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Old 13-05-2011, 18:29   #16
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

Thanks for all the good info.

Cheers.
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Old 13-05-2011, 18:51   #17
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

I have 2/60watt panels mounted on an aluminum frame onto which I welded a bull float hinge. These are the toothed, adjustable, heavy-duty hinges that attach the blade of a bull float to the handle. (A bull float is a wide concrete float on a long handle.) These are perfect for the job, very rugged, and can be easily adjusted to any angle, following the sun all day. Makes a big difference if you keep the sun at right angles to the glass. With this setup I can follow the sun right down to the horizon.
Marshalltown - Concrete - Bull Float Replacement Parts
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Old 13-05-2011, 22:07   #18
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

Islander,
If you are in Seattle drive 60 miles north to 5917 195th St NE, #7
Arlington, WA 98223
. The best solar equipment in the world is made there. Outback. The Flex controllers are more expensive than others but they will not blow up like some that I know of. Do not scrimp on the size of the wire. Run the largest wire that the controller can take and the Flex’s can take up to a #2 agw. Even if it is only 5 feet one way and 5 feet back. The bigger the wire the less you'll loose in transmission from panels to batteries. It was suggested that I use a #6 wire and that was a 12% loss. For over 700 watts of panels, that is a lot of power loss. Anything approaching 3% loss is too much. Also make it so you have manual switch in between your batteries and the controller and a switch between the PV array and the controller. This is for safety of your expensive equipment and for yourself. Also if you are charging with the engine alt or wind, you can turn off the PV array so no damage can happen to either electrical system.

Also, don't scrimp out on batteries. Go with the Surrett or Rolls as they are called in the U.S. They are the best deep cycle batteries made bar none.
Of course a lot is going to be determined on how you are going to sail your boat. If you are a weekend sailor what you have will be different than if you’re preparing to cruise. I am preparing to cruise.
Like thinwater post suggested, if you want a run down on installation, give me a pm and we will hook up on the phone and I'll tell you everything I've done on mine.
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Old 14-05-2011, 18:33   #19
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I have installed 5x Kyocera 135 panels and am VERY happy I purchased these units.
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Old 14-05-2011, 19:33   #20
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

We chose NOT to mount panels on the davits because we frequently hand items up and down there. It's easier--on our boat--than handing groceries up the sugar scoops. Also, we carry bikes on the aft rail and hand those down into the tender.

Consider how you use your boat.
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Old 22-05-2011, 17:18   #21
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

I have saved more than $6000 in gas costs so far as a result of using solar to power the entire boat. The key to good solar is to set the panels in an area that is free of shadows for at least five hours a day. I swing the boat at anchor using a bridle from the rode to a midships winch to move the shadow of shrouds, mast etc away from the panels. For ten years I have run everything on solar exclusively. I have 24 AMPS at 14.2 Volts on a sunny day. I use a TRACE 40AMP three stage regulator with temperature compensation. The batteries are 6V 220AH Trojan T 150 (4 of them), which gives me >400 AH of storage capacity. Each day I put into the batteries about 120AH, which means I can take no more than 100 AH/ Day out of the batteries. To keep the consumption down I use LED lights for NAV and Interior, Engel low power freezer/fridge, etc. One panel is dedicated to NAV equipment, 7 to lights and house.
It is essential to use a solar regulator that has adjustable three stage regulation or temperature compensation or both, otherwise the batteries will dry up when you are off the boat.
I also can run a microwave, a/c for an hour or so, TV, Computers, SSB, SAtellite communications. I use a TRACE 1500W inverter.
Wiring from the panels is 6GA for about 8 feet round trip into a 30A breaker before the regulator and 4GA from the regulator to the battery via a 60A breaker near the battery. The reason for the large gauge wires is to prevent a fire from overheating of wires. Also the ABYC standards call for 6GA solar wires (i think).
For a photo of the Solar panels go to www.waeshael.com and click on the sailing link.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:04   #22
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post
Islander,
If you are in Seattle drive 60 miles north to 5917 195th St NE, #7
Arlington, WA 98223
. The best solar equipment in the world is made there. Outback.
Thanks for the info, I went up there the other day and was told they do not sell to the public. They advised me to go to Fisheries Supply in Seattle - however they only sell inverter/chargers, no solar panels or controllers.

Still at square one

Cheers.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:38   #23
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Re: Advice Needed on Solar

Outback makes the best solar equipment without doubt, with the exception of solar panels. They sell only to suppliers and wholesalers now. The best prices, Solar Panels from Wholesale Solar Renewable Energy I think they're having some sort of sale right now.
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