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Old 11-08-2018, 16:49   #226
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
That sounds like an interesting boat. Converting a sailboat to a power boat?

At first it was just a repower so it was an electric auxillary sloop instead of an Atomic 4 auxiliary sloop. Then I took mast and rigging down so as not to interfere with max solar collection. So now yeah it is an electric motorboat. Soon it will be a solar electric motorboat. My next boat will be a 32' diesel/solar electric aluminum sampan. Why? Just cause I feel like it, I guess.
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Old 11-08-2018, 21:37   #227
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

A question,
After my solar Panels, wind genny go thru my controllers, Do the wires all connect direct to the batterys,
I do have shunts from the previous installation, but no idea on where they go in the system,
How does the 80 Amp alternator from the diesel, connect to the batterys,

Thanks, Brian,
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Old 13-08-2018, 16:35   #228
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
A question,
After my solar Panels, wind genny go thru my controllers, Do the wires all connect direct to the batterys,
I do have shunts from the previous installation, but no idea on where they go in the system,
How does the 80 Amp alternator from the diesel, connect to the batterys,

Thanks, Brian,
That's a good question, follow the wires....

Some boat builders use the crappy small shunts only to display the Amps consumed by the board electric, the chargers are not metered, because they cannot cope with 80A.

If you have a battery computer, then all current must go through the shunt to be metered properly, Battery-negative - shunt - board minus clutch - negative distribution point.

The charger negatives go there as all negatives of the board network. no other wire connected to the negative battery pole!

The positiv side goes via fuses to the positive clutch to the central battery fuse to the positive pole of the battery.
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Old 13-08-2018, 16:51   #229
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Hi Catnewbee,

What is the clutch, ??????

I cant follow the wires as most were cut off going from one side of the hull to the other side, And just missing,
All the electrics, meters, controllers, Batterys, switches, etc etc, were drowned and are missing,
I have replaced them all, Including all the wiring from that side of the hull to the switch board, Which fortunately was not damaged,

I cant find a simple drawing how it all goes together, And I have looked,

Thanks Brian,
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Old 13-08-2018, 17:47   #230
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Okay I know I'm cheating cuz I have a powerboat and no shading on the panels . four 275 Watt panels made in Spain by a company no longer in business. I don't remember the name. I believe they're 39 in wide by 64 in long. Two panels in series two strings in parallel as I had to keep the voltage below 150 due to my controller. This time of year I can make over 350 amp hours per day it's a battery needs it
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Old 13-08-2018, 17:49   #231
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

And by the way... if any of you have noticed they are stuck down by the heavy duty two-sided tape. Been about 4 months since I rearranged them and nothing has come loose yet. That in the. S Florida Heat
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Old 15-10-2018, 14:31   #232
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
Okay I know I'm cheating cuz I have a powerboat and no shading on the panels . four 275 Watt panels made in Spain by a company no longer in business. I don't remember the name. I believe they're 39 in wide by 64 in long. Two panels in series two strings in parallel as I had to keep the voltage below 150 due to my controller. This time of year I can make over 350 amp hours per day it's a battery needs it
Thanks for posting your installation on your trawler.

If I had a trawler, I would do something similar, so it is interesting to see.

Thanks for contributing more good stuff to read in this thread.
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Old 17-11-2018, 22:35   #233
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

I'm just finishing up a new solar and battery project, but I wanted to share. I still need to mount the final two controllers and tidy up the wiring.

Type and model and size of boat.
R&C Leopard 40

Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
1440 watts

Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?
Each panel is 1700mm x 1046 mm (approximately 70" x 40". Frame is a little larger. Arranged in 2x2 configuration.

Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
Installed within the last two weeks.

Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there? Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing? Does it cause windage problems? Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging or equipment?
Custom anodized aluminum frame aft of the rigid bimini and above the davits. Nothing is above the panels except for sailboat stuff. Very low sun angles will allow the end of the boom to shade the one of the two closest panels. Windage is undetermined at this point.

Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it? Marine or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?
LG Neon 360 watt. Bought from and recommend Solaris for price and service. Shipping is flat fee for one panel or my case 4 panels.

Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?
Prices in USD:
Custom Solar frame $3600
Panels $2000 shipped
Solar Controllers Victron Smart 100/30 $225 x 4 = $900
Battery Monitor Victron Smart BMV-712 with temperature sensor $226
Throw in some tools, connectors, wiring, etc and just under $7000.

Batteries $742 X 3 + shipping. Add more for 4/0 cable, lugs, and tools to do it right.

Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.
I spent time and effort to ensure efficiency. The panels are very efficient, voltage drop held to under 2.5% calculated for both the run from the panels and also from the controllers, shadows held to an absolute minimum, plenty of airflow underneath them for cooling and each panel get's it's own controller which won't clip their peak output.

Damage? Has the installation been damaged by wind or corrosion or breakage? None yet, but way too soon to tell.

What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?
I would have planned the wire run through the tubing and had the stern light built into the frame as opposed to added on at the end, even though it still looks nice.

Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Dissatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system? How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?? Amazing power output so far. Shore power not needed except for Aircon if desired. I planned to have plenty even on cloudy days and have enough to use the 39 amp dc water maker on sunny days. The additional weight of the panels and frame was offset by swapping from a 10.5' fiberglass dinghy with bow locker to a new 9.5' aluminum dinghy with bow locker. This was a reduction of 76 pounds. I also reduced the house bank size from 630 AH (Lifeline 4D x 3 @ 125 lbs each) to 450 AH Firefly Oasis L15+ @ 95 lbs each saving 90 pounds. This is pretty much what the panels weigh. Thus the addition was limited to the aluminum frame. I did yank the Northern Lights 6KW generator, enclosure and start battery losing about 600 pounds as well, but that was because it was 'seized' when I bought the boat. Only lost Aircon capability. Replacement unit would have been 13K before shipping.
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Old 18-11-2018, 00:53   #234
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by kas_1611 View Post
Our small scale set up to add to the mix

Type and model and size of boat.
Bavaria Cruiser 40, 2010, Farr/BMW

Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
2x 35watt

Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?
1417mm x 425m (external dimensions

Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
3 years old

Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there? Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing? Does it cause windage problems? Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging or equipment?
Panels are tied onto the top of the bimini with one on the rearward sloping panel and one flat on top. Relatively easy to put in place and secure. No windage problems and minimal shading issues except when sun off the bow.

Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it? Marine or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?
SpectraFlex Panels, purchased from Marlec in the UK. Marine/Weatherproof design

Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?
£300 per panel plus cost of controller and wiring

Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.
Purchased to top up the battery and increase time on anchor without using engine. Leave 1 tied on the coachroof over winter to top up the house battery and prolong life. Done their job excellently in my humble opinion.

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?
Not much, longer tie down lines maybe

Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Disatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system?

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?
Prolonged endurance electrically on anchor and piece of mind for the house battery condition over winter.



I'm thinking of adding 2x 25watt and 1x 50w walk on semi flexible panels on the coachroof up forward to increase capacity and provide permanent top up charge for the batteries over winter. And swapping my basic charger for an improved MPPT controller but that's a longer term plan.

Keiron
By way of a follow up to my original post:

We have added a 100watt semi flexible panel to the mix which again is tied securely to the top of our bimini. This normally lies on the slightly sloping rear section of the bimini with the 2 pre-existing 35watt flexible panels tied forward of this. Total wattage now is 170watts.

Panels are linked together by a 3 into 1 connector and wired into a new 20amp MPPT controller.

On a fine day the panels generate enough amps to power all the navigation equipment and keep the beers cold without putting any "drain" on the batteries, which we have doubled up to 2x140amp-hr Exides. On a really bright Greek summer day amps in is into double digits so I'm pretty happy with it.

Panels were tied on during "Medicane" Zorba in September when we got hit by 40kt sustained winds for a period (we were in Lefkas on the northern edge of the storm) and survived without any damage to the panels or the tie down lines, most of which have been replaced this year.

When the flexible panels come to their natural end I will probably just add a second 100w semi flex panel rather than replace them. As the semi flex cost less than the flexibles and gives more amps it doesn't make financial sense to do otherwise.

Cheers

Keiron
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Old 27-11-2018, 15:00   #235
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Re Damage to Panels

This is what happened during Mathew. Took the wind on the beam, boat healed, wind blew on underside of 420W panel.
The bimini hardware and the frame of the panel stayed in place but the cells blew out like a picture out of a frame (remaining attached by the cables).

In the same circumstances I would either remove the panel (though smaller panels have less risk of this happening) or fit a plywood panel to the underside.
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Old 27-11-2018, 15:11   #236
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Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Re Damage to Panels



This is what happened during Mathew. Took the wind on the beam, boat healed, wind blew on underside of 420W panel.

The bimini hardware and the frame of the panel stayed in place but the cells blew out like a picture out of a frame (remaining attached by the cables).



In the same circumstances I would either remove the panel (though smaller panels have less risk of this happening) or fit a plywood panel to the underside.


In my opinion, losing the panel may have prevented much greater damage. I wouldn’t strengthen the panel.
It’s nice to have a planned failure point, and panels are very strong actually, so your mounting system is stronger than mine.
On mine I designed the frame attachment points to be the weak link.

I had a run in with a wall in a lock after a cleat broke, my frame broke loose and was pretty easily repaired.
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Old 28-11-2018, 16:37   #237
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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