Some of you have seen my thread on re powering my boat with electric
. I went pretty much the cheapest route
I could come up with, and now I have a 5kw motor
and 220ah, 48v bank, for a net outlay of about $2500. Not a record
, by any means, but you see how important low cost is to me, even at the expense of "quality". I refuse to let a little thing like not being rich stop me from doing this.
Okay, now it is time to start thinking about my renewable energy setup. I will be taking the mast
down, and constructing a hard canopy over the entire boat. Hey, I like my shade, and I like to go places with low bridges. Plus, that will give me about 180 square feet of surface for mounting solar panels
. My boat will stay cooler. The $89 5kbtu window ac won't struggle so hard. I can sit on the raised coachroof, in the shade, drinking beer
and catching trout. But mainly I want to be able to charge my 48v bank with a reasonable degree of efficiency.
I looked at the simple PWM solar
charge controllers and decided that unfortunately I really need to go with MPPT
type control even though it is more expensive. Ouch. Well that's okay. And no, I won't be going with top dollar panels
. And they won't be walked on, and don't have to be flexible. The final output to the batteries needs to be adjustable Of course, from trickle charge up to a 62v equalizing charge. I will probably want to manually control the equalizing charge, when i do that, but i would like for general charging
to be automatic 3 stage "smart" charging
Okay, i also will have shading issues in my slip. So i want to have a very high peak voltage into the controller, meaning lots of panels
in series, and I don't mind a parallel/series setup as long as i have sufficient volts into the controller under most conditions. So, i need a controller that can handle the power of a very large spread of panels, and a high max voltage, and a proper variable output.
Boat has a beam of 9'3" and length of 27'. Some stern overhang is okay. With the above parameters in mind, anybody have any suggestions on sources? Not sure i am comfortable with building my own controller so an off the shelf solution would be great on that. I can see mounting individual solar
cells, though. It would sure make covering the canopy properly a lot easier.