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Old 29-03-2011, 21:55   #76
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Re: HELP!

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
It is only up to task of 200w if the battery voltage is over 13.3v
Sorry - I meant NOT up to the task.

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 22:33   #77
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Re: Solar Enough ?

How 'bout this one?

BZ 250-Watt PV Control. 12V/25A output w/ meter. Flush mount - Free Shipping

Sorry to post so many samples - I'm learning the features that are necessary, and worth looking and paying for - PWN, MTTP, 20+A, etc.

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 22:45   #78
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Hey John - I've been enjoying this thread, looks like solar is steadily becoming affordable and while I'm not going to splash out just yet this is a very useful piece of research your doing for me

-Tom
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Old 30-03-2011, 00:13   #79
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Re: Solar Enough ?

I have found solar information is not that accurate, about half the output they specify.
It is only viable because it is quiet,
I have 5x 200 watt panels and the best i see is 30 amp for a couple of hours a day.
You must carry a generator of sorts.
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Old 30-03-2011, 00:46   #80
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Check out this thread on the BZ, doesn't look great. Like the Chinese unit, it is not a 3 stage charger and will not be kind to your batteries.

BZ Controller - Solar Electric Power Discussion Forum by Northern Arizona Wind & Sun

Beau,
I'd have someone take a look at your setup, you should be getting way more current out of 1000w of panels. I get 23-26amp out of my 390w array and I'm in the great white north
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Old 30-03-2011, 01:49   #81
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Re: Solar Enough ?

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Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
How 'bout this one?

BZ 250-Watt PV Control. 12V/25A output w/ meter. Flush mount - Free Shipping

Sorry to post so many samples - I'm learning the features that are necessary, and worth looking and paying for - PWN, MTTP, 20+A, etc.

John
As I said in my original post I am reluctant to recommend any cheap MPPT regulators.
It is expensive to design MPPT regulators correctly and if badly designed or made the performance can be poor. The MPPT needs to be very accurate with low losses in the circuitry to gain any benefit on a yacht. Poor tracking and efficiencies rapidly make the performance worse than a simple PVM regulator.
Jaredko has pointed out problems with this unit. This is typical of MPPT regulators at this sort of price point.
The only exception is a small number of MPPT regulators handmade by enthusiasts for things like solar cars. Some of these can have very good circuitry (more efficient than the best commercial units) and they are cheap enough that you can install a separate MPPT for each panel which will give much better performance if there are any shadows which is common on a yacht installation. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem anything at the moment that would be ideal. A regulator called FatMax looked excellent on paper at least, for many boat installations, but seems to be no longer available.
If you want a MPPT go for a good one like the Outback range, but given the low cost of your proposed installation the cost of this sort of regulator is not sensible.
I would rethink your panel choice and go for a simple PWM regulator with a good quality 12v panel (2X 100W would be more shade tolerant) the extra cost in panels will offset by the savings in the regulator and you will end up with better performance
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Old 30-03-2011, 02:00   #82
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beau View Post
I have found solar information is not that accurate, about half the output they specify.
It is only viable because it is quiet,
I have 5x 200 watt panels and the best i see is 30 amp for a couple of hours a day.
You must carry a generator of sorts.
In Brisbane with 1000W of solar you should be getting 200-250 AHrs (@12v although I assume you are on 24V) a day even in winter. That’s a lot of power. Most yachts use far less.
What’s using all that power?
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Old 30-03-2011, 06:35   #83
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Re: Solar Enough?

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We have LED lights on everything, mast, reading, heads, gages.
Where did you get your bulbs? If you are following this thread closely, you know I am a "thrifty" cruiser.

All others welcome to chime in with good, cheap LED sources.

John
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Old 30-03-2011, 06:38   #84
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Re: Solar Enough ?

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Originally Posted by theonecalledtom View Post
Hey John - I've been enjoying this thread, looks like solar is steadily becoming affordable and while I'm not going to splash out just yet this is a very useful piece of research your doing for me
-Tom
If I'm asking the questions you might ask, I'm glad to perform the service. I just hope that the cruisers who know this stuff don't get tired of tutoring me in the Remedial Solar Class after school.

John
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:07   #85
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Another $50 bucks from the BZ you listed and you could have a very nice MPPT
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:14   #86
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
As I said in my original post I am reluctant to recommend any cheap MPPT regulators.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem anything at the moment that would be ideal. A regulator called FatMax looked excellent on paper at least, for many boat installations, but seems to be no longer available.
If you want a MPPT go for a good one like the Outback range, but given the low cost of your proposed installation the cost of this sort of regulator is not sensible.
I would rethink your panel choice and go for a simple PWM regulator with a good quality 12v panel (2X 100W would be more shade tolerant) the extra cost in panels will offset by the savings in the regulator and you will end up with better performance
There is only one location where this slipper can tolerate 200W of solar on a 27' boat - davits off the stern (which seems to be a good location, in general).

Is there something wrong with the panels I was proposing?

Suntech Solar Panel 200 Watts 26.20 Vmp [STP200-18/UB-1 A-1] - $368.00 : Solar Panels, Inverters and PV Systems | Worlds Lowest Price, Powered by Nature!

One of the reasons I chose them is that they are only 58.4" long (most are 61 - 63") and since my transom is only about 50 inches wide, that dimension is important. At $1.84 per watt, they were not the cheapest in the store, either.

Does anyone test these products to see if they do what they say they do? If most of the charge controllers out there are crap, where's the list of units that are "on spec"? And I thought "200 Watts" meant "200 Watts".

John
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:15   #87
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Re: Solar Enough ?

The best = less expensive source for many solar products is the "back to the land cabin" catalogs/sites. My 285W array is controlled by a "smart" Trace Engineering three stage unit, with a manual equalize capability, (should you need this). Each of the three stages can have its cut in or cut out point set by you to suite your particular battery's needs. M.
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:37   #88
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Re: Solar Enough ?

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The best = less expensive source for many solar products is the "back to the land cabin" catalogs/sites.
Hey, neighbor - care to list a few of those sites? Like everything else, there's a range of quality and credibility.

Thanks!

John
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Old 30-03-2011, 07:55   #89
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Hi John,
I don't have the paperwork with me. When I bought my first panels 15 years ago, I got them from a "back to the land" catalog. In one or more of my past posts on solar related issues, I included photos of the charge controller from so close, that you can read what you need to know off of the photo. I can't show it now, because "my" computer, (with photos in it), is in the shop.

When I upgraded to one more 110W panel, (getting rid of the wind unit), in '00, I bought both the panel and charge controller from S.A.L.T. in Marathon Fl. My Trace Engineering model was the 20A. I believe that they had a 10A, a 20A, and a 30 or 40A... Try looking up S.A.L.T. They may still be around?
Regards, Mark
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Old 30-03-2011, 08:13   #90
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Re: Solar Enough ?

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Hi John,
I don't have the paperwork with me. When I bought my first panels 15 years ago, I got them from a "back to the land" catalog.......I bought both the panel and charge controller from S.A.L.T. in Marathon Fl. ... Try looking up S.A.L.T. They may still be around?
Thanks, Mark.

One thing I have found, if the spec sheet refers to "Thunder Protection", I'm not buying.

On the other hand, there's a CF thread on "Lightning Protection"

Question about Lightning

and the OP seems to have discovered that beer will protect you from thunder; lightning, not so much.

John
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