Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-04-2013, 10:44   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Bimini and solar panel sketches

After reading many postings and Handy Bob's extensive writings, I've planned the large solar installation for our Beneteau 49 that we hope to live aboard for the next two years minimum, mostly on the hook for extended periods. Thanks to the many experienced posters, I've learned a lot.

Please, no flames, I'm a simple retired Engineering Physics person and electrical was my weakest area. The attached files are for a large array that is supposed to carry our entire electrical load while cruising as far North as the Bra D'Or in Nova Scotia in summer and as far South as Key West in winter. I've switched to all LED lighting, added a keel cooler, but will have hydronic heating, Direct TV and those pesky large color screen Raymarine instruments.

Hopefully some will have suggestions for improvements and/or save me from errors... We have dual Balmar alternators with one Duocharge that would be great to use with the solar panels too- more to study.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bimini & solar layout.pdf (452.6 KB, 450 views)
__________________

__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:02   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sailing the Caribbean
Boat: Switch 51
Posts: 1,498
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Have you considered the shading implications of a bimini install?
__________________

__________________
SVNeko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:13   #3
Registered User
 
GeoPowers's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gulfport, MS
Boat: Beneteau 393
Posts: 947
Images: 27
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

That's a lot of solar!

As one data point we went cruising on the Chessie the end of March and averaged 130-150aH per day with 450W, the exception being very cloudy days.

Have you considered a series/parallel connection with the panels, directed to a single, larger controller?

Also recommend a way to isolate the panel(s) from the controller.
GeoPowers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:16   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Yes, I can store the mainsail on the down sun side but will have the radar and backstay sometimes shading one or more of the panels. Seems the best of choices for this boat. That is why I run them in parallel to the controllers and why Kyocera panels were chosen.
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:21   #5
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44
Posts: 734
Images: 2
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Nice job. The switch between the charge controllers and the battery bus is a good idea.

Why does the 3' run from the controller to the battery bus need to be so heavy (#4 gauge in the schematic)? What is the maximum size wire that the terminals on your charger controller accept (you may need to use a strip or post to switch to smaller wire)?

Is this a hard bimini, with Lewmar hatches in the bimini for ventilation? How far aft does the boom extend over the bimini (for shading considerations)?
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:23   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

GeoPowers: I've had years of battery problems and want to finally have a way to fully charge them fairly often, so I've gone hopefully overboard on solar capacity, plus there will be shading to contend with. I could add a switch for each panel in the new hard bimini but covering them would shutdown too and I think it be seldom required to separate the panels from the controller. Is there a reason I'm missing?

Thanks
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:31   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

cfarrar:

Brooklin ME, huh? We had a summer place in Surry on Newbury Neck and I used to sail, mostly lost, in a 25' sloop through Eggamogin Reach all through high school. We have a Joel White sailing dory and, if I can somehow fit it onto the Beneteau, I'm looking forward to sailing around the harbor in it.

The boom only extends over the Bimini by two feet and I plan to store the boom down sun when on anchor and we plan to anchor out for several days at a time, with unlimited time aboard. Yes, the Bimini is hard, with sliding Lewmar hatches. Its being built by S&S Marine at AYB in Chesapeake VA.
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:34   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

cfarrar: Going by Handy Bob and 12V DC with a maximum of 90 amps, cold day, no shading. Reality may intrude but starting too big and backing off seems the better way. Thanks again.
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:40   #9
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

I would connect the two panels at port side in series to one controller and the two panels at starboard side also in series and to the 2nd controller. Or all panels in series into an Outback 80 controller. Let the bypass diodes do their job during shading.

One CF member reported 25% better power generation in that setup as compared to your current setup diagram.

The only better improvement beyond that is one controller for each panel, which, with your big panels might be an option. I would go for "24V" panels in that case.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 11:56   #10
Registered User
 
GeoPowers's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gulfport, MS
Boat: Beneteau 393
Posts: 947
Images: 27
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahsailor View Post
GeoPowers: I've had years of battery problems and want to finally have a way to fully charge them fairly often, so I've gone hopefully overboard on solar capacity, plus there will be shading to contend with. I could add a switch for each panel in the new hard bimini but covering them would shutdown too and I think it be seldom required to separate the panels from the controller. Is there a reason I'm missing?

Thanks
I added a switch to be able to isolate the charge controller in case it ever needed servicing (and because the installation instructions for my Flexmax 60 required it), but in practice I use it more to isolate the panels to prevent them from being a charge source.

For instance, if I have both shore power and solar going, my batts will sometimes offgas to the point of setting off the propane alarm because the solar charge controller's charge regiman and absoprtion time with both charge sources is overkill (but correct when not on shorepower). I like to be on shorepower when tied up because it keeps the batteries in float and minimizes the depth of discharge so that the batts will hopefully last longer.

Of course, you could use the breaker between the charge controller and batts to do this, but most are powered via the batts, not the panels, so they will shut down. I like to keep mine powered up so I don't loose the day-per-day charge history.

Frank
GeoPowers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 12:22   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

s/v Jedi and Geopower: I saw the post about serial vs parallel in the reading binge before designing the first layout and then couldn't re-find it. All in series to a big controller would be ideal in terms of reducing the wire size and number of wires. Here is showing my ignorance- do I need to add bypass diodes for each panel or are they within the Kyocera panels? There is a voltage drop through diodes, so they do have a performance effect too. It would be easy to add a panel on the underside of the dodger to have a switch for each panel and to gang the wires for the serial run to the controller. Thanks for the suggestion.
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 13:38   #12
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44
Posts: 734
Images: 2
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Quote:
Brooklin ME, huh? We had a summer place in Surry on Newbury Neck and I used to sail, mostly lost, in a 25' sloop through Eggamogin Reach all through high school. We have a Joel White sailing dory and, if I can somehow fit it onto the Beneteau, I'm looking forward to sailing around the harbor in it.
Good stuff! Maybe we'll see you one summer as you pass down the Reach. We're at the entrance to Center Harbor.
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 13:54   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Boat: Kirié Feeling 446
Posts: 130
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

Presently I have come to just about the same plan to install 3 STP240 panels over the bimini. And maybe add an arch that would support 2 more?

We both realize, I am sure, that this is not quite the proper way. On a boat that heels the surface will offer considerable windage and roll force and raise the CG. But is there a better way?

Maybe if the supporting structure could allow stacking the panels when storing the boat or during a weather emergency?
__________________
SaltyTanned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 14:42   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

I'm sure there are better ways, but the boat is becoming more of a home,so the compromise between sailing and living is changing.
__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2013, 14:51   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Belfast, ME
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 82
Re: Bimini and solar panel sketches

SaltyTanned: "Sun sovello 230 specs call for an 11.3 amps max current" they may be more efficient but you have to also see what voltage max they have. The KD215s are approx 8 amps at 26.6V for their nominal 215W output.
__________________

__________________
Utahsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bimini, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:46.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.