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Old 03-12-2014, 21:47   #1
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New Solar Install

We have these that I'll be installing on our Yamaha 30;

250 Watt 250 Watt Solar panel
SS-MPPT-15L Sun Saver MPPT 15 Amp Regulator
RM-1 Remote Meter for SSD and SS-MPPT-155L
MC-50 Multi-Contact Solar Module Extension Cables 50 foot
IN-LINE-30 Ring terminals and connectors and In-Line fuse holder and Fuse
MH-2 Solar Panel Mounting Hardware 2 x Z-Brackets w/SS Hardware

We have a new Trojan 24AGM battery for the cabin power

We have a 24Volt starting battery dated 2012.

BOTH batteries are to be engaged by the battery control switch for starting.

1) My first question is, should I install the solar panel through the controller and into the remote meter ->->-> directly to the cabin battery?

2) Or, should I wire into the boats main electric panel?

3) If not,
is there a good schematic for tying it into the system?

Ignorance is not bliss...
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Old 03-12-2014, 23:06   #2
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Re: New Solar install

is your cabin voltage 24v? I'm confused. it sounds like your trying to combine a group 24 battery (12v) with your 24v starting battery..


why are you engaging both batteries for starting?.
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Old 03-12-2014, 23:34   #3
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Re: New Solar install

Ugh! Too right! It is a 12 volt, 24M size battery! LOL!
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:07   #4
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Re: New Solar install

I'm having problems with this one. According to my calculations, a 12 volt 15 amp solar regulator is good for a theoretical maximum of 180 watts. Connecting a 250 watt panel is going to clip the output. And if that was not a typo, you have TWO 250 watt panels. So, no, can't see it at all.

Can you also clarify something else... I have never met a "24 volt starting battery". I have two 12 volt batteries in series for our 24 volt engine, but not a single 24 volt battery. Not saying they don't exist, but surely you mean you have 2 x 12 volts for your engine, or do you?

This clarification is important, as I know from my own situation.

My house bank is 12 volts, my engine bank is 24 volts (truck engine), and after a lot of thought, questions here on C.F., good (differing) advice here on C.F., followed by more thought... I have opted to keep the solar completely separate from the engine bank and connected to only the house bank, but have put in place wiring so that I can easily tap into the house bank to start the engine in the event that the engine bank were to fail.

Matt
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:19   #5
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Re: New Solar install

Meanwhile... after reading and thinking about your question a bit more...

I am going to assume that a 30 footer does not have a 24 volt truck engine, and that the confusion comes from the battery description. So I am going to assume you have two 12 volt batteries and you are asking how to set up charging.

My personal preference would be for a dedicated house battery connected to the solar, and the engine battery separated from the house bank and used only for engine starting, being charged by the engine alternator only. I accept that there will be others that correctly point out that this configuration limits the capacity of your house bank and overtaxes the house battery, but looking to the longer term it allows you to expand your house bank with proper deep cycle batteries while keeping a cheaper conventional battery for your engine.

Its a personal choice thing.

The next part is the wiring. Many ways to skin that cat, but my personal preference is to wire the solar regulator to the house bank in a way that allows you to shut off the house electrics while you are away from the boat without shutting down the solar input. So, for instance, in my setup I have the regulator feeding in just after the battery isolator/combiner switch, with its own fuse. (Along with the automatic bilge pump). This way I can turn the red key on the main power panel and switch off all house electrics, hang the key on the switch in the companionway, and know that all electrics are off but that the panels are keeping the batteries full. This setup suits our day sailor configuration, not sure how it will work when we live aboard, but that's years away yet.

Matt
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:28   #6
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Re: New Solar install

How many amp hours in your battery?
Do you live aboard?

(And please cut the abbreviations, I'm buggered if I know what they mean)

If you live on board you can control the solar yourself by switching it off, or titling it.

Yo can wire solar diectly into your house bank, but not if its going to cook it. 250 watt solar is quite large and would fry an unattended 100 amp hour battery that doesnt have a load.

So if you are not on the boat all day you will need a regulator. (But you can test without a controller. Just dont over charge)
In any manner of connecting, you do not need to go near your main electric pannel at all.

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Old 04-12-2014, 13:47   #7
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Re: New Solar install

  • To make it clear, we have (2) 12volt batteries. They are wired together through a selector switch. We are supposed to put the selector switch to BOTH batteries to run the motor, as that will allow the alternator to recharge both batteries while the motor runs, as well as a larger charge for starting.
If we are NOT running the motor, only the cabin battery is on using the selector switch.


It sounds as though l should wire the solar panel through the controller, then through the remote digital meter and directly to the cabin battery? Am l correct?

Thanks all. I apologize for any confusion.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:04   #8
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Re: New Solar install

Normally the remote meters plug into the controller through a separate connection, often an RJ12 plug, not in series. This should be in the manual for the controller or meter.

A conventional ammeter may be wired in series between the controller and battery. I do this in conjunction with the remote digital meter on our boat as I like the clarity of a conventional analogue meter when you are trying to get a feel for how much power you are getting at a quick glance.

Matt


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Old 04-12-2014, 21:02   #9
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Re: New Solar install

Thanks GILow
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Old 04-12-2014, 21:19   #10
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Re: New Solar install

Quote:
Originally Posted by hapibeli View Post
  • To make it clear, we have (2) 12volt batteries. They are wired together through a selector switch. We are supposed to put the selector switch to BOTH batteries to run the motor, as that will allow the alternator to recharge both batteries while the motor runs, as well as a larger charge for starting.
If we are NOT running the motor, only the cabin battery is on using the selector switch.


It sounds as though l should wire the solar panel through the controller, then through the remote digital meter and directly to the cabin battery? Am l correct?

Thanks all. I apologize for any confusion.
yes.


but as mentioned above. your 250w panel is too big for a 15a controller


manual says max 200w
http://www.morningstarcorp.com/wp-co...ENG10_1111.pdf


I would consider adding the blue sea add a battery kit. with a new switch and acr. it will stop all your manual switching. just turn it on. (nothing to do with the solar, just less work on the boat) though the acr would allow any extra current into the start battery once the house was full
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Old 04-12-2014, 21:40   #11
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Re: New Solar install

  • Isn't that switch is what is factory installed on our Yamaha 30? It selects the starter or the house battery, or both?
  • It sounds very much like the Blue Sea Add-a-Battery kit.
  • I just read the Morningstar pdf again and I've now emailed our solar retailer and asked about the 200w issue. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2014, 23:35   #12
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Re: New Solar install

you probably told him you had 24v batteries... it'll take 400w at 24v. but you only have 12v batteries.
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Old 04-12-2014, 23:52   #13
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Re: New Solar install

One other slight concern. A 250 watt panel must be very large. I reckon my 140 watt panels are a bit of a pain to fit, each is 1.2 m x 0.8 m, but a single 250 must be huge. Where will you put it on a 30 footer?

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Old 05-12-2014, 09:47   #14
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Re: New Solar install

Thanks Matt.
First, I read the Yamaha's manual and I see that I was misinformed by the previous owner. The manual states "The "Both" position should not be used unless neither battery has sufficient power by itself to start the engine"...

I need to get down to reading all of the Yamaha material I was left with.

Regarding the 250W panel, I'm in the process of building, with the help of a metal worker, ( who has built some 150 boat frames), an arch off the stern.
The 250W weighs 42 pounds.
I was originally buying a 150W, but the retailer offered the 250W for the same price. A distribution anomaly that would change within a month at the time.
I thought, what the heck, more juice to run the electronics...
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Old 05-12-2014, 22:58   #15
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Re: New Solar install

I returned the 15Amp controller. and now have the 30 Amp controller.

<http://www.midnitesolar.com/pdfs/spec_sheet_kid_frontBack.pdf>
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