Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-29-2013, 11:01 PM   #21
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,573
My digital controllers have auto and manual equalization phase. Without visiting the boat to check the brand, the model is SBC-7108, I`ve seen the controller marketed under several brands. On auto,they equalize every 30 days for 2 hours, manually activated they go for 2 hours.
The (generic) Manual says: "Clean distilled water will need to be added to the battery AFTER the equalization process". Very true.
Phases are: Bulk Charge, Absorb Charge, Float, and Equalize. Standard I think.
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 07:26 PM   #22
Guru
 
janice142's Avatar
 
City: St. Pete, FL
Country: USofA
Vessel Name: Seaweed
Vessel Model: Schucker mini-trawler
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 914
Send a message via AIM to janice142 Send a message via MSN to janice142 Send a message via Yahoo to janice142 Send a message via Skype™ to janice142
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Have you seen the ProStar go into equalize mode? Reading the book it indicates it does this every 25 days. I have tried to duplicate this using a power supply as the Solar input, powering it up/down 25 times. No such luck.

I have asked Morningstar how the Algorithm works, no response yet.
Hello Big Jim. The way it seems to work (observation versus the guide book) is that when it's sunny AND my refrigerator is shut off, then I pretty much count on several hours of absorption charging.

Normally when I go to bunk the batts are at 12.5 or 12.6, though sometimes I've taken them down to 12.4 .... these are the Walmart $75 car batteries with 115amp hours, though I do have one marine battery. 4 batteries, 450 amps. Roughly.

By morning my voltage meters show 12.3 or 12.4 however by 0900 or so they are back at 12.6 and rise continually during the day. Usually of late I have not been running my little Haier (A/C) reefer as I am just not comfortable with the power it uses and my battery bank capacity. So with the reefer off and voltage increasing about 1300 or so I hit 13.7 or 13.8 and notice the green flashing light (next to the yellow-red) indicating absorption charging.

Specifics: there is a 6' run of 8-gauge wire between the Morningstar ProStar30 and the batteries. The batts are .1 above what shows on my regulator. The flashing green continues and voltage increases until I see 14.01 where it just sits and flashes.

Finally as the sun goes down the flashing stops and the batteries go back to their normal 12.6. This repeats every day when the sun shines.

I've got 275 watts solar at present.
These are observations. The book doesn't tell us much, does it? I'm presuming you have the little paper thing they sent with the regulator. If not, I'd be happy to copy mine for you.

Have you learned anything about the versions? I know when I do a boot-up mine tells me the release number (1.8) ... It works so I'm not fixing it, but I do wonder if perhaps your version/release number is uncooperative.
__________________

__________________
Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
http://janice142.com
janice142 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 09:39 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
HenryD's Avatar
 
City: Heading south for Ft. Myers
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Seven Tenths
Vessel Model: Mirage / Great Harbour 47
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 353
I will be measuring and planning the panel layout this weekend. My plan is to use the Sunsei glue on mounts. I hope to have final panel quotes next week.
HenryD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 10:57 PM   #24
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: 4,181
Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryD View Post
I will be measuring and planning the panel layout this weekend. My plan is to use the Sunsei glue on mounts. I hope to have final panel quotes next week.
Hmmm. Glue on mounts would save weight. Are they also sold by SunPower?
__________________
Larry

"I'd rather be happy than dignified".
healhustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 11:22 PM   #25
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,573
Some thoughts.
I used Sikaflex to secure my mounts to the deck to avoid possibly applying uneven loads to the panels if the deck was not 100% even. I`m not familiar with Sunsei glue.
I made brackets from right angle aluminum strip mounted on 20mm thick teak, screwed to two sides of each panel.You can buy nicer mounts, mine work fine.
Panels don`t like heat, air needs to circulate underneath.
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 07:53 AM   #26
TF Site Team
 
Peter B's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Lotus
Vessel Model: Clipper (CHB) 34 Sedan/Europa style
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,670
Send a message via Skype™ to Peter B
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portuguese View Post
Guys

Having read the above, reamains a question. If you cannot afford a marina and decide to live on a hook, what system is more reliable to charge your bateries in order to have power for the bilge pumps, the solar pannels or the wind mill? Have in consideration that you plenty of both sources, wind and Sunlight

Thanks
Port, in the situation you describe, I would recommend both. The wind is also free, and usually it is doing it's job when the sun is not. I have both, so do have some experience here...however, if a wind genny is difficult to mount, then you need more panels.
__________________
Pete
Peter B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 11:20 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
City: CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 178
The Morningstar tech confimed the controller must be powered for 25 days. He did not offer to tell me how the Algorithm worked. I asked him several times. I also asked if the controller had a clock chip in it and he did not respond.

This does not make sense IMO. As the sun sets the controller will not see power on the Solar input input. Perhaps the battery line need to remain connected. That would make more sense.

At any rate I purchased the charger someone recommended in another post. It will be here tomorrow. I think it has a manual equalize mode.

Thanks for the offer on the manual. They are available on their web.

Until this latest glitch with their tech support I was happy with the product. The fact that they won't or cannot describe the Algorithm to me is somewhat upsetting.

I enjoy this post.

BigJim
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 12:05 PM   #28
Guru
 
janice142's Avatar
 
City: St. Pete, FL
Country: USofA
Vessel Name: Seaweed
Vessel Model: Schucker mini-trawler
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 914
Send a message via AIM to janice142 Send a message via MSN to janice142 Send a message via Yahoo to janice142 Send a message via Skype™ to janice142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
The nice thing about the hard panels is that you install them and forgot them. They just crank out the amps without maintenance.
One thing to be aware of is pollen on the panels, or any sort of splat (think pelicans) so occasionally take a look and rinse them off. I dry mine too and clean with rubbing alcohol -- same thing I use on the windows as it's easy and doesn't streak. [Side note: some rubbing alcohol is 50% by volume -- look for the 90% stuff.]

Pelicans though -- that takes soap and water.
Every week since you don't have anything to do add clean solar panels to the list. This retirement thing takes a lot of time, eh?
__________________
Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
http://janice142.com
janice142 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 12:15 PM   #29
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
This retirement thing takes a lot of time, eh?
For those of you that haven't gone to Janice's site yet, it's a real eye opener! Not only is this gal a wonderful example of the pioneering spirit, she's technically savvy too! When I feel a little down, for whatever reason, I think of Janice hauling fresh water back to her boat. Now that's humbling.
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
City: CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 178
How do you like your wind genny? What controller do you use with it?
I assume you generate more power with the wind.
With your little boat and the two DC sources you seem well on your way to being self sufficient.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 03:18 PM   #31
Guru
 
Portuguese's Avatar
 
City: Salvador - BA
Country: Brazil
Vessel Name: Rainha Jannota
Vessel Model: Curruira 46
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 662
Send a message via MSN to Portuguese
Janice

...Without kidnapping the thread, I loved your site.
You're a real inspiration for all of us.
God Bless you and thank you for your knowledge

Portuguese
__________________
Now retired and cruising in calm waters
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rainha_jannota/
Portuguese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 05:27 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
SaltyDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 250
Janice gave me good chuckle on her If the Deckshoe Fits posting on her site.

The rest of the site is worth checking out too!
SaltyDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #33
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: 4,181
Excellent Janice. Up-lifting, my Admiral would say. Whether inspirational or provocative, who cares. Both are food for change.
__________________
Larry

"I'd rather be happy than dignified".
healhustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 12:13 AM   #34
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,573
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
... As the sun sets the controller will not see power on the Solar input input. Perhaps the battery line need to remain connected. That would make more sense....
The controller is always connected to the battery and the panel(s). It will have a diode to prevent outflow from the battery when there is no sun/at night
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 01:21 AM   #35
Guru
 
janice142's Avatar
 
City: St. Pete, FL
Country: USofA
Vessel Name: Seaweed
Vessel Model: Schucker mini-trawler
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 914
Send a message via AIM to janice142 Send a message via MSN to janice142 Send a message via Yahoo to janice142 Send a message via Skype™ to janice142
Thank you Seahorse for the lovely compliment. I am having fun with the website and it's always nice to know others enjoy reading... for me it's an outlet. And about the Deck Shoes article: well, yes. It's all true although I will say marina folk are generally far better socialized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
How do you like your wind genny? What controller do you use with it?
I assume you generate more power with the wind.
With your little boat and the two DC sources you seem well on your way to being self sufficient.
Big Jim... I've got the Air-Breeze (southwinds newest production) although mine is one from their original run it does now have the new motherboard. That means I should expect to max out at 40 amps incoming. In actuality it's far less -- two or three up to about 8 amps.

However I am using Air-X blades. I bought the Breeze used from a fellow who had one of each. The Air-X blades on the AX unit made a sound one of his cats could barely tolerate. The Air-X with the Air-Breeze blades didn't seem faze the purr factory, so I ended up with Breeze and X blades.

As I understand it the Air-X maxes at 36 amps.

I've never seen that much in the normal course of windy days. During Tropical Storm Beryl when I was on the east coast (Jacksonville) the Air-Breeze was maxing out on the dial... according to a Southern Cross anchored near me he was seeing 55 mph winds (masthead) ...

For power though? The solar is better -- at least on this coast without the morning ocean breezes I came to enjoy on the east coast. I like having the combination and do recommend both. It's my insurance but if I only had budget for one, it would be solar.

The Wind-genny has no external regulator. Perhaps it's handled thru the motherboard in the unit? It has a make-or-break switch and an analog gauge showing output to batteries. Wires to that make-or-break then direct to batts --

The theory that two is better is correct but there was a week (eight long days) of overcast skies and no wind. Plus the doggone pine pollen too so in my view the ideal boat would have:
#1) Solar on all real estate possible
#2) A wind genny (Air-Breeze although I noticed on Amazon an Air-X discontinued model for $500 which looked to be a bargain. No longer manufactured but is supported)
#3) A Honda, Yamaha or Kipor 1000 watt generator.

Because Seaweed is essentially 12-volts in my view a 1k is sufficient as I'd plug it into the 30 amp inlet on the boat and let my True-Charge re-up the batteries. If yours is a heavy AC power consumer you'd probably opt for 2k. Yamaha2k is currently coming out on top for customer reviews incidentally over Honda ...

Of course the diesel generators are best but in the real world of budgets gas isn't half bad. And it works. Of course the ABYC folks will tell you how bad/dangerous it is (keep your zincs up) but the reality is not all have the means afford a diesel generator (best option) or to dock and recharge the batteries so we use what's available. Just be aware that these are verboten according the Don Casey etc.

Oh, and of course you need more batteries than you have. It doesn't matter how many you have, more capacity is always good.

Whew. I'm really not that talkative. Except when it comes to boats.
Aren't we just the most fortunate to be able to live the dream so many profess yet so few strive toward? Life is so good afloat.
__________________
Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
http://janice142.com
janice142 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 11:57 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
City: CA
Country: USA
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 178
Awesome! I got tired of waiting for my Pro 30 to get to equalize mode so I bought this.
Go Power! GPC-45-MAX 45 Amp 4-Stage Converter/Battery Charger.
It has a manual equalize mode.
It should be here in an hour and I cannot wait to play with it.
I re-tinned and wire brushed all my cable connectors yesterday so we have a nice project for the AM.
__________________

BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar, sunpower

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 06:41 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