I have 420AH of house and 2 start batteries.
has the batteries going into T handle switches , one for each battery
plus a ground handle. From the switches there is a fuse (well they are actually resettable fuses) bar, then lead to the electrical
panel with switches to turn on electronics
, lights, refrig, etc. AC comes into the boat, goes into a battery charger
goes to the electrical
panel to turn it on/off, then I think back to the battery (not thru the switches I think). The electrical panel can readout battery voltage, but not the state, so you don't know if it's in float etc, but rather at 13.6V.
So I need some help in choosing ALL the parts
for a system.
-Whose panels to get?
-Which controller to get? MPPT
for sure, but what brand.
-Who makes something I can attach them to the boat with? (mounting options)
-What other accessory parts
do I need (fuses, diodes, battery monitors, wire, gaskets to go thru the hull
or anything i haven't thought of ).
-Parallel or Series (there are several pages on this on another thread)
Ten years ago panels were 5-7% efficient. Today, 22% cells or more with panel efficiency above 18% is available. Panels should be with internal diodes to isolate shaded sections. You plan MPPT
so you will want high VOC (Open circuit voltage). I bought SANYO 220-HT watt - 3 panels. MPPT will increase your output best if the VOC is higher.
SERIES - PARALLEL:
Since you will experience part shading, go parallel. If the panels are wired series, any shading will effect the output of all panels.
You may find commercial equipment
. We had to have custom SS & aluminum
I used breakers instead of fuses
. This lets my use 2-pole breakers instead of fuses
& switches. Since I wanted to be able to isolate a device entirely this was an easy decision. In the breaker world Amps is Amps so you can use nominally AC rated breakers of the name plate amps you want. Buy these on Amazon. DIN rail mounting is easy.
I have Morningstar TriStar45 with their optional digital meter. The meter tells you what is going on. I can see panel watts and amps out; voltage among other things. There are lots of good MPPT units out there. Mine has only one output so I needed to add switch gear
to choose the battery getting charged. I think some MPPT chargers today offer multiple bank charging
I installed one per battery. Bogart Engineering Inc. Trimetric TM-2025-RV. These are highly accurate and easily installed on your existing neutral battery shunt.
Use excessively large wires and keep them as short as possible. I used #4,6,8 wires and in some places, doubled the wires (2 #8 to fit terminals). Plan where your hardware
will be to keep runs short. We have had lightening strikes so I am particular about isolation. This MAY
reduce damage risk.
Do your layout and make a detailed wiring
diagram. This will help you plan mounting locations and to keep runs short.
My items in order:
1. 3 panels 54 VOC; 220 watts.
2. Each panel +/- to 2-pole breaker
3. #6 wires from the three breakers to BIG panel junction block (not visible)
4. #4 wires from the panel junctions to the MPPT
5. #4 +/- from the MPPT to 2-pole breaker.
6. Short run dual #8 to a rotary selector switch A - B bank - OFF
7. Rotary switch output to 4 BIG junction blocks. Upper left with plastic shield.
8. From the junctions - out to the Battery banks A & B. These go directly to the battery posts.
9. Sense wires from each battery set to a DPDT A-OFF-B selector. The other side of this switch to the sense terminals of the MPPT. This allows the sense line to be isolated from the MPPT.
10. The battery monitors are wired separately and not part of the MPPT.
The four 2-pole breakers are DIN rail mounted. This is easy and space friendly.