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Old 28-05-2013, 14:33   #1
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My possible solar setup

I'm trying to decide what to buy for my solar setup. I'm thinking either two of the WindyNation 100 watt panels or two of the ULSolar 125 watt panels. Either combo will be paired with a Blue Sky SC30 MPPT Controller. I currently have 2 12v parallel batteries. Is this a decent setup?

My boat is a 1983 Hunter 30' with Kato dinghy davits. I will have a chartplotter, autopilot, VHF, marine radio/CD player, laptop, a few lights here and there and possibly one of those small 12v portable fridges. Does my solar setup sound good? I have read decent reviews about both types of solar panels, but any additional feedback would be great.
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Old 28-05-2013, 14:41   #2
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Re: My possible solar setup

Perhaps, but you really need to know how much you use by either carrying out a budget of how many amp hours you use each day or measuring with a battery monitor. Only then will you know if the panels are big enough.

Worth doing a search on here as there are loads of information which is worth studying.

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Old 28-05-2013, 14:43   #3
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Re: My possible solar setup

Devote as much space as you can spare. I went with the higher voltage grid tie panels with a Midnite Classic.150. Each panel is 255 watts, roughly 3x5.
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Old 28-05-2013, 14:47   #4
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Re: My possible solar setup

I put 600 watts of solar on our boat last year and wish I had done 1000. I am getting 30+ amps at times in good sun. I set it up with 3 controllers for optimum amps if some of the panels are shaded. One group on the port side, one on the stbd side and one group of 200watts aft of the sail on the hard bimini. It gives me some redunduncy, plus the 3 smaller MPPT controllers were cheaper than one large controller. So if one goes out , I still have two thirds of my system going.
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Old 28-05-2013, 14:48   #5
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Re: My possible solar setup

Yes...Pete is right, do an energy budget.
Your likely to be minimal with the cd/stereo and make sure you have a 12 volt plug for your laptop and not an inverter.
A friend of mine has a 100 watt panel and uses an inverter while using his laptop for many hours and has to run his engine daily.
Yuck.
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Old 28-05-2013, 14:52   #6
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Re: My possible solar setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaKing View Post
I put 600 watts of solar on our boat last year and wish I had done 1000. I am getting 30+ amps at times in good sun. I set it up with 3 controllers for optimum amps if some of the panels are shaded. One group on the port side, one on the stbd side and one group of 200watts aft of the sail on the hard bimini. It gives me some redunduncy, plus the 3 smaller MPPT controllers were cheaper than one large controller. So if one goes out , I still have two thirds of my system going.
You need more solar because you live in the Shady Side of town.
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Old 28-05-2013, 15:14   #7
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Re: My possible solar setup

Sounds like not enough juice as a stand alone solution.

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Old 29-05-2013, 04:04   #8
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Re: My possible solar setup

The Blue Sky SC30 MPPT Controller is actually PWM, rather than MPPT. Nothing wrong with that and its a cost effective solution because there is a debate to be had whether its worth using an MPPT or more panels with smaller solar systems. We use PWM controllers on 125w of solar, becuase for the cost of a good MPPT system we would be better off with more panels.

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Old 29-05-2013, 07:45   #9
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Re: My possible solar setup

Yep. One way: more solar area; another way - angle your panels: huge benefits.

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Old 29-05-2013, 08:10   #10
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Re: My possible solar setup

Lots of suggestions to increase your charging capacity, but I would also look at your storage. You say 2 X 12 volts. Are those Gr 27's? If so, you may find that you're discharging them pretty deeply at night if you run your fridge and the usual array of lights and other doodads. Running so much solar that you're fully charged by 10AM, but deeply discharged at dawn will kill your batteries. An energy budget will help you assess paying particular attention to usage when the sun isn't shining.
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