges the batteries using the Heart Interface Link2000-R regulator; or, 2) we can run the Northern Lights m643 5KW generator. The output from the generator will power the Heart Freedom Inverter/charger. This is a 2500 watt unit that has a 130 amp battery charger that is also controlled by the Link2000-R voltage monitor; or, 3) with the two Southwest Wind Power Air Marine Wind Turbines. The Link2000-R is located in the navigation station area and the inverter/charger is located in the garage behind the forward tool box. All of the wire from the alternator to the battery isolator, to the house battery and the wire from the Heart Freedom Inverter/charger. to the house battery were upgraded to #4/0 wire in August of 2005.

WIND GENERATORS In May of 2004, two Southwest Windpower wind turbines were added to the mizzen mast. These units are self-regulating and are wired directly to the house battery. The installation of these two units are covered in the construction and projects section.