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Old 26-08-2017, 01:20   #136
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Oyster 53 with 450w of Solbian 22% high efficiency panels installed by the Solbian factory to the bimini. Five individual Genasun GV boost controllers to prevent shading issues. Total cost including install and VAT €4000 euros. The panels take care of all electrical needs when the deep freezer isn't running, including watermakers, lighting, electric cooking for under 15 minutes. For hot water, we still need to run the generator or engine.

We also push the boom out to the side 45 degrees to help prevent shading while at anchor and nothing can be seen from the water. The solar install can only be viewed from overhead which was important to us, also the ability to store the flex panels down below during the off-season.
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Old 26-08-2017, 18:14   #137
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Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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2 Gioco 95W Flexable Monocrystalline Solar Panels on dodger
2 Genasun MPPT Boost Solar Controllers 8A input/12 output GVB-8-12-PL
4 Gioco 95W Flexable Monocrystalline Solar Panels on Bimini
Port side in series, starboard side in series
2 Morningstar ProStar PS-MPPT 25A MPPT Solar Controller

4 Deka 6v batteries with 420AH for house.

Little Harbor 38. Can't see the panels from the water
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Old 27-08-2017, 07:53   #138
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Oh forgot to say... we have a awning from mast to backstay and the 6 solar panels are moved up there if we are staying in the area for a long time.
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:19   #139
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Hello everyone

Below my installation, recently (in fact, yesterday!) finished.

Stock questions:

Type and model and size of boat. Freedom 30 cat ketch (Hoyt design), '82
Total Panel Output; 400 Watts nominal in total
Panel Size: 1050 X 540 mm each. Have four in all, installed in two separate arrays.
Age of Panels: When did you install the panels? new
Panel Location: Cabin roof. Location was determined by lack of space elsewhere. Considerable real state there, but required re-directing all the running rigging which run along the cabin roof. There is quite a bit of shading from booms and sails. How much exactly, I still can't ascertain in watt terms. In sizing the array, I allocated 20% wattage loss caused by shading. Only foreseen potential problem is the occasional need to step on the cabin roof. Panels are supposed to cope with this though.
Type and Brand of Panel: Elfeland, 100 watt nominal each, monocrystaline, semi-flexible. Have to be, as they needed to fit on a slightly convex coachroof. Chinese el chippo panels bought on eBay.
Total Cost: About 800 GBP in total. This is only HW - not counting my labour!- Panels were 400 GBP for four. This is for the array. I also had to redirect the running rigging from the main mast which run along the coach roof. That was a few hundred quid, but should not count as far as the solar install is concerned.
Total Efficiency: So far happy in the sense that, moored in a marina but living onboard, the array supplies in excess of daily budget (including running the fridge 24X7).Managed to get 7. Amps from each array (i.e. two panels) in full sunshine. In October, in the UK, that's not bad. Expect at least double that with a full day of full insolation.
How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising? So far, very happy not to have to connect to shore power (or run the engine) when moored!!!

Install: Four 100 Watt nominal panels connected in parallel and wired in two separate, independent arrays; port and starboard respectively, each with its own MPPT controller. Reason for this design are: (1) wish to have 100% redundancy in case of critical failure in one of the arrays, (2) simplify and minimise wire runs to the batteries. In my case, I have two banks of domestic batteries (2X 110 Ah), under the port and stbd bunks respectively. There is a circuit breaker isolating each panel, and a 60 Amp breaker before each battery bank. The wiring on the inside of the cabin roof looks a bit messy in the picture. All that will be tidied and hidden when I replace the lining on the roof!
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Old 20-09-2017, 08:37   #140
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

To SEADAGO:
Thanks for adding your solar install to the mix.
Thanks for following the suggested format for data or answers to the likely questions. That does help readers too.

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Old 01-10-2017, 13:11   #141
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

When running the wires from the controller to the batteries should I run directly to the battery bank (4 Trojan T-105s) or to the battery selector switch?
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Old 01-10-2017, 14:09   #142
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by IOPSailor View Post
When running the wires from the controller to the batteries should I run directly to the battery bank (4 Trojan T-105s) or to the battery selector switch?
Probably best to start a new thread or use the CF search function. This thread was created by Steady Hand for a specific purpose and what you are asking is not really related. I would offer suggestions but then I would be equally guilty of trashing the thread.

Maybe mods could move your post (and mine) somewhere else? I have flagged this post.
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Old 01-10-2017, 14:30   #143
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by IOPSailor View Post
When running the wires from the controller to the batteries should I run directly to the battery bank (4 Trojan T-105s) or to the battery selector switch?
Simple one word answer.... direct.
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Old 01-10-2017, 18:49   #144
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Type and model and size of boat.
Pearson Countess 44

Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
800 W @ nominal 12 volts
Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?
8@50W, 27"X27" each, 4@100W 27" X 37" each, 50W 2 X 8' X 2"=32 sq ft
300W 1X 7'X3'= 21sq ft , 1@3'x2'=6 sq ft Total for 4 locations= 59 sq ft
Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
400W 2 years, added 400W 1 year ago

Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there?
4 banks of panels: 200W each port and starboard 3 on cabin roof and 1 on dodger, 300W in three panels on davits aft, 1 @ 100 W forward of pilothouse to port.

Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing?
The cabin top panels have to be hinged out when accessing the main boom when the boom is stored amidship. I've got lazy jacks and a self stowing system on the boom to minimize the need for access.

Does it cause windage problems?
If so; not noticeable.

Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging or equipment?
Yes and no. I split the the panel wattage into smaller pieces and hinged the cabin top bank so that they could be moved up and outboard to diminish shading. I added the aft bank outboard and made them tilt to avoid the mizzen mast and boom shade.
I've put the forward panel on a tilting mount to experiment with output. All that said I still get shading and I've never seen a full theoretical potential output from the system.

Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it?
The 50W were made in Mexico and are domestic, the 100Ws are made in Germany are higher output and also domestic. Marine or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?

Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?
The panels cost $865 delivered, the mounting materials about $400, the wire $300, the controller and monitor $400 so about +-$2,000

Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.
I'm pretty sure that the system works well, if the panels are kept clean, one cormorant and the efficiency goes out the window. I have 660 Amp hours of battery storage my load and use monitor is only set up for 400 hours and I rarely draw the bank down by more then 10% and it gets mostly replaced by about 10 AM.

Damage? Has the installation been damaged by wind or corrosion or breakage?
No

What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?
I might add another three panels and another 400 amp hours of batteries. I currently have a Tristar PWM controller and might change to a MPPT as an experiment in output.

Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Disatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system?
No

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?
I'm very comfortable about electrical usage since the addition of the 400 W Bank. I've been testing the installation by running the microwave and toaster oven off the inverter, it's been working with the solar controller's output increasing to meet the load characteristics. I'm planning to add a small AC freezer, and I'm going to try out running the water heater off the inverter as well. It was kind of shocking to see a 100 Amp discharge on the meter the first time I used the toaster oven but I got over it.

Sorry these are the best pictures available.
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Old 21-10-2017, 13:00   #145
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Saw this photo today.

Contessa 26 boat.

90W solar panel by Solarland.

I am posting the photo here to show the installed panel on a smaller boat.
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Old 22-10-2017, 05:22   #146
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

That looks a lot bigger than 90 watts from that angle.

Looks like a very nicely maintained boat from that photo.
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Old 22-10-2017, 06:03   #147
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
That looks a lot bigger than 90 watts from that angle.

Looks like a very nicely maintained boat from that photo.
Yes. The use of a wide angle lens or gopro can distort the size of things closest to the lens.

Here is a link to the boat, a Contessa 26, which is for sale. From the photos, it appears to be in very good condition inside and out.

http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/68399

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My Disclaimers and A Few Requests

I have no financial or other connection to this boat, the owner, or the seller.
I have not seen this boat in person, nor have I sailed on it. But I would like to sail on one.
As with any boat, it is a good idea to research the design to learn about how they sail, common problems and owner opinions.
As with any boat, it is smart to have a qualified yacht surveyor perform a survey of the boat to assess its condition.
I am posting this to help others find boats. This one caught my eye, and I hope this thread helps others find a good fit for them.
I hope this thread proves helpful to CF Members. If so, let me know, as it is nice to know the time spent on it has helped others.
IF you purchase this boat, let me know (a Private Message would be OK).
IF you purchase this boat, I would enjoy seeing it, or going for a sail on it, if I am ever in your area. Or, if you own a similar or sister boat send me a PM. I enjoy sailing on a wide variety of boats and would like to get some time on many designs, including this one.
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Old 17-01-2018, 14:47   #148
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

epiic, in picture #2, how are the panels wired, from the panels to the Blue Sea systems fuse block to the Victron MPPT controller then to where?
Also what is the item on the left side of the photo up against the forward bulkhead ? Real nice setup. Also how are you liking the carbon foam batteries?
Thanks,
Bob





Quote:
Originally Posted by epiic View Post
Type and model and size of boat.
2015 Jeanneau 409 (41ft)

Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
5 x 140w panels = 700w / Generally get 3,000wh on a sunny day in Florida.

Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?
59.3"L X 21.3"W X 0.2"H / 11.3 pounds each.

Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
Purchased a few months ago.

Panel Location:
Panels are attached to 1-1/4" bimini frame with Gemini hinge brackets. No problems so far. It added rigidity to my bimini frame. Its mounted very close to the canvas so wind is not an issue. I've only been in 35 knots so far. Rigging is not a factor.


Type and Brand of Panel:
Solara (S560M43) 140w Power-M semi flexible solar panel with SunPower cells and optional EZ Mount Frame Kit. Purchased from Coastal Climate Control. This is a marine grade panel.

Total Cost:
Each panel cost $1,399 + $149 for ez mount frame. That's 1548ea ($7,740 total). With the cost of taxes, shippiong, 1" tubing, mounting brackets and Victron Energy MPPT 150/60-TR controller, it was roughly $10k. I also purchased 7 Firefly Oasis Group 31 AGM carbon foam batteries (770ah). Each battery cost $486 for a total of $3400.

Total Efficiency:
The reason I broke the bank on these was due to the high efficency ratings. I wanted to make sure I could squeeze out every last watt from the square fottage that I had available.

Damage?
No.

What would you do differently next time?
I would purchase proper tinned 10awg wire. The stuff Coastal Climate Control offered as the "ultimate solution" was terrible.


Any problems?
No problems, dissapointments or surprises. I am perfectly satisfied and I am yet to experience any weakness of my system.

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?
It's made it so much more comfortable to liveaboard without having to worry about power. I leave the inverter on full time, i dont worry about turning off lights because I generally produce more power than I need.

I am planning to add a D400 wind generator when I can afford a watermaker.
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