Greenline Hybrid: Solar Panel, Solar Charging & Propulsion Battery Discussions

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Ah, so not forced ventilation, but natural convention. That's an interesting new definition for forced convection.
Maybe call it "Gentle forced voluntary natural convection":)
Usual rule is allow 1"/25mm clearance under panel. Good if the panels get unimpeded air flow with bow into wind, eg, while on hook/mooring ball.
 
I agree with TT. The use of the term "forced" in this case is flat-out misleading.
I know the OP said he was interested in what GL is CURRENTLY doing in this regard -- especially for 45's and 48's. I do not know. But, since it may add some value to this discussion for some, I will upload a few photos in my next post to show what's on my GL33 -- and I suspect still on the new GL33's.
 
Solar Panel Cooling

These pictures are from when I had my original 2010 solar panels replaced with the newer, 300W panels (latest tech available from Greenline/SVP Yachts in 2019). You can see the air channels, but the air entrance is limited to some degree. I imagine this is for support purposes. While I can't measure easily now, it does look to me like the channels could be 20-25mm high "inside". I imagine there must be a fair amount of air "forced" in when moving forward. Sitting at anchor, however, is probably a different matter.
 

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Solar panel replacement

Thanks for the photos Scott. The pic with the vacuum cleaner looks like the guy is sitting on the original panels. Is that right? I've never been game enough to go up there when cleaning and always done it with a long handled broom.

Was the panel replacement as horrendously expensive as I imagine?


These pictures are from when I had my original 2010 solar panels replaced with the newer, 300W panels (latest tech available from Greenline/SVP Yachts in 2019). You can see the air channels, but the air entrance is limited to some degree. I imagine this is for support purposes. While I can't measure easily now, it does look to me like the channels could be 20-25mm high "inside". I imagine there must be a fair amount of air "forced" in when moving forward. Sitting at anchor, however, is probably a different matter.
 
Thanks for the photos Scott. The pic with the vacuum cleaner looks like the guy is sitting on the original panels. Is that right? I've never been game enough to go up there when cleaning and always done it with a long handled broom.

Was the panel replacement as horrendously expensive as I imagine?


Yes - both guys were crawling around on the roof. I have never done it and would not do it. The owner's manual says don't...so I don't risk it.
I have never used a broom on the panels. Only a telescopic water brush (i.e. brush with hose attached). Never any soaps or detergents needed.


I will be home near the end of this month and will look up the cost of the panel replacement and PM you. I can tell you, however, that it was less expensive than I thought it would be.
 
Has anyone tried one of these replacement packs or make there own pack?
pack/http://https://eauto.si/metron-shop/product/greenline-33-battery-pack/

I am considering purchasing a GL 33 with a bad battery and have been looking at replacement options. I am really considering building my own pack. Based on measurements of this replacement pack I believe I could fit a 20KW lifepo4 pack using 32 CALB 230Ah cells in same space.
 
My 11 year old LiPo had a dead cell. I removed and replaced it with four 8D liFeO4 270 amp Battleborn batteries. They are wired in series. My marine electrician reprogrammed the victron inverter, solar charger and battery monitor. For lithium iron specifications..
I used 4/0 cables and terminal covers.

They are twice the weight of LiPo. I installed two to port , one to starboard. And one under the helm seat.

A current limiter on negative inverter lead prevents high inrush current that could otherwise shut down Battery management. Battle born provided all specification for programming devices after I sent all technical info from the Greenline 33.

It works normally with isikata/Mahle electric motor and generator.battery monitor set to alarm before batter bms would shut down for low voltage.
 
It works normally with isikata/Mahle electric motor and generator.battery monitor set to alarm before batter bms would shut down for low voltage.
Thank you for posting this, Rich J. It's great to know that it can be done -- and about a successful way to do it. I am jealous of the extra Amp Hours!
 
LiPo had a dead cell. Took it out and put in Four Battle born 8d in series. Had inverter, solar charger and battery monitor reprogrammed. Now have more capacity. 15.5 kWh bs 11.4kwh.
 
For those that have done the MPPT 150/35 (or 45) controller for the solar on a GL33, can you share a picture of how you have mounted it please? _Ideally_ I'd like to have this also connected to my Beaglebone Black running Venos OS as well. If you've already solved that problem that would be an absolute bonus ;-)

Cheers, Martin
 
Beaglebone Black? Is that some type of soup they serve in Oz??
I can at least share a picture. The context of the picture is lost a bit. But it's "under the under" just to the right of the refrigerator. It sits just aft of the 48v battery, which is at the top of the picture. Be sure you get the BlueTooth dongle. It lets you check myriad stats with the Victron Connect App.


Ironically, it sits just where my old US-made "Outback" controller sat. That controller was too complicated and not reliable, which is why I replaced it.


Think about putting in a solar cut-off master switch when you do this installation. I wish I had. There have been occasions (winter storage on land, for example) where I did not want the battery always at fully-charged status due to solar input. Not great for the battery to store it this way.
 

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Beaglebone Black? Is that some type of soup they serve in Oz??
I can at least share a picture. The context of the picture is lost a bit. But it's "under the under" just to the right of the refrigerator. It sits just aft of the 48v battery, which is at the top of the picture. Be sure you get the BlueTooth dongle. It lets you check myriad stats with the Victron Connect App.


Ironically, it sits just where my old US-made "Outback" controller sat. That controller was too complicated and not reliable, which is why I replaced it.


Think about putting in a solar cut-off master switch when you do this installation. I wish I had. There have been occasions (winter storage on land, for example) where I did not want the battery always at fully-charged status due to solar input. Not great for the battery to store it this way.

The other option is to lower the charge voltage on the charge controller. Of course that means it will cutout at that same lower level while underway too unless you change it back.
 
Beaglebone Black? Is that some type of soup they serve in Oz??...
Mock soup only these days, definitely no black beagles harmed.
 
Two set points for MPPT controller

The other option is to lower the charge voltage on the charge controller. Of course that means it will cutout at that same lower level while underway too unless you change it back.

I like this. I was thinking one set point for winter / not on the boat, another set point for when we living aboard full time and it's summer.
 
Added BMS manual to the list in github

Beaglebone Black? Is that some type of soup they serve in Oz??
I can at least share a picture. The context of the picture is lost a bit. But it's "under the under" just to the right of the refrigerator. It sits just aft of the 48v battery, which is at the top of the picture. Be sure you get the BlueTooth dongle. It lets you check myriad stats with the Victron Connect App.


Ironically, it sits just where my old US-made "Outback" controller sat. That controller was too complicated and not reliable, which is why I replaced it.


Think about putting in a solar cut-off master switch when you do this installation. I wish I had. There have been occasions (winter storage on land, for example) where I did not want the battery always at fully-charged status due to solar input. Not great for the battery to store it this way.

@ScottC, Based on the values in the BMS manual, I was going to go with a custom profile and set the float to 54.3v (just under the 54.35 that the BMS uses as the "Victron charger end of charge switch-off cell / pack" value.

Do you know what you have set?
Cheers
 
@ScottC, Based on the values in the BMS manual, I was going to go with a custom profile and set the float to 54.3v (just under the 54.35 that the BMS uses as the "Victron charger end of charge switch-off cell / pack" value.

Do you know what you have set?
Cheers
Hi Marty,
This is what SVP set when they installed my Victron MPPT:
Equalization: no
charge curve: adaptive + batterysafe
absorption:54,08V
Float: 53,70V


I think the float setting is notably lower because it stresses the battery less and results, hopefully, in a longer battery life.
 
Original Solar panels specs?

Does anyone know the specs of the original panels?

Make and Model would be awesome but I'm in need of the following.

VOC Open circuit voltage
ISC Short circuit current
And
Panel watt power


I know that the manual says "They are wired 2 parallel x 3 series" but when I tested (pre-covid so of course I'm not sure now) with throwing a blanket over different panels it seems they are 3 strings of 2. Can anyone confirm?

If they are in 3 strings of 2, what's the layout?

Reason for all these questions is I'm seeing ~65-70 volts max on the solar side. Makes sense for 2 panels in a string but not for 3.
 
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Hi Martin,


The original GL33 panels were definitely by BISOL. I have uploaded a couple of documents that may be of use to you. I obtained them long ago, right after I got my boat. Don’t remember where or how I got them, but I don’t think it was Seaway (the then Greenline producer). So I can be only 99.9% certain they are the precisely correct documents. Nevertheless, I think you will find them helpful. The original 6-panel array was advertised by Seaway/Greenline as having a total max output of 1300W. This implies the model 214 in the data sheet.
I have also uploaded a VERY crude drawing I made of how my original panels were connected. You are right. It’s three strings of two.
Hope this info helps!
 

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Hi Martin,


The original GL33 panels were definitely by BISOL. I have uploaded a couple of documents that may be of use to you. I obtained them long ago, right after I got my boat. Don’t remember where or how I got them, but I don’t think it was Seaway (the then Greenline producer). So I can be only 99.9% certain they are the precisely correct documents. Nevertheless, I think you will find them helpful. The original 6-panel array was advertised by Seaway/Greenline as having a total max output of 1300W. This implies the model 214 in the data sheet.
I have also uploaded a VERY crude drawing I made of how my original panels were connected. You are right. It’s three strings of two.
Hope this info helps!

Thanks Scott,
I'm think I'm on the same journey that you have already been on.

Let me know if you can't see these or it doesn't make sense.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/L34zNxRnCxr5M5bU6
Using 1-6 as panel numbers (from bow/port to aft/stbd), I'm seeing weird results.

If I cover up 3,4,5, and 6 with everything connected I get 58v and ~1.5A
With 1,2,5 and 6 covered and everything connected I get 40v and the MPPT is off
With 1,2,3 and 4 covered and everything connected I get 45v and the MPPT is off
With 5 and 6 covered and everything connected I get 58v and about 2.5 Amps
With everything uncovered and everything connected I get 58v and about 8Amps

It feels like the 40v and 45v are dragging the 58v down and if I disconnect the wires where the strings are connected so that I have 3 individual pairs, 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6.

Then over the next couple of weeks, tape up the ends of the strings I'm not using and connect each string one at a time and see how it performs.

Obviously, I need to make all changes at night when it's dark.

I feel like I've had this problem for a while but am now able to see more information.

Just a thought, noting that a lot of solar panel manufacturers provide a performance guarantee for anything up to 25 years, did you pursue that line at all?
 
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I suspected I had some issue with my old panels, as my voltage checks were not as expected -- but they weren't off to the degree that you're seeing. As you may have noticed in some of my earlier posts, I had all my solar panels changed in 2019. This was primarily to enjoy the newly available higher-rated panels. I now have 6x300 watt panels. Total, 1800 watts. On sunny days, I now regularly experience 20-24 Amps output midday and that's pretty good according SVP. Checking Victron Connect, I see I achieved a total of 11.33 kWh yield for that day. I was not connected to shore power that day and it brought my battery up to full charge from around 40% and covered all my consumption (refrigerator, cooking, + a couple hours of A/C) as well.
 
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Solar layout

Ok. I think I'm definitely on to something.
I've split the wiring where the three strings are joined so that I can look at the output from each string individually. I still wasn't seeing what I thought I should and even went as far as getting a quote. Not from the factory, turns out their paperwork for my hull number is not correct and then don't even think it left the factory with solar. (Long story there). Quote is expensive btw.

Anyway, using the datasheet that you sent me and assuming the 214 panels, I've put that data in to the Victron MPPT calculator and essentially, it's telling me that I need 2 x strings of 3 panels, not the other way around.

With only 2 panels in series the voltage is just not high enough when the temp gets up.
 

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Interesting!

I am afraid I am simply not qualified to give even an opinion on pros & cons of this rearrangement.
It will be educational to learn the outcome!
 
@scott, definitely worth the time invested.
I now have 2 strings of 3. Open circuit voltage is ~93v each.
Patchy clouds and in between I've already seen a top of 1019w. I'll let you know longer term but suffice to say if your open circuit voltage is about 60-70v then you have 3 x strings of 2 panels each. If you send me the spec sheet for your panels I'll put it in to the MPPT calculator and let you know what it recommends.
 
@scott, definitely worth the time invested.
I now have 2 strings of 3. Open circuit voltage is ~93v each.
Patchy clouds and in between I've already seen a top of 1019w. I'll let you know longer term but suffice to say if your open circuit voltage is about 60-70v then you have 3 x strings of 2 panels each. If you send me the spec sheet for your panels I'll put it in to the MPPT calculator and let you know what it recommends.


Hi Marty. I know I have 3 strings of 2. But what you're finding could be very interesting. I look forward to more info from you!
Below are the specs for my current panels: 6 x BLO300. 1800 watts nominal total.
Also below is a screenshot from my MPPT (150/45). It shows 54v now, but it's typically between 60 and 70v. On a nice day, I typically produce up to 11 kw. It's enough to run all appliances (except the A/C) and charge the hybrid battery, with power left over. I would love to be able to get just a few more amps out of the panels such that I can run the A/C for much of a sunny day without drawing on the battery. Can't quite do that now.


The MPPT screenshot is showing 1206w now, I often see pMax at 1600-1700+. I am in the Med, so the ambient temp is often mid 30's.


A couple of weeks ago, we were at a marina with a power failure. The French sailboat next to us, curiously, had a refrigerator that operated only on 230v. Really odd for a sailboat, though he did have a diesel generator). We had fully charged our battery via solar and had solar energy going to waste, so I offered to let him plug his shore power cable into our boat so he could at least run his refrigerator.
 

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In case of interest, here is the last 30 days of solar charging data from my Victron 150/45 MPPT. Not so much production, as we've been in marinas most of these days.
 

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Peter, I have a greenline 39 and would really like to have a scanned copy of your Letrika manuel, the pages you showed were not readable on the trawlers forum. Reed in Seattle


PM me if you would, I'd like to talk to you about the manual.



 
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Hi Marty. I know I have 3 strings of 2. But what you're finding could be very interesting. I look forward to more info from you!

Interesting. It shows that with your panels both string options are doable. Also that you should have been able to get away with a 150/35.

When you look at the history, what's the highest Pmax that you see? Is it near 100% of the rated capacity on any of the days? My best in the last 8 days since fixing is 1124w, divided by the original 1300w and I'm still getting 86% of the original so pretty happy with that.

Main differences you would definitely notice by changing would be:
1. early morning, solar would kick in a bit earlier
2. late evening it will stay longer
3. if you're going under a bridge (issue for me, not so much for you) instead of the voltage dropping low enough to turn off the controller and then needing to wait until it comes back, it now stays on
4. Heavy cloud days where the voltage is marginal and solar doesn't kick in are now usable days
 

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Next issue - Generator charging

Hopefully the screenshot makes sense and you are able to follow. It has speed which can be considered a proxy for RPM and main battery SoC, Current and voltage.

Yesterday we did a fair bit of motoring with a couple of locks thrown in.
Day before we used a fair bit of battery and hence started the day ~55%.

Slipped the lines at 0700, electric out of the marina, then diesel. Around the corner and waited about 30 minutes for the lock to open. (Motor off and cooking on induction cooktop)
10 minutes on diesel to maneuver into the lock and then 15 minutes going thru the lock. 90 minutes up to the next lock and then we repeat again.

Notice the current trailing off down to almost zero by 11 o'clock? The remaining current there is from the solar panels as the generator is now in 'N' mode and not charging. Working exactly as it's supposed to but, it started doing that at about 52.2 volts not the 53.6 volts that is says in my Iskra manual.

End result is that using my diesel motor to charge batteries stops charging at 84% and I need to use solar / shore power to get to 100%.

Has anybody else noticed similar?
 

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Peter, I have a greenline 39 and would really like to have a scanned copy of your Letrika manuel, the pages you showed were not readable on the trawlers forum. Reed in Seattle

mypastiche130@yahoo.com

Hi Reed, I'll be happy to send it, but after Greenline's '14 model year for the 33 the hybrid system changed to Volvo diesels instead of VW, with a new and apparently more bullet-proof clutch system, and I assume you have this on your more recent '39. I doubt if the whole complex BMS and electric motor/gen circuitry with multiple grey connection boxes has stayed the same, also...
Pete
 
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