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Old 24-06-2019, 20:43   #1
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Solar charging installation question

I'm preparing to install a solar panel and controller. The panel is 170W, and the controller is a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 75/15.

My boat has a 440Ah, 4 battery house bank, plus an engine battery. It has an installed AC 3 stage charger and an engine alternator for existing charging sources. It also has a Cristec battery isolator to automatically combine and charge both banks without manual intervention.

When connecting the solar controller, I could connect the positive lead to 1) the positive post of the first battery in the house bank, or 2) to the same lug on the battery isolator as the alternator. The negative lead connects to the battery monitor shunt attached to negative post of the last battery in the bank.
The positive lead will have a 20A fuse or circuit breaker close to its termination point.

I'm looking for advice on whether I should connect the controller directly to the battery, or to the isolator. I'm not that concerned about actually charging the engine battery; the solar is intended to charge the house bank. is there a right answer? Would either be acceptable?

My second question is around the coordination/cooperation of the solar controller, the shore charger and the alternator. When it is sunny, two or even all three of these charging sources could be active at the same time. Do I need to worry about that, or are all sources independently adjusting their charge cycle based on the battery voltage and they will all just work together?

Am I missing anything?

Thanks!

Bruce
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Old 24-06-2019, 22:00   #2
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Re: Solar charging installation question

Bruce,

Running a similar setup 200 watt/ 600 AH/ Victron 75/15. Don't think exactly where you connect the feed is really important, the fuse is. Mine just connects to a positive busbar (fused).


As to how the different units play together seems to work OK. Exactly what happens depends on what state of recharging is in process. Bulk all sources just add, absorption the solar may drop out as the factory default absorption voltage is a little lower than either my alternator or charger.

One neat thing I have observed just on solar in float mode in the afternoon the current will be a couple of amps. If the frig turns on the solar will pick up the frig load and keep the current feeding the bank nearly the same. Kind of like the Victron tells the battery "I got this, you guys just keep on napping".


Frankly
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Old 25-06-2019, 05:22   #3
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Re: Solar charging installation question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bruce.
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Old 25-06-2019, 08:39   #4
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Re: Solar charging installation question

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bruce.
Thanks Gordy. Long time listener, first time caller.
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Old 25-06-2019, 18:17   #5
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Re: Solar charging installation question

do not connect to the batttery isloator. connect to house bank

all can charge at once. as long as all have correct voltages / battery types set up.
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