Sunday, December 10, 2017
And here is an item that has proven itself over several winters of constant use: A full sized desiccant dehumidifier – Specifically the EcoSeb DD122EA-CLASSIC.
During the winter boats collect moisture, and people add to that tremendously through cooking and just breathing. One of our MOST favorite counter measures is the Dickinson Diesel Stove (http://mvvikingstar.blogspot.com/2009/03/oh-warm-cabin-ala-thank-you-dickinson.html) , but conditions do not allow for us to run it all winter. Instead we kind of cheer when Bad Weather comes to justify its lighting.
The rest of the time we would often had a small cube heater running on low in the aft stateroom. It occurred to me: If we are using 400W or so of electricity, why not also try to pull moisture out of the air, not just heat it. And that lead me to looking into dehumidifiers. Not the small pellet ones, but proper ones which plug into the wall. Now most AC dehumidifiers are based on a compressor, much like self contained Air Conditioners. And in the same light most dehumidifiers are about as noisy as a small self contained Air Conditioner. But there is a different technology: self contained re-generating desiccant based units. These work kind of along the lines of those pellet desiccant dehumidifiers, in that the desiccant attracts and pulls moisture out of the air, but the different is there is a small heater to ‘regenerate’ the desiccant material in a continuous process. These units do not need to be ‘recharged’ with a bag of pellets, just feed them AC power.
And here is another benefit: no compressor translates to MUCH less noise! Really the only noise is the fan circulating air. On High our unit is a little intrusive if in the same cabin, but we leave it on low often while sleeping in the aft cabin – no issues, just white noise.
Downside of Desiccant vs. Compressor based dehumidifiers? They are less efficient and use more electricity. Ours uses from 300w to a bit over 600w depending on its mode. Well, so what. We were running a small heater using 400w already. So the energy usage is the same, we still need the heat, and now we pull over 3-4 gallons of water from the air per day!
This unit has been working well, very well in fact. I offer we are very very happy with this unit and would recommend it to any one spending the winter on their boat. Now, if you do not really need that much heat, but only are interested in pulling water from the air, one of the compressor units likely would be a better choice. But for the PNW liveaboards, this EcoSub is truly the Cat’s Meow.
There are a few different models available, we have the D122EA-CLASSIC and would get it again. Smaller in size (about the size of a stand-up oil heater). Easy to store and works.
More detail here:
And for more of Things that Work (and do not), click here: