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Old 25-09-2014, 06:20   #16
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Thank you John please send the data if you have it?
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Old 15-10-2014, 05:00   #17
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

This installation works really well on our 440 ... high enough to see under from the helm when reversing (just) ....... tall enough to walk underneath ...... strong enough to stand on the panel edges ....... even fits a simple clothesline underneath.

Somewhere on this forum there was a great photo of someone also integrating a long bench seat into the frame instead of the rear lifelines.

Good luck


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Old 15-10-2014, 07:43   #18
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Re: Help needed with solar power

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinOz View Post
Hi Don that was 5 not 4 Sun power Panels you sold me and they are working brilliantly.
What kind of controller do you use for your 5 Sun Power 327 watt panels?

Are the panels wire in series or parallel?
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Old 15-10-2014, 15:03   #19
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

3 in Parallel
2 in Parallel
into 2 x Outback Flex Max 80 controllers. .
Each Panel wired individually via 6 mm wire to 10 amp D.C cct breaker inside then paralleled together via 80 amp cct breaker to Flex max 80.
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Old 15-10-2014, 15:52   #20
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinOz View Post
3 in Parallel
2 in Parallel
into 2 x Outback Flex Max 80 controllers. .
Each Panel wired individually via 6 mm wire to 10 amp D.C cct breaker inside then paralleled together via 80 amp cct breaker to Flex max 80.
Very nice install.

Does this system cover all you catamaran power needs.
If so do you still need to run a generator at all.
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Old 15-10-2014, 16:29   #21
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

This currently is running as required

240 volt AC: via Victron Quattro 3 kW inverter
Automatic Coffee Machine
Microwave (Small)
Washing machine (Cold water wash and no drying)
1200 watt Hot water heater via 1 hour timer switch
2 x Mac computers with 27 inch screens
46 inch LED TV
DVR
Apple TV

12 volt DC
3 x 12 volt fridge 2 x 130 lt 1 x 80 lt
1 x 12 volt freezer 100 lt
Normal boat electronics, Navigation Instruments, all electric winches etc etc.

The only thing I need to start Gen set for (11KVa Onan) is to run my water maker (240 volts ac 14 amps). Just a little to much for inverter, it produces 180 lt per hour so normal run of 2 hours refills a 350 lt tank.

There is possibility of adding second Inverter to be able to run it but then I probably would need moor Battery capacity, and maybe some moor panels.

The gen set is practically brand new so might as well use it for now, it was fitted to boat when I purchased it. I want get a feel for how much Diesel it uses so as to make a decision on future expansion.

Battery bank is 6 x 120 Ah Exide Gel's Normally at about 72 % in morning prior to sun up, currently 0815, Sunrise was 0510 now at 85% charge but also on my 3rd Long Black Coffee for the morning.

Like good wine you can never have to much power, it's just a case of how much you want to pay for it.
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Old 15-10-2014, 17:36   #22
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

PaulinOz,

Very nice.

You may want to hook up with roetter for his LifePo4 battery setup on his Lagoon 450.
That battery upgrade may be able to power your watermaker.

Very impressive system, just the way it is now
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Old 15-10-2014, 18:50   #23
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

As to Roetter, I have used a lot of his ideas and thank him for sharing his setup with us. The batteries are only 18 months old so when they take a dive will definitely look into LifePo4.
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Old 16-10-2014, 03:18   #24
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Paul, we have 840Ah bank and 1140W solar with a 1600a inverter on our lagoon 400. I'd like to heat the hot water as well and a 1hr switch seems like a good idea. I was thinking of changing the element to a 500w instead of 1200w to reduce the battery draw from 100Ah to around 50Ah so the solar can heat it with less input from the batteries. I've heard it doesn't harm the batteries but I don't like seeing 100Ah going out and the inverter working hard plus the loss of efficiency.
Our batteries usually drop to around 90% overnight and are full by mid day. The hot water tank stays hot for a couple of days once heated.
How did you set up your switch, and what type of switch, where did you buy it?
I contacted quick about an element but they still haven't replied after a few emails....
Thanks
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Old 16-10-2014, 06:14   #25
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Why not heat the water with solar hot water panels instead of using electric? Just have to power a small water circulating pump.

Heliatos Solar hot water.

http://shop.heliatos.com/Complete-2-Panel-MH-37-Solar-Water-Heater-Kit-0770015.htm
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Old 16-10-2014, 13:47   #26
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

I used The Clipsal Electronic Timer Controls 2000 Series, Time Delay Switch 250V 10A - 15 hours, 3 wire, Push-button.
I purchased from E-Bay
Manufacturer web site
Clipsal - 2031VETR3 - Time Delay Switch, 1 Gang, 3 Wire, 10 A

Make certain you use the 3 wire version this means you have an active, neutral and load wired to the switch. There is a 2 wire version but this then has a standing current (ie: uses a small amount of 240 volts all the time.)

I wired the switch between the 240 volt heater on/off cct breaker on the electrical control panel and the heater. So to operate I switch the normal heater switch on push the timer button and and leave until finished. The switch is adjustable between 0m and 15 hours. It also has a indicator light showing if on or off.

The area taken up by a water heater panel is taking away from available landscape for Electrical panel.

One of the things that drops Solar arrays efficiency is heat so it would make sense to see water cooled solar panels. That could do double duty.
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Old 16-10-2014, 14:06   #27
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

On the Outback charge controllers, If you are not using a Hub ( communication unit for OB) You must use a battery temperature sender per device,
On using the "spare solar" The Aux output is pretty versatile, You can use it to run a SSR to divert excess power to other loads, eg water heating when bats are charged,

Tim

it's a long thread & takes a bit of reading, OutBack Power Technologies User Forum • View topic - How do I use every last electron?
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Old 16-10-2014, 20:20   #28
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackswan555 View Post
...
On using the "spare solar" The Aux output is pretty versatile, You can use it to run a SSR to divert excess power to other loads, eg water heating when bats are charged,
... [/url]
I looked through the Outback manual as I was a little confused by the meaning of this. Initially I thought the Outback has two charge outputs.

I guess you mean to use the AUX signal to switch a set of two solenoids. One disconnects the Outback from the house bank, the other one connects to a 12V load. I have not heard of a 12V water heater element though.
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Old 16-10-2014, 20:40   #29
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

This sort of thing

Alternative Energy Engineering
Low Voltage Water Heating Element
Diversion Load

These low-voltage water-heating elements are for use as diversion loads for wind or hydroelectric systems. Use one or more of these heating elements with a charge control designed for load diversion, such as the Xantrex C40 or C60, Morningstar TS-45 or TS-60 or the Outback FlexMax 60 to turn your excess power into hot water. They fit most standard electric water heaters with screw-in elements. We have one model for 12- and 24 volt systems and another for higher power 24- volt systems and 48 volt systems. Each unit has two elements that can be wired in series or parallel or used individually, depending on voltage and desired amp draw.

website:
Water Heating Element for 12V or 24V DC
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Old 17-10-2014, 01:43   #30
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Re: Help Needed with Solar Power

Yes "That sort of thing" on the water heater,

No, The "AUX" on the Outback MX/FM is a 12v max (iirc) 300ma output designed to switch a relay, Either "normal" Bosch'y car relay or a SSR (solid state relay)

Tim
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