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Old 03-14-2011, 09:27 AM   #41
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RE: Solar Panel

Well we have installed our panel and have used her for seveal days with good results.
As promised, I've been keeping notes on how we purchased and installed the unit and also have some data to share as well.

Unfortunalty I cannot place a PDF file on this site so you'll have to my website to print out the tables I used in my calculations.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #42
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RE: Solar Panel

looks pretty good..
nice panel you found there, what is the actual dims of that one?
a wiring diagram might have been something to consider adding.

i was wondering about this statement:
Remember that at anchor, the boat will turn to the sun twice daily due to the tides.
can you elaborate?
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:52 AM   #43
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RE: Solar Panel

Say Per, when you are in tidal waters, the tides will turn the boat 4 times per day so you'll never be facing the sun in one direction more than 6 hours.
The panel is about 36 x 48".

Wiring pretty simple,

Positive and negative from panel to controller
Positive and negative from controller to breaker
Positive and negative from breaker to battery bank
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:50 PM   #44
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
marinetrader wrote:
Say Per, when you are in tidal waters, the tides will turn the boat 4 times per day so you'll never be facing the sun in one direction more than 6 hours.
The panel is about 36 x 48".

Wiring pretty simple,

Positive and negative from panel to controller
Positive and negative from controller to breaker
Positive and negative from breaker to battery bank
*is the tide more prevailing that the wind?

i am guessing when you are anchoring, it could ne natural to be in a cove of a sort with strong tidal currents..

*

on the wiring.. breaker is on your electrical panel i assume?

and connecting to battery bank, you go through any switches ? automatic or otherwise??

*
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:10 PM   #45
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RE: Solar Panel

i finally got the panel mounted (see pic).

it has a lever type mount so the bottom of it can be raised so better absorb the sun energy (while mooring or anchoring).

i really like this placement of the panel and consider to get another to mount n the starboard side, it would look better and we would get more energy obviously.

i tested the panel using a volt meter and got some funky readings:

testing directly from the panel the voltage was constantly changing, mostly in the 15-19 volt range but sometimes higher.

attaching the controller, it also seemed to signal over-volting.. is this normal or do i have a panel with issues?
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:23 PM   #46
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RE: Solar Panel

I like the placement of your panel, never occurred to me to do that....nice.

Those readings are normal; you'll ever have constant readings as best I can tell.

The tides are generally prevailing over the wind unless its a real blow going on at which time you won't be getting any sun anyway.

Only one breaker involved and its on the panel.

PS - am experimenting with LED lights and have some GREAT findings so far.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #47
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RE: Solar Panel

"15-19 volt range"

That is normal , just install a name brand charge controller and measure at the batts.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:01 PM   #48
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
FF wrote:
"15-19 volt range"

That is normal , just install a name brand charge controller and measure at the batts.
*

*one came with the panel but it seems very flimsy, probably getting the C12 or something similar.

the charge controllers are typically powered by the battery, not the solar panel, so if you measure at the batts, how you get an accurate read on the volt coming from the controller? i mean you are really measuring the V of the battery at the same time right?
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:15 AM   #49
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RE: Solar Panel

You are measuring the voltage of what the solar is doing for you. Charging , or floating .

THe Trace will show with LED what is happening , you get to set full charge V and float V , as well as cut out voltage should you power an item with it.

Every 30 days it will equalize the batts , if desired.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:19 AM   #50
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RE: Solar Panel

The panel controller is powered by the panel itself. I have another controller that measures the power going into the batteries and the charge that they hold.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:43 PM   #51
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RE: Solar Panel

so i decided to add one more 85w panel, on order now.
also, i ordered a MPPT charge controller.
MPPT is a newer technology which has some definitve advantages over the PVM and shunt type controllers.
Basically a panel is constantly changing output, depending the sun, clouds, time of day etc.
This means there is a power curve with an optimal output point, the MPPT technology allows the charger to find this point and utilize it for optimal efficiency.
with two 85W panels, i should be able to get 60 AH out of the system per day.
i did a lot of research on the MPPT controllers and found that for me, the sunsaver mppt is the best unit, i also got the remote meter for it which tells me mostly everything i need to know. The controller and the meter cost me total $317 incl shipping.
Installing everything next week.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #52
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
Per wrote:
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.
*

*Hi Per,

have a look at the flexible Sunware panels from Germany (Sunware.de). They are very light weight and can be installed on an small plate which can be stowed or moved around as required. I would think that a 4mm aluminum plate would do, glue the panels on and ensure that the connecting cables are long enough to be moved around or have a couple of connecting plugs on the upper deck.

I believe that you can get them in the States, a bit pricy but very good quality and they have more cells than others to help against the loss of charge when in shade. They come in both 12V and 24V.

*

I am planning to buy*a couple of these 24V panels.

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Old 04-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #53
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RE: Solar Panel

Hey SP,
thats not a bad idea at all..
these panels do not require rear ventilation so you could glue them onto alu plates.
i like the idea that you can stowe the panels when cruising and then put them out when at anchor or at the marina.
let me know how that works out for you.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:08 AM   #54
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RE: Solar Panel

Flexible panels will give you about 50% of the power that rigid panels give so be sure you size them correctly
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:11 AM   #55
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RE: Solar Panel

"Flexible panels will give you about 50% of the power that rigid panels give so be sure you size them correctly ."

True BUT , a single shadow from a thin line will cut the output of most rigid panels almost to ZERO!


Sometimes half a loaf is better than NO loaf.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:39 AM   #56
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RE: Solar Panel

UPDATE: We were out for several days aboard our trawler and I watched the solar panels output carefully.

The panel maintained the batteries at a 100% charge level throughout the day on Saturday. It also powered all the refrigeration all day as well. The sky conditions were perfect. The charging began about 7:30AM with the sun still low on the horizon; the voltage was about 12. A mid day, the voltage had risen to 13.1 and stayed that way for the remainder of the day.

Our entire 24 hour power consumption was only 35 amp hours which was a result of going with a LED anchor light that consumes only .11 amp

After 24 hours, my battery bank was at 93% charge level.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:42 AM   #57
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Solar Panel

Doesn't it give you a buzz being green. I love my freedom from noise and pollution with my Airbreeze and panels...

By green I mean, self-sufficient without burning fossil fuel.*

However, I don't think I'll go hybrid car yet.* Sorry Walt. Although the new Lexus equivalent went well in the celebrities race at the Melbourne grand prix...... I'm hearing good things about them, they do seem a step forward..maybe...?


-- Edited by Peter B on Tuesday 19th of April 2011 06:46:48 AM
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #58
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RE: Solar Panel

have a prius for several years, i would hate to give it up.
most reliable and low cost maintenance car i have ever had.

but running two cat 3208 diesels is probably not exactly going green..
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #59
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RE: Solar Panel

Nothing about going green, the environmental movment doesn't interest me in the least. What does matter is amp hour usage and limiting the generator use
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:17 PM   #60
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Solar Panel

Why is it that so many people are defensive of being green? What could possibly be wrong with not wanting to waste our planets resources, or not wanting to pollute our friends, family and neighbors? I am not particularly green myself, with my fifteen knot boat, but I am proud to say that my SUV gets 25 mpg, and I use reusable grocery bags, and try to do the right thing in what I purchase, but there seems to be a negative connotation attached to being green. Why do so many people jump to say "I'm no greenie"?*


-- Edited by Carey on Tuesday 19th of April 2011 10:47:37 PM
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