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Old 20-01-2010, 16:33   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post

The bottom line is that a single shaded panel will block the current in a series-connected panel string. Series-connection is an excellent idea if you can ensure that the panels won't be shaded (in a home installation, for example). On my boat at least, I'm always fighting shadows
Look Paul, I don't know you or have never met you, please stop accusing me of stealing your power or involved with fights..... Just kidding...

Glad to see that you are getting something, but yah, it should be generating crazy output with your array... Hope it all works out soon!!
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Old 20-01-2010, 22:02   #32
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When I got involved with boats I had a good knowledge of gasoline engines and only knew that diesels stank. Literally, the smell of diesel fumes hits me like garlic to vampires. As I reluctantly got intimate with diesel engines (always wear protection, the stink never gets out of your clothes<G>) I came to realize diesel engines are great. There's no ignition system, so they can run reliably even mainly under water.

Yeah, sure, as long as the fuel injection and cleaning are treated like visiting royalty.

All a diesel does is trade ignition problems for fuel problems. And cut your fuel tank size in half. Maybe if I converted it to run on peanut oil, the way Herr Doctor Diesel intended, I could solve that stink problem?

Anyway...if your entire fuel supply from tank to injectors is perfectly clean and dry, and you've replaced any and all crush washers every time your've touched them, and found the only correct way to bleed whatever engine you have...The relentless applicaiton of logic and waiting patiently for obscure ten cent parts (Yeah, sure) to arrive from Sweden and other convenient places usually will get it running rock solid.

Terry, if you are anywhere near Annapolis (and UPS ground has a fairly large range where "ground" is guaranteed to ship overnight) you might try Voss Marine. They're an old family business, exceptionally generous about their time on the phone, and extremely reasonable with parts prices. If they deal with your engine make, odds are they can get you up and running as quickly and cheaply as anyone. Very few shops impress me, and they made The Short List very quickly.
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Old 21-01-2010, 05:44   #33
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Terry, the sun is still a little low in the sky to max your output with solar. Your panels are fixed mounted like ours. I am seeing about 10 amps less right now than I saw last year in mid February. Keep on heading south and as the angle of the sun gets higher you will see more output.

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Old 21-01-2010, 06:47   #34
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Thats the plan Barry, head south asap. But we are stuck right now with serious diesel engine issues. She is pouring black and dark grey smoke... see the other thread for more fun and games! I may just head south tomorrow regardless if we have wind to sail and run the engine as is as required for as long as she will last until completely dead and deal with the problem them.



Terry
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Old 21-01-2010, 09:36   #35
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Not being anything close to an expert on this stuff, I think you are way over engineered on this whole mess. I don't understand why you went with the series wiring to 24v in the first place. I don't understand why you made the panels into two seperate systems. I have 300 watts of solar, wired parallel. One panel wired seperate to a separate controller. The one panel is wired through a cheap controller with a dump function for when the batteries are fully charged, with the dump going to the start battery. The other one is not an MPPT, but is a high quality controller, which feeds direct to the house bank. This system works flawlessy, keeping the batteries up, even with a small fridge. My only problem is not quite enough house bank, 450ah, and when a couple of cloudy days comes along, won't quite keep up. I would greatly simplify the mess you have. Put all the panels in parallel, feed them to the controller and see what happens.
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Old 21-01-2010, 11:12   #36
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"and when a couple of cloudy days comes along, won't quite keep up."
That's when "complicated" may be a good thing. The extra 10% charge from an MPPT controller would behandy on those cloudy days, wouldn't it? And another 3% from switching the panels to 24V from 12... Making a total of 13% more power on those cloudy days?
One hundredth of a knot in extra boat speed is an idiotic pursuit. Unless, you're doing a four hour race and it puts you 14 seconds clear ahead of the second place boat. Same same, no?
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Old 21-01-2010, 12:11   #37
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I have to disagree

I know this is a matter of basically personal preferance. But for me I find the added complexity of the system to be not worth the added gain from the system. First off, with what I have, I can very easily troubleshoot and fix whatever goes wrong. The more complex the system, the harder this becomes for those of us who are not electronical experts. With what I have, I find that on the average, I have to run a small 1200 watt, super cheapo gen set a couple of hours, once or twice a month. If you take into consideration the added cost and complexity vs the easily used gen set, for me it is a no brainer. I guess it all depends upon a( your abilitys to troubleshoot and repair whatever happens. b( your financial abilities to initially purchase and install such a system. c( where you cruise, and the availability of the more complex and hard to find components wherever you happen to be. In this instance I suspect that since the installation was hired out, and the most expensive and oversized stuff installed, the ability to completely understand the system and to do install or repair it was not there. Even more reason to keep it simple. It is going to take someone with the same or better knowledge to repair a system as it takes to install a system. If your anchored in the Tortugas, or in any one of thousands of places like that, you either fix yourself, with what is aboard, or it doesn't get fixed.
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Old 21-01-2010, 15:04   #38
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I think you have the correct equipment and a very nice system. You just received a defective part or have a wire out of place.

You are very close to solving this. To me the answer is simple.

1. Run your batteries down again. I think you need to go lower than 80 something percent. Most people only recharge to 80 something percent because the batteries won't accept a large charge unless they are lower.

2. Measure your solar output in the sun again (just like you did when you saw 20amps).

3. Either shade with a towel (as suggested previously) or disconnect one of the two banks of solar panels. You really need to start isolating the problem.

You keep talking to experts, looking at the wiring, and wishing for a solution. But I see nothing that shows you are isolating parts of the system and measuring the effect.

You probably have a bad solar panel or bad connection (either in the panel itself or in your wiring). But you will never know until you isolate the components.
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Old 28-01-2010, 14:17   #39
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Just as a comment, the main reason that you use a MPPT controller is to allow the panels to work at their most optimum output voltage. Solar panels dont have a straight line V/I curve, it has a sweet point that varies with light received. . its not got anything to do with wiring size
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Old 28-01-2010, 14:30   #40
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Has this problem been solved yet? Do you have or can you draw (or have someone who can follow the circuit draw) a schematic of the set up or take pictures?

I'm a little confused on something.....

from the original note, I'm still not 100% sure of what you're measuring.

Current? From the output of the charge controller to the batteries?

If so, if the batteries are mostly charged up, you're NOT going to see 10 amps or whatever you think you will see.

You will ONLY see the amount of charge current (usually very LOW) to top off the batteries or bring them up to roughly the same level as the output of the controller.

I have a 150 watt panel on my little boat, and a small charge controller. I have a 100AH deep cycle battery. I don't use a lot of current, but the controller works fine (as does the solar panel) to keep the battery at full charge in a full day of sunlight. It's running as we speak (in the winter here) to keep the battery topped and useful. I can go out and do work, power up the lights, stereo and other things and hardly even notice a drain most of the time - but when I come back, we're good to go
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Old 28-01-2010, 14:32   #41
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IN Addition to what Gene said above... isolate EACH panel, measure the voltage output for each one.


And from what I can tell you have a series-parallel system (two in series giving 24 volts, and then other two wired the same way, then your red wires go together and your black wires go together to DOUBLE the CURRENT output....)

Right?
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