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Old 05-08-2020, 19:01   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Boat: Beneteau 393
Posts: 122
24 volt panels for a 12 volt system

I am looking at buying panels for my new arch. Id really like to just have two larger 300 watt panels than 6 100 watt panels but I notice that pretty much all the larger panels are 24 volts. Can someone explain the ramifications of going with 24 volt panels for my boats 12 volt system. Id think the charge controller (planning to go Victron) would just give the batteries what they need regardless.

Ive been trying to research the subject but there is very little in the topic that Ive been able to find.

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Old 05-08-2020, 19:55   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Virginia, USA
Boat: Tayana 37
Posts: 92
Re: 24 volt panels for a 12 volt system

You got it. That is what the charge controller does. It converts the panel string voltage to what is needed by the battery. Just make sure the charge controller has sufficient amps to cover your needs.

For victron the the first number is the max panel input voltage and the second number is the charge controller amp output. So a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/50 means it can handle panel strings up to 100 V and output to the battery a max of 50A. For the size of your proposed system I would go with MPPT not the cheaper and less efficient PWM.
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Old 06-08-2020, 07:45   #3
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Location: Muskegon, Mi
Boat: Columbia 36
Posts: 382
Re: 24 volt panels for a 12 volt system

With an MPPT controller it will work fine. I first put solar on my boat 7 or 8 years ago and got a deal on a 24 v 175w panel. I hooked it up through a 12v PWM controller and only got 1 or 2 amps on sunny days. Figured out the problem and switched to MPPT and now get 7 or 8 amps. (This is in Michigan where the sun as not as intense as further South.) The added cost of the new controller was more than I saved on the 24v panel so it would have been cheaper to use all 12v components from the start.
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