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Old 12-11-2015, 18:42   #31
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificGreen View Post
What is G10?

It's an epoxy/glass engineered sheet product.

Like impervious masonite


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Old 12-11-2015, 18:49   #32
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

Sounds like a great product especially for bonding to. Not at all happy with my choice of Solexx due to the polyethylene low surface bonding properties it exhibits even with one substrate changer (primer).

Either way I am hoping my choice of backing improves panel efficiency by removing heat from the backing and by providing a minimum of space under the panels.

I doubt very much the 3m dual bond tape will come off the panels without a lot of work so anywhere I need to downsize or place right on the boat I can as well if needed - provided I can get decent adhesion with the 3m tape.

Either way everything will bond with Nylon straps.
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Old 13-11-2015, 15:40   #33
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

I read of a lithium pack of 48V.

Is it being used as such, or as an input to inverter, or else for a 12V system?
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Old 16-11-2015, 16:40   #34
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

[QUOTE=jbinbi;1960132]
I have 420AH of house and 2 start batteries.
My electronics 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, 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)

QUOTE]

PANELS:
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.

MOUNTING:
You may find commercial equipment. We had to have custom SS & aluminum frames made.

BREAKERS:
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.

MPPT:
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.

METER:
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.

WIRING:
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.
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Old 16-11-2015, 19:06   #35
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

[QUOTE=Nicholson58;1964172]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
I have 420AH of house and 2 start batteries.
My electronics 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, 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)

QUOTE]

PANELS:
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.

MOUNTING:
You may find commercial equipment. We had to have custom SS & aluminum frames made.

BREAKERS:
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.

MPPT:
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.

METER:
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.

WIRING:
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.
Great post. Thanks. I am assuming you have a when AC available battery charger and of course an alternator. Do you put these all into a shunt converter like above, or do you have the the solar panels going directly into the battery, and if so, how/who decides how many amps to go in. If you don't have this, and say the engine is running, then with the solar going into the battery direct, don't you risk overcharging (boiling) the cells, or do I not understand this correctly? If all went into the battery directly, then sitting at dock with the engine running and the sun out, who is regulating what goes in?

Also, q2, don't you need ipxx rated breakers? Are you saying I can just get regular 15A or whatever breakers from home depot?
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Old 16-11-2015, 20:48   #36
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip St1 View Post
Efficiency is cheaper than needing more panels.
Not always. Its going to cost me about $4000 to tear out my old fridge and all its insulation, rebuild it and restore my all teak interior.

I can get enough solar panels for $800 to make up for the energy losses.

So, in my case more power generation is much cheaper.
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Old 17-11-2015, 05:06   #37
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

Here too story is about large cats or fixed-frame bimini installations of 1000+ solar W.

On a traditional, sportive sailing boat, it is another game...

How many panels, of which size/W, can you reasonably mount on a 30'-40'-50' long sailing vessel ?

On a 54', two mini panels of 20+20W can cover my saloon HATCH (thus also shading light inside, a welcome effect). I am planning for a wooden frame, with VELCRO STRAPS fix.

It is a test, but not even adequate to float a 550Ah gel battery bank (service) assuming a 1% discharge (6A, is it a correct CALCULATION!? PLEASE CONFIRM)

Having to install anything serious (6A means 80W, or more) looks already problematic to me....

With good weather... the radar pole could host collapsable panels which folds in when not in use, or with heavy wind..... like on satellites...:-)

Any other more practical ideas!?
For you, foldable solar panels means being able to walk upon, or to set them away?

I would welcome solutions which may apply only when at anchor/mooring, and removable before sailing. Is foldable solar panel THE solution to me!?

Thanks
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Old 17-11-2015, 21:13   #38
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Re: Help on New Solar Install!

[QUOTE=jbinbi;1964282]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post

Great post. Thanks. I am assuming you have a when AC available battery charger and of course an alternator. Do you put these all into a shunt converter like above, or do you have the the solar panels going directly into the battery, and if so, how/who decides how many amps to go in. If you don't have this, and say the engine is running, then with the solar going into the battery direct, don't you risk overcharging (boiling) the cells, or do I not understand this correctly? If all went into the battery directly, then sitting at dock with the engine running and the sun out, who is regulating what goes in?

Also, q2, don't you need ipxx rated breakers? Are you saying I can just get regular 15A or whatever breakers from home depot?
Breakers are normal commercial DIN rail mount as you see in the previous photos. These operate at the named amp rating no matter the voltage. In tis case, they are rated up to 600 volts. You will easily find these on Amazon. I don't think the Home Depot residential items are as well made - also much larger and harder to mount. You could see the breakers on the rail. They snap in place side-by-side and are also slimmer than residential breakers. These also happen to be the same type as all of my shore power breakers.

I have a 1.5 KW main engine alternator with a Balmar charge controller
I have a 2.5 KW Xantrex charger-inverter powered form shore or generator.
I have a 12 KW gen-set to run the Xantrex & other items
I have a back-up 1.5 KW alternator on the gen-set with an IN-Charge charge controller.
There are amp & volt meters on the main panel but they are junk compared to the Bogart Trimetric meters.

All alternator charge controllers are programmable multi-step chargers. The Xantrex 2.5 KW charger is also multi-step. The Morningstar solar charger is also a programmable multistep charger. These all recognize the battery type and temperature and execute a profile appropriate to the battery type.

There is a Heart-Interface Path-Maker to let the 2.5 KW charger charge either or both battery banks at different parameters simultaneously.

All chargers are direct to the batteries. All charger's sense wires are wired to the shunts & batteries. It is OK for more than one charger to be stuffing the batteries. This is especially true since my banks are 680 Amp-Hours rated AGM. The instructions for any of these solar controllers can be downloaded before you buy it. Read up on the installation instructions.

Other important points - Use marine rated, tinned wire. You might notice in the previous posted photos that I used a lot of shrink wrap to minimize exposed conductors, strain relief at small lugs and to bind otherwise loose wires together. You see the big crimper used to set the heavy lugs on the large gauge wires. This one (Thomas & Betts) has interchangeable dies used for the correct lug/wire combination.
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