Re: Near constant hot water without a generator - Here is how i did it.
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There's nothing special about "AC" vs "DC" for these heater elements, but the voltage does matter, and in common boating usage these current types imply a voltage as well. The element is just a resistor, so to achieve the desired number of watts, the resistance is sized for a specific voltage. If you run a 240V element at 24V, you'll get 1/10th the rated output (and vice versa will likely explode). The other electronics involved (like the thermostat) may actually care about AC vs DC and the voltage; I'm not sure.
Some marine water heaters have two ports so you can have both AC and DC elements at the same time. I've heard using a DC water heater element as a wind generator's dump load works well.
Ryan and Kelly
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA