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Old 04-03-2015, 04:39   #1
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Simple question about conecting solar panels to a house and seperate starter batteryy

OK, I have an appropriate MPPT charge controller. Given it only has one set of panel, battery and load connections I will only be connecting it to the house bank? Going through pasts threads the clearest description of the installation process is the following?

My simple question is does " the regulator feeding in just after the battery isolator/combiner switch" mean I should connect the load out from the solar panel regulator to where the house battery wires already go into my three way isolator switch (house/starter/both or OFF)? Like, I mean on the battery side, NOT the yachts switch panel side?

Any other simple recommendations or even just as understandable wiring diagrams would be greatly appreciated!


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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Thanks GILow for his above answer and sorry about my spelling error in the thread heading. Sorry also if I sound mildly sarcastic. What I am honestly looking for is the simplest way to set this up. I note, I have a spare 20 watt panel with a dedicated little Morning Star regulator that I can use to keep the starter battery charged.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:22   #2
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Re: Simple question about conecting solar panels to a house and seperate starter batt

Oh, commonsense is telling me that for the battery isolator switch to still work I need to connect the load out from the regulator to where the old wires from the battery went in on the battery side of the switch, No offence to dearly departed Dr Spock, but its just pure logic? Regardless, you try getting a simple answer or finding an easy diagram turning round a yachts dual battery system penned by mere humans (Well maybe excepting the one I have quoted above)?
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:40   #3
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Re: Simple question about conecting solar panels to a house and seperate starter batt

In simple terms, I've connected the MPPT output more or less directly to the house (main) bank and not worried about the second battery. All the guff that uses power with the 1-2-both-off switch in the "off" position (sound system memory, bilge pumps, USB chargers, "that" light that needs to be switched on first of a night etc) runs off the same bank. The other battery just sits there and does nothing with the boat powered down.

To complicate just a little bit, I have a Victron battery monitor so connect the -ve output of MPPT to the opposite side of the shunt to the battery so the charge can be monitored. I also use one of those auto resetting circuit breakers used for car driving lights between the battery and MPPT controller +ve lead "just in case".
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Old 05-03-2015, 04:38   #4
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Re: Simple question about conecting solar panels to a house and seperate starter batt

Yes, going to keep it super simple and connect the load out from the regulator to the house battery terminals/wire stuff I will need to take off the battery. This way I can't accidentally bypass anything like the VHF or auto bilge pump, which might not be the best idea? Conversely, if the solar regulator craps itself, it will be just as simple to remove its wiring and put the battery terminals back how they were before I started playing with things?

Rocket science???
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Old 05-03-2015, 04:48   #5
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Re: Simple question about conecting solar panels to a house and seperate starter batt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
I

I also use one of those auto resetting circuit breakers used for car driving lights between the battery and MPPT controller +ve lead "just in case".
Thanks, while the first bit was well beyond my down under bush mechanic vocabulary, I totally get the bit above about drooping in an extra "fuse". Part the reason I am upgrading the system is because the wires melted and regulator bulged on an independent panel setup like the portable ones you buy.A fuse or breaker could have prevented the damage? No more fire or likewise hazards is a brilliant suggestion!
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