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Old 11-21-2020, 08:56 AM   #1
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Solar help

Anyone familiar with Renogy?
They have a 200 w and a 400 w starter kits. Anyone recommend? Click image for larger version

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Old 11-21-2020, 09:01 AM   #2
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I have a 400W Renology setup (not a kit as I started with a 200W kit but upgraded warious parts like to a MPPT controller).


Very satisfied after 4 years.


2 fixed panels on hinges so there is limited adjustment to the sun angle...2 portable so I can put them anywhere and angle them at the sun.


Some days I have decent output right up until sunset when pointing straight at the sun.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:54 AM   #3
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Renogy is a pretty good brand which came from obscurity 4-5 years ago and now has a wide range of DC electrical systems at very reasonable prices.

The package is ok, but you can save quite a bit of money by buying individual components (price them on Amazon and see) as well as upgrade to a better MPPT controller- Renogy or Victron (one of the best). The money you will save on the individual components should pay for the upgraded controller.

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Old 11-21-2020, 04:38 PM   #4
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Okay ill check out Amazon on the individual parts. I'm glad to get your good reviews on the company.
Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:54 PM   #5
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I strongly suggest you watch some of the videos on Will Prowse's vlog, he is self taught and very good. He is into batteries, particularly lithiums and solar power. He reviews cheap versus expensive solar panels and comes up with some surprises. He also has recommendations for panels.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj...q8kmJme-5dnN0Q
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I strongly suggest you watch some of the videos on Will Prowse's vlog, he is self taught and very good. He is into batteries, particularly lithiums and solar power. He reviews cheap versus expensive solar panels and comes up with some surprises. He also has recommendations for panels.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj...q8kmJme-5dnN0Q
I'll check him out for sure. Thanks
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
Renogy is a pretty good brand which came from obscurity 4-5 years ago and now has a wide range of DC electrical systems at very reasonable prices.

The package is ok, but you can save quite a bit of money by buying individual components (price them on Amazon and see) as well as upgrade to a better MPPT controller- Renogy or Victron (one of the best). The money you will save on the individual components should pay for the upgraded controller.

David
Thanks for the heads up about the controler.
I ordered from Amazon
Vicron 100v 20 amp mppt controler
Victron smart battery sensor BT
2 Renogy 100 watt flexible panels
100' 10awg marine wire with connectors and crimping tool.
I'm figuring on 12 amps. Hopping that will cut back on generator time. Maybe add another panel later.
My fridge is using 5 to 6 amps so I'm hoping this solar system and cover that.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:03 PM   #8
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Consider cancelling the battery sensor and order a real battery monitor, either the Victron BMV 700 or the Renogy Battery Monitor. Either are shunt based meters that display real amperage used either intantaneous or amp hours over time. Amp hour usage is very important at managing your batteries. They also display voltage.

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Old 11-22-2020, 02:49 PM   #9
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I am in the process of replacing my house bank and am going with a Balmar Sg200 SOC meter. It has some really good reviews so time will tell.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
Consider cancelling the battery sensor and order a real battery monitor, either the Victron BMV 700 or the Renogy Battery Monitor. Either are shunt based meters that display real amperage used either intantaneous or amp hours over time. Amp hour usage is very important at managing your batteries. They also display voltage.

David
You're right.
About this item

The Victron Smart Battery Sense is a wireless battery voltage and temperature sensor for Victron MPPT Solar Chargers.

With voltage and temperature sense in place, batteries will be better charged; improving charging-efficiency and prolonging battery life

It uses VE.Smart Network - a wireless technology based on Bluetooth Smart.

Dimensions: 2 x 3 x 3 inches

This comes with 5 year Warranty Guarantee

Volts and temp only. What? I assumed it showed amps.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:45 PM   #11
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I wanted Bluetooth but not worth $210 IMHO.
I'll use my old mastervolt display. Still works but no BT.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:49 PM   #12
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I am in the process of replacing my house bank and am going with a Balmar Sg200 SOC meter. It has some really good reviews so time will tell.
I did an Amazon search for balmar sg200 soc. Nothing came up. What is it?
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:52 PM   #13
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It is Balmars State of Charge meter. There is a review of it on marinehowto.com. I found it on Amazon.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:02 PM   #14
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It is Balmars State of Charge meter. There is a review of it on marinehowto.com. I found it on Amazon.
Sorry can't find balmars state of charge meter on Amazon.
I ordered this dongle. Should do what I want. Maybe?Click image for larger version

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Old 11-22-2020, 05:07 PM   #15
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Sorry, I am not familiar at all with Victron stuff. I searched Amazon for SG200 Balmar and it came up.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:09 PM   #16
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I just did a Renogy MPPT 400W install on FlyWright. Here's a link to my Quarantine Cruise thread with the installation of my system, all bought as components, not a system. I really like the Bluetooth interface option that works well with my tablet or phones.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...a-49739-6.html

I'm very happy so far with mine but have not yet tried a "long cruise" check. I know that I need either an 0:30-1:00 boat run or a 1 hr genset run during cooking to supplement the solar. My typical daily electron budget is about 180-200AH on a 660 AH bank. Cooking, refrigerators and hot water are the greatest demands on my boat by far.

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Old 11-22-2020, 06:11 PM   #17
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I installed a Victron MPPT controller with the Victron Direct Dongle and have been very satisfied. Here is what the display looks like (Iphone)

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Old 11-30-2020, 08:33 AM   #18
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I installed a Victron MPPT controller with the Victron Direct Dongle and have been very satisfied. Here is what the display looks like (Iphone)

Question about the app. Yours reads 428 watts
60 volts
7 amps
Is that what you're using or what the panel is making? Mine shows numbers but my inverter monitor shows I'm discharging the same 7 amps as I was before the install.
Btw how many panels?
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:32 AM   #19
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Question about the app. Yours reads 428 watts
60 volts
7 amps
Is that what you're using or what the panel is making? Mine shows numbers but my inverter monitor shows I'm discharging the same 7 amps as I was before the install.
Btw how many panels?
The solar numbers are what the panels are making. The battery numbers are what is being supplied to the battery bank from the MPPT controller. The controller sits between the panels and the battery bank so it has no knowledge of what I'm drawing from the bank. I have a seperate SOC meter that provides me with battery usage that would also include the inverter.

The panel array consists of three Renogy 175 Watt flexible panels. I went with a series configuration to limit wire size between the panels and the controller that is located in the engine compartment.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:48 AM   #20
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I am surprised that it is receiving 61 volts and 7 amps from the three panels. That is about 20 volts from each panel wired in series and is much higher than the Vmp that the controller is trying to maintain (typically 16-17 V) and very close the the maximum Voc value of 21 V. At 20V I would have expected the current to be much lower than 7 amps.

But I can't argue with success although I don't like 3 or more panels wired in series. That is too high of a voltage for most DC wiring and components. For example, most DC surface mount circuit breakers are limited to 48V.

David
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