Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-01-2013, 00:21   #61
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

I gave up on E-20 Sunpower as it was too difficult get information and support for just 4 panels, plus prices quoted in US was not encouraging.

We found this 255W Panel where 4 will fit well as I show, with the following specs.
  1. Does anyone see a problem with buying 4 of these...? Good price delivered to Subic.
  2. Looking at my camber, should I mount panels flat, or is it a shading advantage to point away from centerline?
  3. Lastly, has anyone had experience with this 60Amp MPPT?... I am comparing with Outback 60

Thanks for your advice..
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Banda SY 255w em.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	402.5 KB
ID:	52695   Click image for larger version

Name:	1 bimini Camber DSC_0050.jpg
Views:	113
Size:	372.8 KB
ID:	52697  

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Technical data sheet of SYM-255w mono solar panel.pdf (121.6 KB, 62 views)
File Type: pdf PCM 4048 6048.pdf (317.4 KB, 43 views)
File Type: pdf Outback Charge Controller.pdf (289.5 KB, 46 views)
__________________

__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 01:06   #62
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

The solar panels look fine.
There is the usual spelling mistakes in their specifications ( like fuse) which never inspires confidence in a technical document. They also don't list the type of aluminium used in the frame ( best?), but these sort of mistakes are very common in products from China.

It's very hard to judge the performance of charge controllers from a brief list of specifications. I have never heard of the brand.
It looks like the battery set points are preset for different battery types rather than infinitely adjustable like the better controllers.
It's impossible to judge the tracking performance and durability. Both of these are excellent on the Outback and any unknown controller would want to be a fraction of the price of the Outback before I would take a chance.
The other good controller is the Midnite. Which is very similar in quality to the outback. It's newer with some good features like user upgradable software, but it has not got (yet) the proven record of durability and reliability of the Outback. The tracking is just as good as the outback, possibly even slightly better.
__________________

__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 05:41   #63
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Thanks Nolex…. I will go with the Outback Flexmax 60 as the documentation is so good

Not worried about the Panel quality as I have seen smaller panels by same company.
American friend imports them for various scientific projects and has visited their modern factory.
He is now becoming more retail and is developing other solar products. Bandasolar | Make it happen in Subic
He does not do installations but helped me to find and buy these panels.
Very good new resource for any yacht looking for LED and Solar in Subic.

Wiring and connectors:
Solar Panels use MC4 type connectors similar to these:
Tuv Approved 2 Pins Mc4 Pv Solar Connector Copper Contact For Solar Energy System - Buy Mc4 Solar Connector,Pv Connector,Solar Panel Mc3 Mc4 Connectors Product on Alibaba.com

I am under a tight deadline to order all my wiring/connectors etc etc from the US… and have it delivered by Feb 1st for ship to Philippines. Plan to order from Wholesale Solar as they are near Rich from CruiseRO, who will help me with shipping

Since I am doing the ordering and installation myself,.. newbie questions.
Drawing shows basic parallel setup….. Is this how I should wire panels?
Is there a need for a disconnect breaker or surge protection in a waterproof combiner box outside?
If not needed do I just use branch connector similar to these
MC4 Branch Connectors

Would I then need to put a Solar PV Combiner inside like this MPV6 for my 4 panels?
MNPV3, MNPV6, MNPV12, MNPV16 Combiners

Then nothing else before Outback MPPT? (other than wiring?)

Will study Outback Installation manual to see how it goes from MPPT to Batteries
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	parallel Connections and Combiner.png
Views:	126
Size:	31.3 KB
ID:	52706  
__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 06:01   #64
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 650
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I have seen smaller panels by same company.
After empirical experience with these four panels, you might want to consider adding some smaller panels from the same company in the space between these if you find that additional capacity would be valuable and installation would not obstruct your view of the sails.
__________________
mcarling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 07:31   #65
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Here is a few pictures from my friends Island Packet 37.
He is using two SunPower 230 watt panels and a bluesky controller.
Sanyo also makes a panel that is this small and powerful.

I also have two SunPower panels on my boat.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P3260001.jpg
Views:	178
Size:	418.3 KB
ID:	52746   Click image for larger version

Name:	P3260003.jpg
Views:	162
Size:	396.8 KB
ID:	52747  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P3260004.jpg
Views:	154
Size:	402.8 KB
ID:	52748   Click image for larger version

Name:	PA010019.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	399.4 KB
ID:	52750  

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Sanyo Solar Panel .pdf (300.3 KB, 41 views)
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 05:09   #66
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Hi Cotemar I would have loved to use the Sunpower E22 327 watt but no technical support here in the Philippines and US costs were $1,200 panel+ shipping. Here in the Philippines I needed to order min. of 12

I have ordered the Outback MPPT Flexmax-60, but still need a bit of basic guidance for an offshore marine wiring installation.

After 20 pages of block diagrams, found nothing specific about boat installations

Should I just use Branch connectors outside like first diagram or a waterproof combiner with surge protection

Do you install a Lightning and/or Surge Protection (like this)? Delta Lightning Arrestor for Solar Modules If so where?

Some drawings show Fuses, other show breakers either side of Charge Controller /. In Solarspeak, are breakers and fuses considered the same? Which is best for small boat installations?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1 Joining_Solar_Panels_in_Parallel.jpg
Views:	349
Size:	56.6 KB
ID:	52780   Click image for larger version

Name:	2 Solar example_system2kw.jpg
Views:	307
Size:	60.2 KB
ID:	52781  

Click image for larger version

Name:	3 off_grid_solar_power_system_wiring_diagram.jpg
Views:	427
Size:	77.4 KB
ID:	52782   Click image for larger version

Name:	4 solar_to_cc_schematic.jpg
Views:	1034
Size:	33.3 KB
ID:	52783  

__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 06:49   #67
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Should I just use Branch connectors outside like first diagram or a waterproof combiner with surge protection

Some drawings show Fuses, other show breakers either side of Charge Controller /. In Solarspeak, are breakers and fuses considered the same? Which is best for small boat installations?
I would use the MC4 branch connectors.

I used the breakers instead of fuses. Either is ok.

I use the breaker as a switch to shut the system off when I am on shore power.
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 07:30   #68
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Thanks Cotemar...Do I need to worry about surge protection for the MPPT, or lighting issues for solar ?
__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 08:20   #69
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Thanks Cotemar...Do I need to worry about surge protection for the MPPT, or lighting issues for solar ?
No surge protection for the MPPT
No lighting issues for solar
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 08:33   #70
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Great! Now I know what to order.

I guess the issue with Solar is to keep the wiring runs as short as possible.
With my split array, I did it different than was shown in first diagram, but I think this is the shortest.

For those of you who have wired solar panels before, does this make sense, or would you do it differently?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2a Parallel Conections with Branch connectors.png
Views:	158
Size:	94.5 KB
ID:	52810  
__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 08:39   #71
Vendor
 
witzgall's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Boat: Camper Nicholson 44 Ketch
Posts: 1,775
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

If you are attempting to deal with fore/aft shading, then this looks good.

How are you bringing the wires into the boat? Through a cable gland with no disconnect? I will be installing two more panels (1 now) on my bimini. The existing panel has a scree-in connector for disconnect the panel. I like that, so we can remove it quickly if we need to storm prep the boat. I cannot find a like connector anywhere - any suggestions? One thought was to use connectors designed for trolling motors.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Great! Now I know what to order.

I guess the issue with Solar is to keep the wiring runs as short as possible.
With my split array, I did it different than was shown in first diagram, but I think this is the shortest.

For those of you who have wired solar panels before, does this make sense, or would you do it differently?
__________________
witzgall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 10:20   #72
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,830
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Chris,

I just completed a ten panel Utility Grid Intertie on my house.

For solar panel connectors, branch connectors etc, here's a link to everything you could possibly need.

mc4 in Alternative & Solar Energy | eBay

Steve
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2013, 23:35   #73
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
If you are attempting to deal with fore/aft shading, then this looks good.

How are you bringing the wires into the boat? Through a cable gland with no disconnect? I will be installing two more panels (1 now) on my bimini. The existing panel has a scree-in connector for disconnect the panel. I like that, so we can remove it quickly if we need to storm prep the boat. I cannot find a like connector anywhere - any suggestions? One thought was to use connectors designed for trolling motors.

Chris
I did not think I needed any other type of Connector other than the MC4 connect, as I assumed these were easy to disconnect if needed? I’ve never seen one as this is my first solar installation.

Using Branch connectors this is schematic of how I would combine until I got 2 cables going thru the elbow conduit beside mast. All the connectors would be under panels. Then a disconnect breaker inside the bridge and another one past the MPPT.

Because of size, never considered taking 4 panels down in storm conditions (Each panel about 5ft x 3.5 Ft).

In Typhoons I have taken down the soft Bimini to stop from tearing, and reduce windage but I think the structure for securing the panels, could almost lift the boat. I will still take down the remaining soft bimini built between and forward of Panels in heavy weather. (10 minute job)

Thanks for the thought!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2a Parallel Conections with Branch connectors.png
Views:	161
Size:	109.3 KB
ID:	52844  
__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2013, 00:04   #74
Registered User
 
Sumner's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SE Utah
Boat: 1981 Endeavour 37 & 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic
Posts: 370
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

Do you plan on fusing those panels individually? If one shorted the power of the other 3 could go to it. I....



Endeavour 37 Electrical Mods Index

...fused our 6 panels individually. Maybe overkill, but someone suggested it and I feel better with the fuses,

Sum
Sumner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2013, 00:28   #75
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: Solar Panel Mounting on Bimini

You have been given good advice. My only other suggestion is with a large high voltage installation such as this, the panel output is potentially lethal especially in a wet salty environment.
Make sure the installation is of a high standard with the same sort of precautions as you would take when wiring a 110v AC system.
__________________

__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bimini, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.