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Old 09-08-2014, 01:54 AM   #1
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Installing a Small Marine Solar System

I recommend reviewing this link; clear do-it-yourself information for boaters in general! It may seem simplistic to solar/battery/electrician gurus (one of which I am not). They can add their expertise and provide other info-links to review!

Installing a Small Marine Solar System

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/solar_panel

Happy Boat-Batt Charging Daze! - Art
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:51 AM   #2
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I recommend reviewing this link; clear do-it-yourself information for boaters in general! It may seem simplistic to solar/battery/electrician gurus (one of which I am not). They can add their expertise and provide other info-links to review!

Installing a Small Marine Solar System

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/solar_panel

Happy Boat-Batt Charging Daze! - Art
Thanks Art. That is some great info.

Happy cruising.

H. Foster
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #3
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Thanks Art. That is some great info.

Happy cruising.

H. Foster
Yo, H - Me ol' Irish Boaten chum... How B Ya?!?! Your Boxen Bud!! - Art
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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I installed 2 35 watt panels, 12 volt, each stand alone. Placed an 8D AGM right next to my Vetus Bowthruster and charged it from 1 panel. The other to the genset start battery. Controller on each. These batteries are seldom used and even then for a short burst over a short time span. The genset is the life ring. If all else goes to hell, if you can start your genset you can generally get all else going. The house and main start is/can be tied together but not the genset.
The Bowthruster I did this way so as not to run a huge sized conductor circuit for charging. I figger lessens fire hazard and no losses from dedicated thruster battery with it being within 2 feet from thruster. I was going to put a small charger next to it but the solar made sense. I have never had any issue with this system, but I do not live in Seattle, keeps em both hot as a firecracker with is sun timed 8 amps. I have never heard of this arrangement before, but it works good.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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I installed 2 35 watt panels, 12 volt, each stand alone. Placed an 8D AGM right next to my Vetus Bowthruster and charged it from 1 panel. The other to the genset start battery. Controller on each. These batteries are seldom used and even then for a short burst over a short time span. The genset is the life ring. If all else goes to hell, if you can start your genset you can generally get all else going. The house and main start is/can be tied together but not the genset.
The Bowthruster I did this way so as not to run a huge sized conductor circuit for charging. I figger lessens fire hazard and no losses from dedicated thruster battery with it being within 2 feet from thruster. I was going to put a small charger next to it but the solar made sense. I have never had any issue with this system, but I do not live in Seattle, keeps em both hot as a firecracker with is sun timed 8 amps. I have never heard of this arrangement before, but it works good.
Mule. Thanks for sharing it was some great input.

Happy cruising.

H. Foster
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Yo, H - Me ol' Irish Boaten chum... How B Ya?!?! Your Boxen Bud!! - Art
Hanging in there me Irish Bud. itching to hit the open sea. Counting the days.

Cheers and happy cruising to you and yours.

H. Foster
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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I installed 2 35 watt panels, 12 volt, each stand alone. Placed an 8D AGM right next to my Vetus Bowthruster and charged it from 1 panel. The other to the genset start battery. Controller on each. These batteries are seldom used and even then for a short burst over a short time span. The genset is the life ring. If all else goes to hell, if you can start your genset you can generally get all else going. The house and main start is/can be tied together but not the genset.
The Bowthruster I did this way so as not to run a huge sized conductor circuit for charging. I figger lessens fire hazard and no losses from dedicated thruster battery with it being within 2 feet from thruster. I was going to put a small charger next to it but the solar made sense. I have never had any issue with this system, but I do not live in Seattle, keeps em both hot as a firecracker with is sun timed 8 amps. I have never heard of this arrangement before, but it works good.
Shodda been 3amps each @ 12volts. Oops.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #8
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Thanks Art,

I added four 110w solar panels this spring, running thru two controllers to my house bank.

I'm currently in the netherlands, as I needed to fill up on kersenflaps. Yes, it's a tough job, but someone must do it.

With the change of the Fridge and freezer to 12v, I'm able to turn off inverter when I'm not on boat with with solar panels, on a sunny day, the net use has been only -10amp-hrs per day.

I'll be back to Dauntless on Wednesday and I'll see what the week did.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #9
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We keep our boat on a mooring. No shore power there.

We put two 240W (or were they 245W?) panels on our boat two years ago at the same time that we installed a two drawer Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge. We run the Vitrifrigo off DC although it can run on AC, through the inverter. We leave it on 24/7.

In the morning we are down about 30-40 amps, including other minor electrical draws. At the end of a reasonably sunny day, or even on a cloudy day, without running the main or genny, the house bank batteries (675 Ah total capacity) are fully charged.

We have left the Vitrifrigo running 24/7 for two seasons now, rainy stretches and sunny, without having to worry about the batteries being drawn very far down.

With our late, unlamented Norcold, and before solar panels, we used to have to turn off the fridge if we were not going to be aboard for more than a day or so, lest it suck all life from the batteries, and then schlep all perishables off the boat if we were not going to be back aboard past the life of the ice in the Yeti cooler, to which we had to move all of the perishables from the Norcold before going ashore.

The Admiral appreciates these improvements very much. Life is, thus, enhanced for yours truly as well.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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On my current boat, not the Mainship, I have 735 watts solar, 400 watts wind, self sustaining....I understand.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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The linked article is good. I checked ebay for "scam" MPPT regulators, it`s true, there is rubbish masquerading as MPPT,also some which looked the real deal. Several good PWM versions still on offer too, with comprehensive readouts.
Mule, I suspect you have one of the best "off grid" systems on TF.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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On my current boat, not the Mainship, I have 735 watts solar, 400 watts wind, self sustaining....I understand.
Hi Mule - You sound to be set up well. So does Dwhatty.

We're in covered berth; solar is very limited while docked. Also, although we almost always go out, some great folks spend numerous weekend nights on two adjacent boats... we want to be thoughtful regarding ongoing sounds. There is often a good stiff breeze at dock and sometimes a fairly high wind. With batts charged does the wind generator have a brake-control to stop prop spin? Or does prop keep spinning 24/7 and control simply cuts off charge to batteries?

Minimum wind speed to engage turbine/rotor?
Noise per various wind speeds... with prop spinning and/or held still?
Max wind speed before auto-disengage/auto-brake?
Where positioned on boat?
Retractable, foldable pole for low ceilings (I duck on fly bridge to come under eves - it's 14' +/- water to eves)?
Brand / Approx. cost??

Thanks, Art
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:43 PM   #13
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Really, I just do not much of nothing. The fan is self regulating with an internal regulator. Air-X. The solar controllers handle the rest. I need 2swing door Engles to finish and get rid of the 90 watt Home Depot. With 2 Engles refers and 2Engles freezers I will be out 10 amps at 12 volts when running. The 1125 amp 12 volt battery bank gives me 45o amps useable. Self sufficient. Generator for hot water when needed, and fresh water when needed from the water maker. All good. I am in a slip right now, have not fired up the battery charger in weeks. 2 Engles on line now at 12volts, all lighting at 12.
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