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Old 02-11-2013, 10:08   #1
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Solar Power

I am looking at DC options for our H25. I am going to rewire the entire boat (12/3 AWG Marine Tinned Boat Cable) for all our lighting and radio. Since the lighting will be LED all around and the stereo max current draw is 10A the 12 AWG should be okay. I am also installing a new panel.

Moving forward, I have decided to go with a single house battery since our outboard is a pull start and supplies nothing to the electrical system. That said, I am looking at a solar battery system and the one I looked at recently was the Coleman 18 Watt Solar Battery Charging Kit (will get 10% off for military disc.), or would that be overkill? Should I look at something smaller and do I need the controller?

Has anyone had any experience with one of these or would you recommend something else? Remember, we are day sailors on a small lake and our evenings will be at the slip.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:39   #2
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Re: Solar Power

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Remember, we are day sailors on a small lake and our evenings will be at the slip.
Solar is great for most boats, but if you have access to shore power each night (is this what you mean?) it is much easier to store the energy in battery power.

If you don't have any shore power you will need to replace all the power that you use via solar An energy budget is needed. A car stereo will use about 1A a couple of LEDs about 0.5A. This power needs to be replaced, but some of it can be replaced on days when you are not using the boat.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:49   #3
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Re: Solar Power

I mostly agree with Noelex, 18W is more of a battery "maintainer" than a "charger". And 6-8Ah/day is probably the best you can hope for. If you use the boat every day and blast the stereo then it probably won't keep up. If you use the boat on the weekends and the battery is large enough to hold you over then it may be large enough to catch up over the week. I like the idea of not having to plug in every time I come into the dock.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:03   #4
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Re: Solar Power

If your stereo draws max 10 amps and you actually crank it that high and wiring run is more that a couple of feet from the battery I would go a bit bigger that 12 gauge wire. A round trip wiring (battery to stereo and back to ground) is just 10' you could drop up to 0.5V just in the wire. Fuses and connectors might lose you a little more.

Also, why are you using 3 conductor wire? Just happen to have a roll or are you doing something with the third wire?
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Old 03-11-2013, 22:46   #5
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Re: Solar Power

I have two large batteries that i charge with a solar panel.
The one I use is 85watt it keeps both batteries fully charged at all times.



So far I have had no problems.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:51   #6
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Re: Solar Power

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If your stereo draws max 10 amps and you actually crank it that high and wiring run is more that a couple of feet from the battery I would go a bit bigger that 12 gauge wire. A round trip wiring (battery to stereo and back to ground) is just 10' you could drop up to 0.5V just in the wire. Fuses and connectors might lose you a little more.

Also, why are you using 3 conductor wire? Just happen to have a roll or are you doing something with the third wire?
I know the 12/3 is serious overkill but it was free!
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:13   #7
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Re: Solar Power

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I know the 12/3 is serious overkill but it was free!
Free boat stuff is always good. But even free, using 12 gauge may be a little small for the stereo.

How long is the run from the battery to the amp? Will you really be pulling as much as 10 amps? I'm guessing more likely 2-3 max most of the time but if you have a long run and crank it up you could be running the amp on low voltage.
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Old 06-11-2013, 23:07   #8
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Re: Solar Power

sell the 12/3 and buy some proper colored 2 core...

running ac colored wire around the boat will just confuse people.
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