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Old 02-23-2011, 05:22 AM   #21
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RE: Solar Panel

Here is something for future development-- How about a solar panel fabric?

Change out your bimini and plug it in.

Sailboats would have a constant huge panel underway.

Just a thought.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:20 PM   #22
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
FF wrote:

antennas/radars could be suceptable to electric noise from the panel?


More likely that a single shadow will drop the output of the pannel to near zero.

WE use the Trace C -12 V regulator and control for 5 years and are delighted with the many features and adjustable ability.
where do you mount the volt regulator?

near the panels or near the batteries?

i am guessing there is easily 25 ft from panel location to the batteries so is it most efficient to run the MC cable the furthest distance, that would be my guess?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:59 AM   #23
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RE: Solar Panel

Our simple system is to purchase primary wire in bulk.

WE use #10 for everything that is controlled by a 15A CB.

The Trace C12 is in the electrical jungle below the instrument panel.

The distance from 1 or 2 85W solars is about 15 ft , some but little Voltage loss from the distance,
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:46 AM   #24
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RE: Solar Panel

i purchased my system yesterday, will try to update this thread with progress and photos etc.
for now, i am still considering a "most" efficient mounting location, once i have the product i think i will have a better idea where to mount it.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:50 AM   #25
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Solar Panel

I installed the panel and ran the wires to my regulator yesterday; snaking those wires through the hull was tryiing. Next to hook the batteries to the regulator and we will be set.

-- Edited by marinetrader on Sunday 27th of February 2011 09:50:32 AM
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:25 PM   #26
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RE: Solar Panel

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marinetrader wrote:

I installed the panel and ran the wires to my regulator yesterday; snaking those wires through the hull was tryiing. Next to hook the batteries to the regulator and we will be set.

-- Edited by marinetrader on Sunday 27th of February 2011 09:50:32 AM
do you hook the regulator up to just one battery or to the "house" batteries and if so how is this done?
could it be done through the same terminal as the generator?


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Old 02-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #27
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Solar Panel

Per,

You will need to run the panels positive and negative wires to the regulator; from there to a circuit breaker of the proper size and from there to both the positive and negative terminals of your house bank. I am almost done with mine and I will produce a complete "manual' with photos on how its done.

By the way, you can mount the regulator as far away as 300 feet from the panel; try and get regulator as close to the battery bank to avoid voltage drop.

-- Edited by marinetrader on Monday 28th of February 2011 02:33:30 PM

-- Edited by marinetrader on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 06:04:44 AM
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #28
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RE: Solar Panel

MT - looking forward to your how-its-done manual.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:22 PM   #29
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RE: Solar Panel

i answered my own question: yes you can connect to a bank of batteries..
from voltage regulator you connect to battery or bank of batteries (should be a parallel connection onto the banks).
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:22 PM   #30
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
marinetrader wrote:

Per,

You will need to run the panels positive and negative wires to the regulator; from there to a circuit breaker of the proper size and from there to both the positive and negative terminals of your house bank. I am almost done with mine and I will produce a complete "manual' with photos on how its done.

By the way, you can mount the regulator as far away as 300 feet from the panel; try and get regulator as close to the battery bank to avoid voltage drop.

-- Edited by marinetrader on Monday 28th of February 2011 02:33:30 PM

-- Edited by marinetrader on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 06:04:44 AM
MT
what kind of mounting brackets are you using?
i have been looking at some of the RV brackets but cant decide if they are good for boats. Really dont like the look of them that much..

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Old 03-06-2011, 07:03 AM   #31
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Solar Panel

Well we have the panel all installed and everything is working nicely. But we have had cloudy days since we finished the job and cannot run a "test" to see what it gives me.

We are going out on the hook for a few days this week so that will give me a real test.

I almost have the manual done too but will wait to publish until we have some real data to share

-- Edited by marinetrader on Monday 7th of March 2011 07:27:51 AM
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:13 PM   #32
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RE: Solar Panel

i am considering to mount the solar panel on the pilothouse overhang on the starboard side.
(that way my kids can still sit on the ledge on the port side (and not obstruct my view to much))
see pic.
since the panel is a little wider than the overhang, i would have to angle it a little, but as i understand this might actually be an advantage.
i would probably use the aluminum RV mounting legs. easy to bring the wiring in through the FB where there is a straight shot down to the ER.
in my current slip my bow is pointed directly south and has lots of open sky exposure.


will i regret this?
its not pretty either.. but i guess if some day in the future i wanted to add another panel i could put it on the port side so atleast there would be "balance"..
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:15 AM   #33
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RE: Solar Panel

PER,

I see one problem with that location in that if you move your boat at all or hang on the hook, you will be facing away from the sun at times and lose any energy you might get otherwise.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:22 PM   #34
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RE: Solar Panel

with respect to sun exposure, i dont think there is a perfect placement..
for me it is important the panel is "out of the way" so not on the sundeck etc.
could also do the rail mount on the aft of the FB but this location could also be susceptible to shade depending on boat placement.
roof top would be preferred but i dont think it could be done on the roof of a bimini top.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:21 PM   #35
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RE: Solar Panel

roof top would be preferred but i dont think it could be done on the roof of a bimini top.

Per,

I have a friend who did just that last summer on his sailboat. He did add some extra bracing. If I can get a photo I will post it.

Rob
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:35 PM   #36
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Solar Panel

A friend of mine has just done exactly that, mounted three 135W panels atop his bimini. It needed a bit of extra bracing but it works.

http://albinowners.com/aog/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3703

He is an Albin 36 owner. The* link should take you to several* photos.

Just as a note he series wired them for 36V to a Morningstar controller that could handle 36V as not all can which is noted in his thread.

I'll mention that his thinking was to install more panel than his calculated needs so he didn't have to worry about tilting mount or moving them *or ANY fiddling with the panels except for an occasional cleaning.

-- Edited by C lectric on Thursday 10th of March 2011 10:39:05 PM
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:53 AM   #37
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RE: Solar Panel

Whatever you do, if you mount over bimini canvas make sure the structure is so rigid no flapping canvas will touch the frames or panels, or it will chafe through the canvas very quickly. Bitter experience.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:32 PM   #38
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
C lectric wrote:

A friend of mine has just done exactly that, mounted three 135W panels atop his bimini. It needed a bit of extra bracing but it works.

http://albinowners.com/aog/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3703

He is an Albin 36 owner. The* link should take you to several* photos.

Just as a note he series wired them for 36V to a Morningstar controller that could handle 36V as not all can which is noted in his thread.

I'll mention that his thinking was to install more panel than his calculated needs so he didn't have to worry about tilting mount or moving them *or ANY fiddling with the panels except for an occasional cleaning.

-- Edited by C lectric on Thursday 10th of March 2011 10:39:05 PM
thanks a bunch, thats really the way to do it..but $2k wow..



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Old 03-13-2011, 12:53 PM   #39
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RE: Solar Panel

Per,

Although he is very handy he is not that handy so he hired it out, the bracing and mounting of the panels. The guy he used is a true craftsman and isn't cheap, he does fabulous work and it can be seen in his work.

If you are handy you could probably duplicate the job. Of course he wanted to run his entire electrical during his cruises from the panels. He does not have a generator and doesn't want one and won't run the engine just to charge the batteries.

This went far beyond just a helper to extend a stay and slow the battery discharge. Depending on what you want you may not need to go that far.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:26 AM   #40
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RE: Solar Panel

"Of course he wanted to run his entire electrical during his cruises from the panels. He does not have a generator and doesn't want one and won't run the engine just to charge the batteries.'



Nice thought but the panels would be measured in ACRES , sorta hard on anything but a Cat.

With no DC refrigeration ,solar would easily work for most everything, it does for us with ONE 75W unit.
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