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Old 22-03-2018, 12:43   #1
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Solar Panel and Shading

I have a 26' trawler and have room for a single 100 watt panel on the roof of the wheelhouse. The panel will be used mainly to keep batteries charged while on a mooring. Any time the sun is coming over the stern I have a couple of antennas that will probably cause some shading. I am in Alaska so sun angles are low even in summer. I have thought of two 50 watt panels wired separately with two controllers to minimize shading issues. Do you think the extra cost would be worth it? With this small array I also thought PWM controllers would be fine. 235 AH house and 100 AH starting.
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Old 22-03-2018, 14:42   #2
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Re: Solar Panel and Shading

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Originally Posted by fritzdfk View Post
I have a 26' trawler and have room for a single 100 watt panel on the roof of the wheelhouse. The panel will be used mainly to keep batteries charged while on a mooring. Any time the sun is coming over the stern I have a couple of antennas that will probably cause some shading. I am in Alaska so sun angles are low even in summer. I have thought of two 50 watt panels wired separately with two controllers to minimize shading issues. Do you think the extra cost would be worth it? With this small array I also thought PWM controllers would be fine. 235 AH house and 100 AH starting.
You can use a single controller just wire the panels in parallel. Not as perfect as a one-controller-one-panel solution but should work fine.

Advantage of MPPT depends on the voltage of your panel(s). At Vmpp = 17V MPPT starts showing of its teeth, adding ~20% to your production.
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Old 26-03-2018, 03:21   #3
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Re: Solar Panel and Shading

Either way would work. Can I suggest that if you are going to purchase panels, that you use a higher voltage panel, say nominal 24v rather than a 12v panel. You will get a little bit of extra charge when light levels are low, your 24v panels may be able to produce say 14v whereas the 12v panels may be at 8v. Just confirm the controller can handle the higher voltage panels
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