Air Conditioning

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Digital Air conditioning panel One of the 5 digital panels aboard Zanshin for controlling the air conditioning units in each zone.
(2014-02-17 10:36:21 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 500)
Digital Air conditioning panel
Air conditioning compressor The compressor and fan units of the bigger air conditioning unit in the aft (master) cabin aboard Zanshin.
(2014-02-17 10:39:05 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 500)
Air conditioning compressor

Zanshin is large enough to need several air conditioning units, 5 of them all told. The main cabin requires two units, the aft cabin requires a one large one and the two forward cabins have one each. All have their own digital temperature control units but share two master cooling water pumps and all of the breakers are in the main 230V AC control box. Unlike air conditioners on land which cool the heated refrigerant by using air radiators, a boat uses the surrounding water as a heat sink; since water is much more efficient at transferring heat than air this system works very well. Despite this, the energy drain is significant indeed and the air conditioning system is only meant to be used when umbilically attached to shore side power or when the generator is running.
I don't use the air conditioning at anchor, since the trade wind breezes in the Caribbean are almost always blowing and ensure sufficient airflow through the boat to make AC unnecessary. When it rains and the hatches need to be shut or if there's no wind then it might be an option, but I haven't had to try it. The only times that I do use the air conditioning are when I'm docked, since marinas are usually located in sheltered areas and good airflow in a boat only works when the wind is coming from ahead (which happens automatically at anchor) and that is seldom the case in a marina. Plus, it is good to use the air conditioning occasionally to dry out the boat by removing as much moisture as possible. There is a surprising amount of moisture that condenses in the compressor areas of the air conditioning units and drains into the bilges, but it is clean water and helps flush the bilges.

Master Air conditioning breakers The two master pumps and 5 units are controlled from the A/C panel at Zanshin's navigation station. The labels are mine so that I know which breaker controls which unit.
(2014-02-17 10:36:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 500)
Master Air conditioning breakers
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