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Old 03-11-2018, 06:44 PM   #41
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Thanks for those numbers. When I did the calculations, based on 0/2 cable instead of the slightly larger 70 sqmm that I have, I was getting a 1.46% voltage drop using a 50í one way run. That is higher than I might like, but as you say, the Victron allows a custom charge profile. I agree that running 8 AWG from the panel to the controller next to the batteries would be a better setup. I would get less voltage drop. However, being inherently lazy, Iíd rather not run the new wire from the pilothouse to the aft lazarrette. Back to a comment psneed made in another thread, it doesnít have to be perfect, it just has to meet my needs.

You are correct that using the DC panel cable to backfeed the batteries does mean that the panel has to be switched on. As it is, that panel gets left on all the time anyway, so it wouldnít be an issue for me.

I will look into the SmartSolar controller and compare it to the BlueSolar. I think Iím probably going to want a display/controller for the MPPT, not sure how much more use I would get out the Bluetooth connectivity. I donít have internet on the boat when Iím not on it. But, the SmartSolar isnít that much more than the BlueSolar controller.
Dave, the Bluetooth lets the controller talk to your phone. Look at my video showing what you can do with a SmartSolar controller and a smart phone

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Old 03-13-2018, 01:40 PM   #42
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Grounding...?

I was reading through the installation and spec information on the solar panel and I saw the requirement for grounding. This caught me by surprise a little bit. In all the information I have seen for boat installations I've not seen where the panels were grounded. Am I missing something?
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:14 PM   #43
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The grounding recommendation is probably for lightning protection on building installations. I doubt if anyone grounds panels separately from the DC negative on boats. But you can do it if you want. Use big wire, #8 at least and run it to the engine block ground.

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Old 03-13-2018, 04:18 PM   #44
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I was reading through the installation and spec information on the solar panel and I saw the requirement for grounding. This caught me by surprise a little bit. In all the information I have seen for boat installations I've not seen where the panels were grounded. Am I missing something?

Dave: I was convinced by my supplier to ground the panels, but it seems there is no requirement to do so with marine installations. I used AWG 8 gauge. I believe itís a building requirement. I also have a breaker before and after the controller, again likely overkill.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #45
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The grounding recommendation is probably for lightning protection on building installations. I doubt if anyone grounds panels separately from the DC negative on boats. But you can do it if you want. Use big wire, #8 at least and run it to the engine block ground.
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Dave: I was convinced by my supplier to ground the panels, but it seems there is no requirement to do so with marine installations. I used AWG 8 gauge. I believe itís a building requirement. I also have a breaker before and after the controller, again likely overkill.
Thanks. I would rather not do a ground wire if I can help it simply to avoid having to run another wire from the PH roof to the interior.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:04 PM   #46
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Panels self fitted 7 years ago. No ground,no problems,so far.
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:09 PM   #47
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Thanks Bruce.

Retriever, if you are still following this thread, I'd be interested in knowing how they attached your LG panel to your roof. What type of mount did they use? I spoke with Platt today and they were recommending a rail mount. Sounds fine, but it seems like that adds a bunch more fiddly bits to the installation.

I am thinking I may go with the LG350QIC-A5 rather than the LG365QIC-A5. 350W instead of 365W but it would end up being about $66 cheaper. Another way of looking at it is the 365W panel would cost me 13% more for only 4% more output.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:49 AM   #48
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I helped a buddy install two 250 watt panels on his boat. We used L shaped brackets cut from angle aluminum, but Amazon has them ready to go, here- https://www.amazon.com/HQST-Solar-Mo...nting+brackets. Then we used 5200 to attach them to the cabin roof- no screws. Holds just fine.

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Old 03-14-2018, 08:32 AM   #49
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I helped a buddy install two 250 watt panels on his boat. We used L shaped brackets cut from angle aluminum, but Amazon has them ready to go, here- https://www.amazon.com/HQST-Solar-Mo...nting+brackets. Then we used 5200 to attach them to the cabin roof- no screws. Holds just fine.

David

Exactly my approach, except I used 4200 and $20 of angle aluminum. They are still rock hard. I used 4 sets of brackets per panel. Iíd suggest 6-8 sets for you as your panel is larger than my 145 panel. Take the money you save from making your own mounts and put it into you 365 watt panel. My panels are rock hard

Pre-drill holes along the angle aluminum before you cut it in 1.5-2Ē sections. Attach to panels with SS bolts and nylock nuts to get the fit and mark on the boat deck. Use masking tape for the 4200. Get the panels raised off the deck with blocks so there is about 1/8Ē gap between the foot of the angle aluminum and the deck. Lift everything off, put on the 4200 (or 5200) then carefully place the panel in position.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #50
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Re grounding, it's a safety thing, just like the ground in an AC wiring system. With panels wired for 30V or so it's not such a big deal, but when you series wire panels you end up with very high voltages. I have done a couple of systems that run at 400V, give or take. The right (wrong) kind of wire or panel fault can light up the metal frames and the whole array.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:07 AM   #51
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David and JDCAVE, thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing something very similar but was curious how Retrievers were mounted since they are the same type of panel. As near as I can tell, they have mounting holes in the bottom of the frame rail. The guy at Platt was talking about using a mounting rail. The advantage I see with that is the panel is supported along the entire length on either side so there would be much less chance of any flex in the panel. The downside of course is cost of the extra fittings.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:32 AM   #52
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David and JDCAVE, thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing something very similar but was curious how Retrievers were mounted since they are the same type of panel. As near as I can tell, they have mounting holes in the bottom of the frame rail. The guy at Platt was talking about using a mounting rail. The advantage I see with that is the panel is supported along the entire length on either side so there would be much less chance of any flex in the panel. The downside of course is cost of the extra fittings.
I have rails, then angle iron feet that mount them to the hardtop. They provide good support as you suggest, but also provide a more expansive level mounting surface on what is always a curved hardtop. The more panels, and the more complex curvature in the hardtop surface, the more beneficial the rails. But with a single panel, I don't think it will help much vs direct mount as others have done successfully.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:10 PM   #53
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You drill the bracket mounting holes in the sides of the aluminum panel up or down to match the curvature. Rails just add another complication. With 6 brackets the panel will be well supported.

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Old 03-14-2018, 12:18 PM   #54
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David and JDCAVE, thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing something very similar but was curious how Retrievers were mounted since they are the same type of panel. As near as I can tell, they have mounting holes in the bottom of the frame rail. The guy at Platt was talking about using a mounting rail. The advantage I see with that is the panel is supported along the entire length on either side so there would be much less chance of any flex in the panel. The downside of course is cost of the extra fittings.


Iíve got the same panels in transit so have been looking into mounting options as well.

If you look at the product description, you can see that the panels do indeed have mounting holes in the bottom of the frame.

http://www.lg.com/us/business/downlo...02151_2831.pdf

I also found an installation manual that would support the idea that you can mount these directly to the PH roof with angled brackets using four of the mounting holes without rails. (See Fig1 Appendix on page 13)
http://www.lg.com/us/business/downlo...02151_2574.pdf

Iím going to go with that using one of these brackets.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Or:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:25 PM   #55
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Thanks Bruce.

Retriever, if you are still following this thread, I'd be interested in knowing how they attached your LG panel to your roof. What type of mount did they use? I spoke with Platt today and they were recommending a rail mount. Sounds fine, but it seems like that adds a bunch more fiddly bits to the installation.

I am thinking I may go with the LG350QIC-A5 rather than the LG365QIC-A5. 350W instead of 365W but it would end up being about $66 cheaper. Another way of looking at it is the 365W panel would cost me 13% more for only 4% more output.
These are the mounts I used. Low profile, simple, and inexpensive!

Solar Panel Mount Mounting Z Bracket Set RV Boat Off Grid Roof https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NEZ8CJO..._LRvQAbEYDCR8T
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:47 PM   #56
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Iíve got the same panels in transit so have been looking into mounting options as well.

If you look at the product description, you can see that the panels do indeed have mounting holes in the bottom of the frame.

http://www.lg.com/us/business/download/resources/BT00002151/BT00002151_2831.pdf

I also found an installation manual that would support the idea that you can mount these directly to the PH roof with angled brackets using four of the mounting holes without rails. (See Fig1 Appendix on page 13)
http://www.lg.com/us/business/download/resources/BT00002151/BT00002151_2574.pdf

Iím going to go with that using one of these brackets.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BR3KFKE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Or:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NEZ8CJO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks! I am going to check out the links. I'd like to be able to get the bottom edge of the panel frame about 3.5" from the roof. I'll see if any of those may do the trick.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #57
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These are the mounts I used. Low profile, simple, and inexpensive!



Solar Panel Mount Mounting Z Bracket Set RV Boat Off Grid Roof https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NEZ8CJO..._LRvQAbEYDCR8T


Do you have rails running down the length of the panels that the brackets attach to or are they attached directly to the panels?
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #58
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Do you have rails running down the length of the panels that the brackets attach to or are they attached directly to the panels?
Theyíre attached directly to the panels. The LG 365w panels I bought had holes already drilled for mounts like these. And the roof is flat so I didnít have to tweak anything for the panels to sit correctly on the roof.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:34 PM   #59
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Theyíre attached directly to the panels. The LG 365w panels I bought had holes already drilled for mounts like these. And the roof is flat so I didnít have to tweak anything for the panels to sit correctly on the roof.


Thanks.

Renogy makes an ďL StepĒ bracket for their systems that looks like it would make a great Z bracket by simply doubling them. This would also give me enough height for the clearance I want.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:44 PM   #60
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Mounted mine with these, third season and no sign of problems. They allow for curvature of Pilot house. Friend with Nordic Tug 42, also used them and is happy with result.
https://rvsolarstore.com/index.php?r...product_id=112
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