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Old 18-05-2003, 21:36   #1
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Unhappy Outboard engine and solar power charging


I hope someone out there can help me answer this question. Here it comes:

I have a Suzuki DT6 outboard engines which the previous owner has used to charge the single onboard battery (60Ah lead acid). The outboard engine gives about 6Amp (80W) of DC charging power. The engines altenator wires are wired directly to the boats battery. There is no charge controller. I have now ordered a Uni-Solar 11W solar panel to povide more constant charging power. That has started to make me think about the whole system on-board.

1. Do I need a charge controller for the outboard engine? If yes, can someone recommend any?

2. I assume I need a charge controller for the solar panel. I know the panel has diodes, so flow from the battery to the panels is blocked. But what about current from the panels and battery to the engine?

In any case, if someone has experience with the Suzuki DT6 please let me know.


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Old 19-05-2003, 19:59   #2
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O/B Alternator Control

Not specifically familiar /w Suzuki DT6; but generally speaking:
Small outboards are available with:
-A- Lighting Generators which are unregulated.
-B- Battery Charging Alternators, which are voltage regulated.
The outputs are so small as to be deemed 'safe' w/out a charge controller.
Though you ask a good question, expect that it's not worth the expence of purchasing a charge control for your application - assuming that your battery(s) are rated not less than 60 Amp Hour.
Oh, I hate myself for saying that (I've been a marine electrician).
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 19-05-2003, 22:28   #3
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Solar regulation

You don't need any regulation if the panel puts out less than .5 % of your amp/hr. capacity; ie 6 watt solar output per 100 amp/hour capacity. Sounds like in your case of 60 ah you will need a regulator, assuming you get enough sun.

I've used the Solar-Pro controller (boat US etc). There is a 7 amp controler for $30. Make sure you fuse it within a few inches of the panel in case the panel ever shorts.

I agree about not needing a controller for your outboard - you will likely not be running the engine enough to damage the battery.
Don't use a big word when a diminutive
one will suffice.
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