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Old 22-08-2007, 21:23   #1
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Solar System Comments

Doing my Christmas shopping planning early.

Based on space on the boat above the bimini I am pretty sure that I want 2 Kyocera KC40 panels. I am also interested in ease of install.

eMarine has this kit which includes a lot of what will make the project go quick and easy. Check out the last entry on the list. 28 A/H a day is plenty for our needs.

Top of Bimini Mounting Kits for Solar Panels

What I am not smart about is the Solar Boost charge controller and remote display. I am just starting to research and also wonder if I would be better off sourcing the components separately.

I have found the panels alone at around $240-$260 on-line but haven't done any digging on separate charge controller and battery monitor.

On top of that is either sourcing the mounts separately or fabricating - fabricating is not a good thing. No time...

Any and all comments are welcome.
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Old 23-08-2007, 03:42   #2
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Go to this website...hands down the best info and prices on the internet...they have a forum to graze through as well....if you call them ask for David B....I have researched this foreverfor my Stevens 47......yesterday I bought 5 Kyocera KC130GT's and an Outback MX60....3 mounted on the arch and one each on the side rails aft of the side ladders....FREE energy forever!!!....

Solar Electric Systems & PV Panels
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Old 23-08-2007, 05:28   #3
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My only comment is the remote diisplay. I found on our boat that having the remote display was nice in the beginning but after a while it was not as useful. We have the Link 2000 onboard and used that to track and manage the solar output, batteries, etc. Would have saved 50bucks.

We carry 4 kyrocea 120s and Bluesky MPPT.
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Old 23-08-2007, 07:42   #4
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wow just went to that site and looked at the mitsubishi panels and saw they have a 25 year warranty. I have to read its exclusions but that sounds good based on a few problems people stated in another thread about panels from west marine having problems.

Once again guess I need a boat. My basement is getting full.
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Old 23-08-2007, 08:45   #5
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the KC's have a 25yr warranty as well....that site comes highly recommended on several other sites as well....
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Old 23-08-2007, 15:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sv_makai

We carry 4 kyrocea 120s and Bluesky MPPT.
Captain Bill:
How many amps on average do your four panels put out for you in the tropics? Are they mounted flat? I am going with four Kyocera 130s with the Outback 60.

Mine will be mounted flat on the hard top bimini of my cat.

Thanks
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Old 23-08-2007, 15:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangiroo
..I have researched this foreverfor my Stevens 47......yesterday I bought 5 Kyocera KC130GT's and an Outback MX60....
Rangiroo:

I am buying my panels from Wind and Sun also. Why did you go with the GT (GRID TIE) panels? They have two models in the KC 130 and yours are Grid tie. IS there a reason you chose them?

Keegan
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Old 23-08-2007, 16:37   #8
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yes...the reason for the GT's is that the cable is attached with a weatherproof plug...so you can run the cable to a junction box below deck....when you leave the boat for any lenght of time you can simply unplug the cables and unscrew the mounts to stow the panels below...out of reach of any potential thieves....

The other ones have a seperate junction box for each panel.
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Old 23-08-2007, 18:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sv_makai
My only comment is the remote diisplay. I found on our boat that having the remote display was nice in the beginning but after a while it was not as useful. We have the Link 2000 onboard and used that to track and manage the solar output, batteries, etc. Would have saved 50bucks.

We carry 4 kyrocea 120s and Bluesky MPPT.
This can get so confusing. Aren't the Link 200 and the Bluesky MPPT sort of redundant? or does the Link not control the charging?

Also the Link seems to be the box you need when connecting to shore power and an inverter. We won't ever have shore power.

Which model bluesky do you have? The kit I linked to has the 2512i - The 25121X has more features - including (auto) battery refresh - for $40 more.

I sourced the main components and the panels will run $500 and the (upgraded) controller $239 - So for $400 bucks more I am getting some mounting hardware (~$150?), some wire and an $80 remote display. So a couple hundred for the convenience of not ahving to source it all separately.

The other advantage to the kit is that I can order it. Drop ship to my brother and pick it up on my way through LA and not have to spend a lot of time sourcing it.
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Old 23-08-2007, 20:49   #10
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FWIW I also used AZ Wind & Sun for the panels and some of the other components. Beyond the panels, panel mounts and charge controller, you will also need the wire from the panels to the charge controller, fuses or circuit breaker and wire to the batteries. Keep in mind that it's recommended that all the wire have < 3% voltage drop. If you go with the 25121X (which also allows you to program the unit for different battery types and much, much more) you will also need signal wire. That too is avalible from Wind and Sun. I was also a bit reluctant to go the extra $ for the remote that comes with the 25121X, but have found it to be worth every penny, I think you'll like it.

The all in one installation kits may or may not have everything you need. Besides E-marine and AZ Wind & Sun you may also want to check out these sites for your project...SS Parts - Marine Engine Parts and Marine Parts Depot. Wire, etc - Jack Rabbit (they do sell by the foot but you have to call them with the order), JackRabbit's free Wiresizer program and GenuineDealZ. I like dealing whit Hotwire too. John will take time to talk out your installation with you and answer questions. I'm sure there are many additional on-line and store front retailers out there as well. (Other than using all of these sites I have no connection with them)

Last, whatever components you decide to go with, take time to find, download and read the installation manual before you buy to ensure that it is what you really want and that it will indeed work for you.

Good luck with the project,
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Old 24-08-2007, 05:40   #11
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Because Photo-Voltaic solar modules produce the most power when they are pointed directly at the unshaded sun, a boat is not an ideal site for a solar panel.

The optimum orientation of a PV module is determined by the sun’s inclination (tilt angle above horizontal), and it’s azimuth (angle clockwise from true north).

On a boat, it’s generally impracticable to avoid the deleterious effects of poor azimuth angle (1) and shading (2) effects; which leaves cruisers only one easily controllable criteria - Tilt Angle (inclination).

*1. The optimum axis value is an azimuth angle of 180̊ (south-facing) for locations in the northern hemisphere, and 0̊ (north-facing) for locations in the southern hemisphere. This normally maximizes energy production. For the northern hemisphere, increasing the azimuth angle favors afternoon energy production, while decreasing the azimuth angle favors morning energy production. The opposite is true for the southern hemisphere.

*2. Partial shadowing of a module should be avoided at all costs as the effect is a disproportionate reduction in power output. The cells in a module are in long series strings, where the current passing through each cell is the same, the effective output is thus determined by the cell with the lowest output.

For a fixed installation, a tilt angle equal to (or within 15 deg. of) the ship’s Latitude normally maximizes average annual energy production. Increasing the tilt angle (steeper) favors energy production in the winter, while decreasing the tilt angle (flatter) favors energy production in the summer.

If you have the ability to adjust your module’s inclination, the following tilt angles can increase you output by up to 30%.

Ship’s Location (Latitude N or S) ~ Tilt Angle (above horizontal)
0 - 10 degrees ~ 10 Degrees
11 - 20 degrees ~ Lat + 5 degrees
21 - 45 degrees ~ Lat + 10 degrees
46 - 65 degrees ~ Lat + 15 degrees
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Old 26-08-2007, 11:53   #12
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ExCalif...you seem to be confused about a couple of things:
1. A LINK SYSTEM is a battery/electrical system monitor. It tells you what your state of charge and amps in and amps out and remaining amps. (I am using amps for AH's here for simplicity) It has NOTHING to do with your solar panels but it can tell what they are putting into your batteries.

2. Two 40 watt panels will gve you an average of about 20 amp hours of charging a day over time. That is not a whole lot. What are your expectations of these panels and what do you hope to run off them??

3. A BlueSky or similar MPPT controller compared to a standard regulator will give you about 10-15% more AH's per day...or in this case about 3 amp hours. I would not waste the added cost on such a small improvement to small panels. They are really designed to help in larger panel situations and are well worthwhile in those. If you really only need 80 watts of panels...just get a cheap regulator.
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Old 26-08-2007, 20:48   #13
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Quote:
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ExCalif...you seem to be confused about a couple of things:
1. A LINK SYSTEM <snip> It has NOTHING to do with your solar panels but it can tell what they are putting into your batteries.
Thanks - That's sort of what I was figuring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
2. Two 40 watt panels will gve you an average of about 20 amp hours of charging a day over time. That is not a whole lot. What are your expectations of these panels and what do you hope to run off them??
Our worst case daily load is about 5 amps for 8 hours. We have two house batteries with about 350 AH. I am planning 50% of that for use. Our max trip length is 4 days so our total 4 day consumption is 160 amps. I don't want to have to rely on running the engine to replace the deficit in the house bank. We get scads of sun so I thinking this is an OK energy plan.

I did do some more detailed measuring on the boat Sunday and I think we can get the KC50s or even the KC65s above the bimini. For $200 more we could get 45 amps a day. That is way better...


Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
3. A BlueSky or similar MPPT controller compared to a standard regulator will give you about 10-15% more AH's per day...or in this case about 3 amp hours. I would not waste the added cost on such a small improvement to small panels.
The SB2512iX advertises that it has the ability to supply a second bank. I like the idea of that for keeping the start battery topped up. The bilge pump is also wired to the start battery.

Plus it comes in the kit and the most compelling feature of the kit is the mounting hardware. I am very interested in simplicity of install.

I really appreciate the voices of experience. Thanks for the imputs...
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