Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-08-2017, 08:36   #1
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,202
Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

So on my project list is to add more solar panels to my boat. I currently have 290W and know based on the past 11 months that doubling it would mean getting batteries basically fully charged each day while at anchor/moored with the living on the boat loads. When I installed my current system I based all the wiring and controller on having 2 (should have just done it then). The cost projection is $560-725 for the project depending on if I get a second panel not identical to the one I have (manufacturer closed) or 2 new panels the same.

But since I installed the panel I also bit the dust and added a diesel generator to the boat. I know that running the generator about an hour in the morning is enough for my current panel to do a good job on the battery charging. Using $3/gal I can buy 186-241 gals of diesel for the generator and it uses 1/4 gph. So thats 744-964 days of generator operation at anchor or moored. And of course running the generator has other reasons/uses and it needs to be run regularly.

So - talk me into one or the other.
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2017, 08:47   #2
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,712
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Solar is by far the best way to go.

There is no sound and they are maintenance free. Life is good like that.

Here is my winter project 3 of the SunPower X21-345 panels = 1030 watts.

Each panel will be on its own Victron 100-30 MPPT controller

A good rule of thumb is to have 300 watts of solar and 300 Ah of batteries per refrigerator or ice-maker.
.
.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P8220001a.JPG
Views:	381
Size:	196.4 KB
ID:	154735   Click image for larger version

Name:	P8220002.jpg
Views:	394
Size:	415.2 KB
ID:	154736  

__________________

__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2017, 08:49   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,896
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Solar, silent and clean, save wear and tear on the genset.

You'll still use it some mornings to ensure bank gets to 100% from solar, just needed less often.
__________________
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2017, 08:55   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,336
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

The generator is still a good investment because with solar you get zero when the sun doesn't shine. But on sunny days, it's nice not having to listen to the generator for an hour. Your choice has more to do with quiet time. Our 450w of invisible Solbian solar takes care of everything including cooking, unless I turn on the large deep freezer.

Double your solar and enjoy the generator when it's needed.

Note: We're now in the habit of moving the boom off to the starboard side and attaching a stabilizer to the boom end daily in order to eliminate shading issues and improve motion. It's been making a significant difference on solar production along with having installed five controllers, one for each panel.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1284.jpg
Views:	374
Size:	408.6 KB
ID:	154737   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1600.jpg
Views:	401
Size:	401.5 KB
ID:	154738  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1597.jpg
Views:	381
Size:	405.5 KB
ID:	154739  
__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 08:39   #5
Registered User
 
Davidhoy's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Boat: Morgan 462
Posts: 554
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Here is my winter project 3 of the SunPower X21-345 panels = 1030 watts.
Do you mind me asking what you paid for your panels, and where you got them?

I've been trying to source some Sunpower panels, but the prices I'm getting quoted, from the very few places that seem to sell them, are 2-4 times what you'd pay for a similarly-sized (physical size and watts) panel from Panasonic or SolarWorld. I keep hearing that Sunpower are the best, but are they worth that kind of multiple?

Thanks,
David
__________________
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
Davidhoy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 08:58   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cruising, now in USVIs
Boat: Taswell 43
Posts: 274
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

We have a genset as well as 240 watts of solar. We run the genset every day to cook as we converted the propane locker to another hanging locker in the mastersuite, and changfed to an electric stove (Admiral's choice!). But it makes it easy to use the batt chrgr if needed and/or make water, etc. We think it's good to have options,especially for those overcast days, and, as you mentioned, you need to exercise the genset with some regularity. We rarely run it for more than an hour.
__________________
sailcrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 09:07   #7
Registered User
 
Tom and Maje's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cruising the southern coast of Portugal and Spain
Boat: Leopard 40
Posts: 594
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

I've got a1000w of solar and 600ah of house batteries. To take advantage of the solar I need to add about anther 400ah to the house Bank. On a good day my house is charged by noon and I can start making hot water and run my ice maker of the solar
__________________
Tom and Maje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 09:13   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Switzerland
Boat: Malo 39
Posts: 48
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Other thoughts i) wind power ii) cut electricity consumption. The later may not be popular, although chasing more power seems to be never ending.
__________________
Martin S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 09:18   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,336
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
Other thoughts i) wind power ii) cut electricity consumption. The later may not be popular, although chasing more power seems to be never ending.
Windpower is not worth the money or noise, especially when the OP already has a generator which can cram in more amps in one hour than wind can do in two windy days. My suggestion is to double solar and limit shading in order to take full advantage.
__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 10:00   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,896
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
I've got a1000w of solar and 600ah of house batteries. To take advantage of the solar I need to add about anther 400ah to the house Bank. On a good day my house is charged by noon and I can start making hot water and run my ice maker of the solar
Actually that's ideal, since your design should be based on a few overcast days in a row, still getting the bank to full.

A holding plate fridge is another good excess power load dump.
__________________
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 10:51   #11
Registered User
 
skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
Posts: 1,362
Send a message via Skype™ to skipgundlach
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
Do you mind me asking what you paid for your panels, and where you got them?

I've been trying to source some Sunpower panels, but the prices I'm getting quoted, from the very few places that seem to sell them, are 2-4 times what you'd pay for a similarly-sized (physical size and watts) panel from Panasonic or SolarWorld. I keep hearing that Sunpower are the best, but are they worth that kind of multiple?

Thanks,
David
David, did I send you my data? CRS but what I think I remember is that I did. Drop me an email if I'm mistaken, and I will.
__________________
Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig, KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery!
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
skipgundlach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 11:16   #12
Registered User
 
skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
Posts: 1,362
Send a message via Skype™ to skipgundlach
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
Do you mind me asking what you paid for your panels, and where you got them?

I've been trying to source some Sunpower panels, but the prices I'm getting quoted, from the very few places that seem to sell them, are 2-4 times what you'd pay for a similarly-sized (physical size and watts) panel from Panasonic or SolarWorld. I keep hearing that Sunpower are the best, but are they worth that kind of multiple?

Thanks,
David
If you can get the same wattage in the footprint of a Sunpower panel, it nearly certainly is one of the manufacturers that use their cells, because the efficiency would govern the space needed for a given wattage.

So, I suspect that if you look again, it's not one or the other of 'similarly sized' panels or or watts in that size.

Real estate matters. If you have lots of it, the cheap (less efficient) panels will deliver their watts in a bigger footprint.

If not, or you simply must have the most watts possible in your real estate, Sunpower is currently the game you have to play.

That said, and I have to apologize yet again (this and several other threads) for not yet having my battery and solar upgrade story and pix yet, let alone dropped into CF and other places.

Our upgrade literally changed our lives. OTOH, if I have a charging source that I must run for other purposes, I'd certainly use it, particularly since any time you run dino for any purpose, heavily loading it is best both for the motor and efficiency of the fuel you burn - so if you have to run the genset, by all means use it to charge.

As to my solar upgrade, and Sunpower, anyone who'd like my source and details on our 2x360 upgrade from 3x Kyocera TW 370, in substantially the same footprint (about an inch bigger than the other, on all dimensions, total), please drop me a note skipgundlach@gmail.com (not PM here) with the subject SolarUpgradeNotes so it drops to the right folder, and I'll send it off.

I know of two boats who are diverting to Vero Beach based on my info, to get their panels and install them there...
__________________
Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig, KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery!
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
skipgundlach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 11:48   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,336
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Solar is by far the best way to go.

There is no sound and they are maintenance free. Life is good like that.

Here is my winter project 3 of the SunPower X21-345 panels = 1030 watts.

Each panel will be on its own Victron 100-30 MPPT controller

A good rule of thumb is to have 300 watts of solar and 300 Ah of batteries per refrigerator or ice-maker.
.
.
Those things are enormous and weight 41 pounds each. Makes sense only on a catamaran like yours.
__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 12:01   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,896
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

If you were able to fit a genset's weight in panels and get rid of the genset. . .
__________________
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2017, 12:10   #15
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,202
Re: Solar Upgrade verse Running the Generator

I'm not worried about the weight of a solar panel that weighs about the same as 5-gal of water. I decided not to go cruising on a floating feather.

I'm also not very interest in spending twice as much to have a noisy wind generator that produces less power in the long run than the extra solar panel.

I'm also not very interested in people telling me to just reduce my power use that goes along with my known boating lifestyle.

Focus on the topic question people.
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator, 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar Panel Output verse rating sailorboy1 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 226 18-04-2017 06:08
Cavalier 37 verse Oceanic 42 kill2eat General Sailing Forum 1 29-04-2016 01:31
Spot verse In-reach satellite communication Autumns Wind Health, Safety & Related Gear 4 21-06-2013 08:19
boat pricing verse volume sailorboy1 Dollars & Cents 2 02-02-2012 11:38
Same Song Second Verse - Caliber? Mule Monohull Sailboats 3 29-05-2009 10:35



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:40.


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.