Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-08-2017, 05:08 PM   #41
Guru
 
cardude01's Avatar
 
City: Victoria TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bijou
Vessel Model: 2008 Island Packet steadysailer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,164
Small solar solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
While I appreciate the convenience of a package, if you buy separate components you can put together a system at about the same price but with a superior Morningstar controller.

Buy whoever's 100 watt panels are the cheapest as they are all about the same. But buy this Morningstar controller- https://www.amazon.com/Morningstar-S...rge+controller. It may be Chinese made as they all are, but at least it is designed by Americans (like iPhones).

That more expensive package uses an MPPT controller and while it works ;-) it will add about 15% more to your batteries over a PWM controller like the Morningstar, but for 200 watts, it isn't worth it.

For easy wiring hook up your two panels with an MC4 Y and then use 8 gauge MC4 cables for the run to your controller which should be located near the batteries.

You might be surprised what 200 watts will do. It should put out 70 amp hours on a sunny day. That will just about cover me for a normal 24 hours on the hook. YMMV.

David


David,

Thanks. I just know so little about this stuff I thought a package deal would be easier. But if the controllers in the packages are junk then I guess it's a dumb idea.

Are those Renogy panels any good?
__________________
Advertisement

cardude01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 05:09 PM   #42
Guru
 
kchace's Avatar
 
City: Brookline, NH
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Blue Heaven
Vessel Model: Albin 43 classic double cabin, twin 135 Lehmans
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 757
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Thanks for all the solar info.

Another (probably dumb) question. If I'm plugged in at the dock with the battery charger on, can I also leave the solar "on" to save my batteries in case the dock loses power, cord fails, etc?
Yes.
__________________

kchace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 05:11 PM   #43
Guru
 
kchace's Avatar
 
City: Brookline, NH
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Blue Heaven
Vessel Model: Albin 43 classic double cabin, twin 135 Lehmans
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 757
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Do I need to disconnect for any reason? Will the solar controller sense that the AC battery charger is on and stop the current from getting through to the batteries from the solar panels?

I'm thinking of a setup with a 100w panel just used for topping off the batteries, or for backup if the shore power fails.

Yes there is normally no need to disconnect, if you do, make sure you disconnect the panels before you disconnect the controller from the batteries.

Ken
kchace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 05:16 PM   #44
Guru
 
cardude01's Avatar
 
City: Victoria TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bijou
Vessel Model: 2008 Island Packet steadysailer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,164
Quote:
Originally Posted by kchace View Post
I don't know what your exact needs are when out on the hook but 200 watts is nothing to sneeze at. 200 watts will give you over 50ah on a decent day. I have only a single 100watt panel and even at 25ah per day, its enough to reduce my generator needs when on the hook and assures my banks are properly topped off when I'm not there without having to run the generator for hours before I can leave the boat for the week.



Ken

I have two Frigoboat units (one set up as a fridge and one as a freezer). Don't know the exact draw but they are supposed to be pretty efficient with the keel cooling and Danfoss compressors I think. Those fridges are my biggest need and draw on the hook. My lights are all LED.
cardude01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 05:18 PM   #45
Guru
 
cardude01's Avatar
 
City: Victoria TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bijou
Vessel Model: 2008 Island Packet steadysailer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,164
Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Good suggestions above! Here are a couple of more.

IF and only IF you go with MPPT, consider higher panel voltages to minimize wire losses which will force the use of large wire sizes. The upper voltage that you select should be determined by what the controller will safely accept. And of course, maximize the wattage that will fit into your available real estate.

There is much conjecture pertaining to operating panels in series. My experience with my 32vmp panels in series fails to give proof that shadows are panel killers but my participation in that discussion is behind me. I recommend considering using series wiring to allow easier, less expensive installation.

Next has to do with panel mounting. I have seen pictures of nice jobs using clips. I avoided clips. My panels are mounted on top of two hardtops that of course have curvature. I secured my panels with silicon caulking the ONLY place that I can recommend silicon usage on boats. Again, in my case, the panels are out of sight and adhesives worked and also eliminated any need to drill holes for clips. To accommodate for the curved surface, I installed a narrow strip of plastic wood under one edge of each panel. The stuff is sold by the big box stores and you can cut them to the sizes you require. This provided an air space between the panels and the mounting surface.

I don't recommend using 5200 unless those panels are going to be there forever........remember, even solar panels have a limited life. Before increasing my panel wattage, the 145 watt panels I used were secured with 5200. What a $%^&**&^% job it was to remove them.

And good luck......plan to get this done before foreign panels are slapped with high tariffs.

Thanks for the reply. I see the package deal I found comes with clips, but I would hate to drill that many holes in the PH roof. So the silicone holds up pretty well? Would a hurricane blow them off? I'm a hurricane magnet.
cardude01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 06:24 PM   #46
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
David,

Are those Renogy panels any good?
I have a 100 watt Renogy panel that I installed on my boat for exactly the same purpose as you: keeping the batteries topped up- at a mooring. It has been going strong for three years with a Morningstar controller. But find the cheapest as they are all about the same.

Here is a link to an article I wrote for an RV forum that gives more details on how to do it: Aluminum Camper Forum Newsletter.

Read Merlin's electrical primer that follows my article and you will be an expert ;-).

David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 06:30 PM   #47
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,552
If you can`t squeeze in more panel, go with the 200w, it will be worthwhile. I have only about that,I don`t leave the boat on shorepower, batts are always full, and it is enough to feed a Danfoss powered fridge during the day with a bit left over.
My panels are screwed to teak strips sikaflexed to the FB deck. Does no violence to the deck and the adhesive/sealant takes up any unevenness so the panels are not stressed.
Assuming you have a genset, give its start battery a small panel of its own.
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 07:33 PM   #48
Guru
 
healhustler's Avatar
 
City: Longboat Key, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bucky
Vessel Model: Krogen Manatee 36 North Sea
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,178
Before I re-skinned my pilothouse roof, I had two 84 Watt Kyrocera panels that kept my twin 8-D’s topped off nicely, although this was in FL the entire time. At anchor in the Exumas, the previous owner kept the refer on propane and ran pretty much everything but A/C and hot water without Gen time.
__________________
Larry

"I'd rather be happy than dignified".
healhustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 07:47 PM   #49
Guru
 
foggysail's Avatar
 
City: Ashland, MA
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 1990 Silverton 40 aftcabin
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I see the package deal I found comes with clips, but I would hate to drill that many holes in the PH roof. So the silicone holds up pretty well? Would a hurricane blow them off? I'm a hurricane magnet.
No clue to hurricanes but a hurricane is sure to cause damages to many things. This I do know, I could not budge lifting/ripping off one of my earlier panels held with 5200. So if you have concerns......5200. But you cannot have it both ways. With 5200 securing a panel it will require days to remove it in the future.

Because I secured my panels with each longer edge with silicon, I would place greater trust in that than puny clips
foggysail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2017, 10:48 PM   #50
Veteran Member
 
City: Orange County, CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 33
Try mounting the clips to the hardtop with 4200 or 5200, then mount the panel and/or panel frame to the clips with bolts or other fasteners that are removable.

Silicone is made for sealing and is fairly low on adhesion strength. I‎t will likely work but I wouldn’t trust it. Like many, I avoid the stuff when at all possible for other reasons.

5200 is removable by cutting i‎t away. Keep the pad/bracket area fairly small and you can get a blade under it to cut it away. 4200 is a lower strength version (still stronger than silicone) that would be less work to remove. Either way, you can change panels in the future and still use the same pads/brackets. I agree that it would be a mistake to adhere the whole panel with 5200; way too hard to remove.
guy with a boat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 07:44 AM   #51
Guru
 
cardude01's Avatar
 
City: Victoria TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bijou
Vessel Model: 2008 Island Packet steadysailer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,164
Great ideas. Thanks.
__________________

cardude01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012