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Old 04-01-2016, 13:05   #16
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

just make sure no big waves from tail on those panels......
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Old 04-01-2016, 13:57   #17
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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just make sure no big waves from tail on those panels......
That would really suck for several reasons.
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Old 04-01-2016, 16:07   #18
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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That would really suck for several reasons.

Yes it would, because they would be real monsters, seeing as how the panels are more than six feet higher than the transom, a wave that would break over them, would probably have me deploy the sea anchor off the bow, That is one experience I never want to have.


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Old 04-01-2016, 16:20   #19
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

2 panels 420 watts each... approx 43 x 80 inches long, I just dry fit them last week....I purchased these bad boys at Sun Electronics out of Miami......If I get a breaking wave that big my wife will leave me
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Old 04-01-2016, 16:24   #20
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I saw a Solbian that is flexible, high capacity, and can zip onto a Bimini.
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Old 04-01-2016, 16:45   #21
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Good stuff a64. As one of the folks who PM'd you for additional details. Thanks for taking the time to share the pics and describe your setup. We're doing something similar in the near future but will be using an arch with integrated davits.

Thanks again,
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Old 05-01-2016, 04:57   #22
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

What is the footprint of that array? I'm currently (pardon the expression) considering replacing my 3x120 with 2x 340, but yours may be a better option, though I doubt I can match your wattage prices even at double the price.

Also, some closeup of how you mounted, including making it level when the davits aren't, and that sort of pic would be immensely useful to me, as I'll have to reinvent my mounting for whatever I put up there.

Nice installation!
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:19   #23
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

2 Sunpower 327W panels mounted in parallel above the bimini on my Hunter 38.
Supporting tubes extended aft to serve as davits.
More pics of installation details available.
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:25   #24
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Footprint wise I'd have to measure, but they are just three standard 250 W panels mounted long axis with the boat, they are narrower by at least a foot than the dinghy, its a 3.10, 10.5 '? But it does of course have a motor hanging on it and that makes it considerably wider.
The Kato Solar mounts do tilt quite a lot so that makes leveling easy. I have the panel frame attached to the Radar pole and to the rail to stabilize it, but it would be easy to use .25" quick release pins that could be removed and that would allow the panels to be tilted aft quite a lot, maybe up to 45 degrees? One I have are for the SS 100.

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Old 05-01-2016, 05:27   #25
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I looked at a Hunter, one thing I really liked was the Arch gave you a real strong base to build onto, it's very rigid and strong.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:56   #26
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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Footprint wise I'd have to measure, but they are just three standard 250 W panels mounted long axis with the boat, they are narrower by at least a foot than the dinghy, its a 3.10, 10.5 '? But it does of course have a motor hanging on it and that makes it considerably wider.
The Kato Solar mounts do tilt quite a lot so that makes leveling easy. I have the panel frame attached to the Radar pole and to the rail to stabilize it, but it would be easy to use .25" quick release pins that could be removed and that would allow the panels to be tilted aft quite a lot, maybe up to 45 degrees? One I have are for the SS 100.

Kato Marine
Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:35   #27
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Thanks for sharing SailorMed. We're seriously considering the SunPower panels and I've looked at the 327W panels online a few places. My goal is to mount them for and aft and I'm hoping to fit 3 panels but am not sure I'll be able to make that work. Have you been happy with them from a performance perspective?
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:05   #28
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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Thanks for sharing SailorMed. ......... Have you been happy with them from a performance perspective?
Concerning Performance I can only give you my observations. Draw your own conclusions.
I installed a Victron Energie BMV 600S a year before installing the solar panels to get a feeling of what our energy requirements are. The shunt is installed to measure what goes in and out of the batteries. The solar panels are connected before the shunt, so the 600S measures input into the batteries from the solar panels.
2 Sunpowers @327W= 654W installed.
Panels installed fixed horizontally, you only get around 70% of installed capacity = 458W
1. Upon first connexion I got 26,4A flowing into the batteries, I had intentionally not charged the batteries for some time. This was midday here in the south of France. 26A @ 12V= 316W.
The question now is, were the panels not capable of supplying more, or were the batteries not capable of absorbing more? I don' know.
2. Since the initial hookup on 10/6/2015 I have switched off the dock charger all summer long.
3. I spend nearly all the summer in the marina because I had a motorbike accident and broke my shoulder. (The other party was declared 100% responsible). So I have not been able to do a lot of mooring.
4. During the whole summer Fridge and Freezer were on all the time. In the early morning the batteries were discharged 60-70 Amps.
5. Absorption at 14.4V went to float at 13,7V in the afternoon, so batteries were topped of.
6. Once a month the MPPT controller did an equalization at 15,1V. I only observed this once, you have to be in front of the 600S to see this.

All in all I am satisfied with the installation, although I have not been able to demonstrate that the panels are capable of generating something close to 450W. Maybe if I discharge my batteries very low, but I do not want to jeopardise battery life just for this purpose.

I think somebody will jump in with the remark that I am mentioning Amps when I should be talking Amphours, but I think you will get the message regardless.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:36   #29
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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I haven't even finished the install, nothing is wired up yet. I'm currently still a weekend warrior, not yet cruising, so other projects have taken priority so far. I plan on them being in parallel and going through a single Outback 80
The Radar pole and associated "stuff" could well be a real significant source of shading, but if there were no pole, I don't think shading would be as much as an issue.
Nice install. Have you considered wiring the panels in series? The Flexmax 80 will handle the voltage stepdown fine, and wiring them in series will allow you to use lighter wire between the solar panels and the controller.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:47   #30
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I've considered series and if I didn't have that pole and the Radar etc., I'd consider it a lot more, but mostly to cut down on wiring size. I assume wiring in series pretty much means any significant shading kills the whole bank, while if in parallel, you only lose the panel that is shaded?
I'm planning on #2 Ga wire, and I'm sure if I were to wire in series, I could go much smaller.
The panels can easily tilt to the rear quite a bit, so I'll see how that helps with shading and output, assuming of course boat can be made to point in the right direction, if it weren't for the pole, then they could tilt forward too, but the pole is in the way.
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