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Old 18-06-2017, 21:23   #1
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Boat: Jeanneau SO49
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Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

Just finished the solar panel install on our Jeanneau 49 and it's working great. We have six 100 watt semi-flexible panels mounted on the bimini in a series parallel configuration feeding through a DC circuit breaker into a Victron Blue Solar MPPT controller into the house bank. The Victron controller has a bluetooth interface and app so we can monitor system performance on a smart phone.

I bought the panels on Amazon. 100 ETFE fiberglass backed semi-flexible panels by GeeSonic. They were $184 each. I think the price now is a little higher but substantially cheaper than Solbian. I think they work fine.

You'll note we have a really big bimini. In retrospect we could have fit the larger 150 watt panels in the front two sections of the bimini.

I'm amazed that this setup generates power from pretty much sunrise to sunset - even on cloudy and overcast days. I had 5 amps coming into the batteries at 8am this morning. This is exactly what we wanted - now we can leave the fridge and freezer running while the boat's sitting at it's mooring.

I thought I'd share pictures of the install and answer any questions you guys might have. While planning this system I picked the brains of numerous experts on this list. They were incredibly helpful.

Here's are some pictures of the panels mounted on the bimini. The panels are fiberglass backed so our canvas shop was able to sew zippers on the sides matched to zippers on the bimini with UV covers to protect the zippers. I also had the canvas shop create raceways for the cables. The raceway flaps close with velcro. The raceways are a little tight. I didn't figure on the diameter of the MC4 connectors. But they do close and it makes for a neat installation - no wires flopping around.

If you look closely you'll see all connections are numbered and the panels are labelled so everything goes together properly when assembled on the boat. The panels were installed and wiring connected in stages as the bimini was being put up for the season. Definitely a two person job. Three would have been better.

We have the three panels on each side running in series and then the two sides come together in parallel. The thinking was that each side would be at a different angle to the sun but between the two we'd maximize power during the day. Each panel is rated to generates 20 volts and a max of 5 amps. The Victron app says we're getting pretty close to the expected 60 volts and so far we see a maximum of 7.5 amps - or 435 watts to the controller and house batteries.
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Old 18-06-2017, 21:26   #2
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Re: Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

Here are a couple of more pictures showing the scanstrut deck gland, circuit breaker box and the BlueSolar controller with the bluetooth dongle.
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Old 18-06-2017, 21:34   #3
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Re: Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

SWEET!!!!!
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Old 30-06-2017, 19:54   #4
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Re: Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

Update: The Blue Solar bluetooth monitor is great - really let's you know how much power the panels are producing. It does a three stage charge to the batteries - bulk, absorption and float. Each day we've been hitting float around 1pm. So there's plenty of power the panels could be producing that we cannot use.

In the mornings we run the coffee maker and toaster off the batteries through the inverter. The solar panels restore that usage pretty quickly. Now I'm trying to work a method of running the water heater off the inverter.

According to the history data stored by the Blue Solar controller we hit a peak panel output of 535 watts at some point two days ago. I think that's pretty good since we've got 600 watts of panels, some are faced slightly differently to the sun and we have the shadow from the boom and mast.

I am continually amazed that even on an overcast day like today the panels were producing 300 watts.

Jeff
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Old 30-06-2017, 20:09   #5
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Re: Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

Nice installation. I like the fact that you can keep the refrigeration going with the solar power. It's giving me some ideas for my own boat.
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Old 30-06-2017, 20:27   #6
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Re: Solar Panel Installation on Jeanneau 49

Beautiful boat! Crewed one from Vanuatu to Honolulu in 22 days with one stop in Funafuti. Great boat.
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