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FarmerBrown 09-03-2019 15:34

solar advice for trailer power boat
I have been searching around the internet for some answers to my solar queries. I am hoping some of the solar gurus on here may be able to provide me with some advice.

I plan to fit 2 x 100 W flexible solar panels to the curved alloy hardtop of my boat to address my current use when I am drift fishing and my outboards are not putting any charge into my house battery (120 ah 12 volt lead acid battery).

The 2 pumps I use when drift fishing are greedy little huas and suck up a reasonable amout of current out of my house battery, although quite often I just have just one pump going.

I only use these pumps during the summer period, Jan - April (New Zealand)when livebaiting, and for the rest of the year I do not have issues with the house battery getting a beating, as the alternators in the outboards have plenty enough output to keep the battery charged.

I have about a 5 metre run, one way for the cable/wire from where I plan to locate the solar panels to the battery housing where I plan to locate the solar controller.

My thoughts at this stage were to use a 30 amp MPPT solar controller and locate this in the battery housing area in the transom of the boat (approx 0.5 m cable/wire run from controller to house battery).

My queries are

1 cable/wire diameter from solar panels to solar controller - what size cable/wire would you recommend for both panels to the controller or should I run a cable for each panel to the controller and if so what size should I use.

2 cable/wire diameter from solar controller to battery - what size would you recommend

3 Is there definite merit in the MPPT controller over a PWM controller and what brands of controller are proven reliable performers which provide bang for buck.

4 Should I be connecting these solar panels in parrallel or in series, I don't envisage much shading issues on the panels but there may be some from the radar dome when the sun is low.

5 Should I fit a switch on the positive cable from the panels to the controller? I read somewhere (in the screeds of reading I have been doing) that the outboard alternators can sense other current going into the house battery and stop putting volts into the battery when they are running if another power source is putting current into the house battery

I am looking forward to your sage advice and thank you in advance for any feedback supplied

coopec43 15-03-2019 03:31

Re: solar advice for trailer power boat

I can't help you at this stage as I haven't got to the stage where I'm thinking of solar panels

I notice you have done a lot of research but have you used the following links?

MPPT vs PWM Solar Controllers - Enerdrive Pty Ltd

Boat Solar Panel DIY Guide - NO WELDING! |

(This video clip has 711 "thumbs up"as against 9 "thumbs down" so it must be very helpful!!)

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