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Old 22-05-2014, 00:02   #1
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435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

I am buying a new Lagoon 450 in late July, and sailing it down to Gibraltar then onto Morocco, Canaries and Caribbean in late November.

We are installing 16 x 3.2v 400Ah Lithium Ion CALB Batteries (about 420 Euros each) to give us total housebank of 12v/1600Ah with a Ligoo BMS (600 Euros) and 4 active controllers to keep them in balance.

To power the batteries, we are adding 4 x Sunpower 435W solar panels to give us total of 1740W @ 20% efficiency. The size of each panel is 2067mm x 1046mm x 50mm and each weighs 26kg. @ Flex Max 80 controllers (one for each pair in series), 1 Mate 3 and 1 HUB, all from Outback.

We don't plan on having a large generator, just a small portable 2kW Yamaha or Honda, and we don't have aircon.

The solar array will go on a stainless steel support, and I have included drawings. We will be leaving a gap between the 2 sets, and adding a gentle slope inwards so that rain will go to a gutter and can be collected.

I am ordering 20 panels on a pallet, shipped to Gibraltar, so if anyone wants to buy 1 or more, let me know. I will be selling them before we go, or en route to Caribbean. That was the only way I could get hold of them - would have preferred to order just what we needed, but I had to order 20 of them and they are very difficult to get hold of, and I couldn't buy them anywhere at any price.

Any input on the configuration above most welcome, and might help others considering the same thing.
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Old 22-05-2014, 10:19   #2
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Two commets:
1) buy the Honda over the Yamaha. A Honda can start our 1.0Hp motor with ease, but the Yamaha bogs down and trips the breaker. I have seen this now on 4 Yamaha's. So just a Tip.

2) on the solar, I think you will need some additional cross bar support other than just the top bar that supports the panels. I've seen lots of simular solar mounts and they all seem to have more supports. Some of the photos are hard to see, but this solar mount on a Lagoon 380 has smaller panels than you are going with with a much beefier mount. I've been on this boat and sure wouldn't want anything less sturdy on the back.
s/v Just A Moment -- Lagoon 380 Owner's Version, 2001: Photo Gallery
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Old 22-05-2014, 12:26   #3
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Thanks for the advice on the Honda..

Were you thinking of a cross bar connecting the 2 backstays? - What we might do to make it a lot sturdier is put a handrail close to the bimini to address the side stresses, and also for us to hold onto when walking at the back..The solar panels themselves are very strong in their own frame..at 5 cm high, and they weigh 26kg each..so not so bad..

We had 4 x 160W panels on a previous 440 and did 3 transatlantics and 1 pacific crossing with them..similar frame...

If you look at Roetter's installation for 6 x 300W on his Lagoon 450, he has something a little similar, in fact not as strong as we will make ours, and he hasn't reported any problems so far.
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Old 26-05-2014, 03:20   #4
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Markv:
Thanks for sharing your plans. I could be interested of your solar panels for my L39, could you please send a PM (price etc)?

I notice that if you connect two of these panels in series, the open-circuit voltage is 2 x 85.6 = 171 V and this seems to be too much for Flex Max 80. An alternative could be one smaller controller for each panel?
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Old 26-05-2014, 05:45   #5
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Quote:
Originally Posted by markv View Post
What we might do to make it a lot sturdier is put a handrail close to the bimini to address the side stresses, and also for us to hold onto when walking at the back..The solar panels themselves are very strong in their own frame..at 5 cm high, and they weigh 26kg each..so not so bad.
As long as each panel is secured to the frame at or near each of its four corners, the panels will provide more than enough structural rigidity to cope with lateral forces -- unless perhaps a very heavy man crashes into one of the vertical supports. If you want to make the frame extra rigid so that the panels will not be structurally loaded, you can add one diagonal brace running horizontally from one corner to the opposite corner, under the panels.
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Old 26-05-2014, 06:20   #6
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Why not keep it simple and wire the four panels in parallel with one controller? Keeping the voltage into the controller nearer the voltage out of the controller will increase the efficiency.
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Old 26-05-2014, 06:53   #7
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

New member, first post.

Did similar steelwork on my 450 (pics on my web site) but not as big. Main issues I've had are:
1/ Add room/fittings on the steelwork so you can add other stuff, wifi extender aerial, fishing rod holders, clothes line, etc.
2/ It'd be nice to have it moveable so you can adjust the angle to follow the sun, but with that many watts probably not neccessary.
3/ Make sure you can run your wires inside the tubing.
4/ Perhaps add an outboard storage mount if strong enough, and a fitting to allow you to crane the outboard up.

I'm heading the same way leaving UK in August. Enjoy.
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Old 29-05-2014, 03:47   #8
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

@mcarling - would be nice to have one controller, but Outback don't do one that handles over 80 amps and we will be generating over 100amps from 1740W , so will go with 2 controllers. I prefer Outback at the moment, have used in the past and never had problems with them.
The guys making the array in Gibraltar mentioned adding a cross brace, so we will see how that goes when we fabricate it in August...we have just been on a Lagoon 450 for the last 5 days in Thailand to take some measurements and get some ideas, and we have a better idea now..one idea was to use a tray system (3mm SS) which makes it more structurally sound and allows us to add a few more things...but will take advice from the fabricator.

@simonc4 - We will run the wiring down the backstay tubes into the deck and from there into the engine compartment area and into the master cabin battery area where the Outback controllers will be. Plenty of space for our 1600Ah of LiOn batteries and the controllers as well.
Too much hassle to make it moveable :-)...Definitely thinking of other attachments for rods and other stuff, including the outboard. If it can handle me swinging from it, then it will handle the 20hp motor... I would add a pulley or attachment for one from the frame on each side, as it would be in line with where the engine would be...then we can lift it for attachment to the pushpit mounting already there installed by Lagoon.
What's the name of your boat, are you doing the Arc or other plans? Our boat is still to be named..
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:07   #9
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Here is a link to a setup on a L440 using powder coated adjustable Al frame.

They subsequently added 1.5M long, 3700nm gas struts to each side of the existing solar panel lifting frame, makes the task of changing angles of the solar panel as the sun moves during the day, a one handed operation.

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Old 29-05-2014, 05:17   #10
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

Photos to go with previous post. They are smaller panels than you are using. 250W.

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Old 29-05-2014, 05:49   #11
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

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@mcarling - would be nice to have one controller, but Outback don't do one that handles over 80 amps and we will be generating over 100amps from 1740W ....
Are you sure? As far as I know, the 435W Sunpower panels are 48V nominal and about 70V actual, so the 80 amp limit should allow for ten to twelve such panels in parallel, if I'm not mistaken. Four such panels producing approximately 1740W would be producing approximately 25 amps. No?
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Old 29-05-2014, 07:56   #12
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

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What's the name of your boat, are you doing the Arc or other plans? Our boat is still to be named..
Yes, currently in Scotland, heading south in August for ARC then onwards to the Pacific early 2015. I picked up Ripples II from Ancasta in UK last year, ex boat show boat so had lots of extras already. I've been working on her since getting ready for long term cruising. Lots more extras added and still more to do but the clocks ticking now, getting excited.

I put a 750W solar array with 900 ah batteries which I thought was a lot. You've trumped me with 1740W but I do have a genny and hydrogenerator.
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Old 29-05-2014, 15:34   #13
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

@simonc4 - ah, Ancasta...I bought my Lagoon 440 from them in 2005, sold in 2012 after much use.. Will probably bump into you at some point, either in the ARC or on the way over the Pacific.

@mcarling - You can use up to 1250W array with a Flexmax 80, but only generate max of 80amps - so with 870W (parallel) from 2 panels charging at 13.8V I should get 60Ah on an ideal day (870/13.8 x 97% MPPT efficiency). I will probably get more like 50 Ah off each pair. Not sure how you did your calculations, maybe you are working off a 48v battery pack?..I am using a 12v system. (W/V=A or W=VA)

In any case, I am having difficulties with the shipper who may not be able to ship the panels I want from USA to Gibraltar, and I might have to buy 6 x 325W BenQ panels, resulting in a slightly larger more complicated 3 x 2 array (4.8m x 2.1m instead of 4.25m x 2.07m). Ach, why do Sunpower make it so difficult to buy their products in Europe!!!
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Old 29-05-2014, 15:41   #14
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

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Ach, why do Sunpower make it so difficult to buy their products in Europe!!!
It's not just in Europe...
Buying Sunpower in less than Pallet orders here in the USA is all but impossible also. The Sunpower panels you can find are typically left over from a large land based project and someone is moving out the door as spares. You can't order 1, 2, or 3 panels from Sunpower or one of their dealers and they are officially only able to sell their panels for land based projects....but then that's the "official line"
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Old 29-05-2014, 15:41   #15
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Re: 435W solar panels on Lagoon 450

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@mcarling - You can use up to 1250W array with a Flexmax 80, but only generate max of 80amps - so with 870W (parallel) from 2 panels charging at 13.8V I should get 60Ah on an ideal day (870/13.8 x 97% MPPT efficiency). I will probably get more like 50 Ah off each pair. Not sure how you did your calculations, maybe you are working off a 48v battery pack?..I am using a 12v system. (W/V=A or W=VA)
You're right. I was thinking it was a 48V system because you have 48V solar panels and 32 cells, but now I see that I overlooked where you did specify that the battery will be configured to 12V. My bad.

Good luck getting the Sunpower panels.
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