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Old 14-08-2015, 14:07   #46
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

sample power budget
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File Type: xls sephina L400 power budget.xls (23.0 KB, 112 views)
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:53   #47
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

You have to start somewhere. Some people love figures and start by calculating.

Im the 'hands on' type and would start with a basic 200W solar panel from ebay with a controller and a 200A deep cycle battery.
This arrangement will cope with the bare basic needs and should cost around $500.
You can always add to as your needs change.

I will prob be shot down in flames by the armchair sailors here but it is honestly how I started and it works for me.
Hope it helps!
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:02   #48
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

You have to start somewhere.
Some people like numbers and start by calculating. The fact is we are all limited to some extend by our budget, time and knowledge.

I started with a 200W solar panel from ebay with a 20amp controller and a 200A deep cycle battery.
This cost around $500 and coped with the basic needs admirably.

You can always add to this basic system as your needs change.
Hope this helps!
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:09   #49
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

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sample power budget
Monte, you didn't mention having a DC to AC inverter, using the microwave takes a lot of starting power.
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:18   #50
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

for anybody in the South Florida area, I bought panels from a gentleman who has a garage full of them. They were made in Spain but are no longer manufactured. they are new 250 watt or 275 watt panels $180. I have no affiliation just a happy customer
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:30   #51
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

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for anybody in the South Florida area, I bought panels from a gentleman who has a garage full of them. They were made in Spain but are no longer manufactured. they are new 250 watt or 275 watt panels $180. I have no affiliation just a happy customer
What's the model number and manufactures name.
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:46   #52
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

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Monte, you didn't mention having a DC to AC inverter, using the microwave takes a lot of starting power.

We don't use a microwave but it's easy enough to add to the budget provided if you like. Just add the typical Amps used per day. Add 15% to anything running through the inverter.
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Old 14-08-2015, 18:47   #53
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

The manufacturer was cuantum. and they were made in Spain. Like I said,no longer in business and I do not know the model numbers only he has 275 Watt which is a large panel. and a 250 watt which is a bit smaller
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Old 14-08-2015, 20:07   #54
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

Hi Motion30. Does he still have some panels? If so how to contact.

Cheers

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Old 14-08-2015, 21:25   #55
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

We have been full time cruising for the last 4 years. We upgraded solar about 6 mons ago, from 400W to 1150W. We are on a 42 Ft cat and had room for four 285 panels. IMO, your lifestyle and habits will change and adapt to the amount of free power you are able to produce. Free, as in, don't have to run a genny or alternators and the maintenance that goes along with them.

We run the fridge, drip coffee maker, microwave, ssb and vhf radios, stereo, and TV, make water, do laundry/washing machine and make ice. We are in the Caribbean and on rainy, overcast days we can't do laundry and water, but our batteries have always been full by the end of the day. Our panels, based upon the weather, produce anywhere from 250 to 400 amp hours per day.

Solar is cheap in comparison to the alternatives. Put up as much as you have space for, it will make your life easier.

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Old 14-08-2015, 23:25   #56
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Simply add the amps used for the time used. Fridge uses 6A for 12 hrs, etc. the OPs use might be similar to mine, around 180A per day at anchor and 350A on passage. I'd suggest a larger than standard battery bank also. At least 80% total Ah /W of solar. i.e 800Ah bank for a 1Kw array.
I'm the other way round 800W and 1000 Ah house battery bank.

But then, I'm in the tropics!
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Old 14-08-2015, 23:57   #57
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

I have a Lagoon 400. The main power consumers are 2 fridges, a freezer, instruments and the autopilot. I have 960 watts of solar (HP-flex 8 x 120 watts) but the panel surface is becoming chalky so I don't think they are working as well as they should. I also have 720 watts of house batteries. I am currently in Italy.

I do not have enough solar generation and plan to add more. I have a 12 volt watermaker but do not use it because of its power consumption. I can last 2 days at anchor without using the motors if it is not overcast. If it is overcast I need to use the engines each day.

So I would go for more than 1000 watts. I plan to go to about 1400 watts.

I have a Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT controller. Originally the panels (8) were all wired in parallel. With this configuration I was using the engine every day and sometimes several times a day for charging. This configuration was changed to 2 lots of 4 panels in series and each lot paralleled. This made a big improvement in my power production. I now only use the engine for charging when it is overcast. My panels are max voltage of 19v so with the Outback controller I could have 7 in series and still be below the maximum controller voltage of 145 volts. I will be bearing this in mind when I add more panels.

Brian
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:04   #58
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

I agree with the majority of posters - install as much solar as you can!

We installed 420w of solar a number of years ago and on most days we have plenty of power for a family of five. Our two Sanyo HIP-210 Watt solar panels are hybrid solar cells created by combining amorphous silicon and crystalline silicon, which means they are efficient in dappled shade and at higher temperatures than ordinary mono-crystalline panels.



We are extremely happy with our setup on Lucey Blue. However, with hindsight we should have installed another 210w panel during the initial installation. The hassle of fabricating another mounting bracket and rewiring means that it easier to run the motor for half an hour and remind the kids that power is not limitless on cloudy days...

Good luck.
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Old 18-08-2015, 05:34   #59
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

A slightly different perspective.

On our L380 we have a single 327W Sunpower panel mounted on the davits wired through a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 60. Much smaller panel than most of the layouts in this thread . However, in our case our panel is tiltable through 60 degrees & our energy requirement less.

We have an efficient eutectic fridge setup from Ozefridge, a simple Engel for freezer, all LED lighting, 2 small 24" LED TV & use all 12v chargers for MacBooks & ios devices etc, Winchrite rechargeable winch handle. We have no Aircon, microwave or ice maker. Our pure sine wave inverter is only 500 watts. Plenty for the small amount of 240v chargers we use eg. Cordless toothbrushes, shaver etc.

Typically we see a deficit of just 50 amps overnight with smart use of the bypass switch on the fridge during the day forcing the fridge on when abundant sun or motoring.

Just last weekend with panel tilted towards sun at 8am we were seeing 18amps, batteries fully charged by 12am. Max of 22amps middle of the day.

We don't feel like we're camping & like the simplicity of it all. Yes we do use the Honda 20 gen to power our Rainman water maker & some battery charging at the same time every week.

Horses for courses!

Dave


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Old 18-08-2015, 05:44   #60
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Re: What size and number of solar panels needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
sample power budget
Hi Monte
Thanks for posting the spread sheet, we are having to replace our house batteries and looking for the best configuration for the space that we have available. Just wondering what you have installed?
Regards
Nick
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