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Old 01-08-2020, 08:31   #1
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Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

I am storing my 1970 Morgan 41 classic yawl on the hard for for maybe many
months or a year. The question is i have two 50 W solar panels going to two 27 size deep cycle batteries used for the house circuit. I pulled the drain plug on the bottom of the keel so the boat filling with rain water won't be a problem. The question is what do i do with the solar and batteries? Removing the batteries and storing would not be a problem. How do i deal with the solar panels? simply disconnect them? cover them? or leave every thing as is and let the Victron controller maintain the batteries? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:45   #2
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

Whether my boat is on the hard or in the water, the solar stays on to charge my two 12 volt batteries which are in parallel.

I don't use shore power.

Sometimes I will use just one 20 watt panel thru a controller other times I'll use one 65 watt panel if I know I will be turning on the lights radio etc once every few days.

But I do check on the boat (and the batteries) several times a week regardless if in the water or on the hard.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:48   #3
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

For lead acid I would keep them connected to keep the banks from discharging.

For LFP some manufacturers recommend disconnecting the batteries from all charging sources when wintering over. LFP doesn't like being continually at 100% SoC and the self discharge is slow enough that if you charge them to 100% and then disconnect them they should only discharge down to 80% after six months.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:57   #4
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

Might depend on where you are (Florida I assume). Up north here I haul out and store our boat each winter. Occasionally this has extended into more than a year.

I've always disconnected my lead acid batteries, and also disconnected the panels from the controller. Batteries receive no charge. And panels remain disconnected from the controller. So far, this has worked flawlessly. My batteries have not suffered (to my knowledge).
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:58   #5
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Location: The boat is on the hard in Indiantown and we’re back in Colorado Springs to make more money so we can go again.
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

I have 2 - 100amp panels hooked to 4íTrojan T-125ís through a controller and the boat has been on the hard for 1 year and 3 months in Indian Town, FL. It keeps 4 fans moving air around the boat.
I fly back every 3-4 months to check on everything and so far, no mold, mildew or battery issues. I did hook up the generator last month and equalized the batteries......it took a day and a half to get to float.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:55   #6
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

To all that replied,
Thanks for the info, it looks like i might be OK if i leave things connected as is or if disconnect the batteries and solar fuses. I will sleep better knowing that. The expertise of the people that take the time to respond on this forum is amazing.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:45   #7
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

I connected my solar panels directly to three 24V fans. They worked from about 10V and higher. The fans were not expensive. When the sun is out and it is hot and humid the fans circulate air. I stored in N FL and had no mold. I did not have to worry about overcharging the batteries since they were not connected to the solar panels.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:58   #8
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

We leave our boat in the water winterized for 6 months out of the year. We have 1,000 watts of solar feeding a bank of 10 6v lead acid golf cart batteries. For winter storage, I set the solar charger to only go to 13.4 volts for the absorption phase for 2 hrs each day and then drop to a float voltage of 12.6 volts. This keeps the batteries charged without ever boiling any of the electrolyte. We come back to the boat with 100% charged batteries that need hardly any water in any of the 30 cells. At the start of the summer I equalize the bank and we go cruising. Going on 9 years on this bank and still working great.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:04   #9
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

If possible adjust the voltage setting on the controller.
For lead acid storage in the tropics, set the voltage at a point where no gas is given off or ~13.2V. That way you will return to wet batteries.
For AGM batteries, use the float voltage for the batteries. This varies with manufacturer and temperature. We use ~13.6V.

There is always a possibility that the drain hole in the bilge will become plugged. Keeping your batteries up and your bilge pumps active is advised.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:24   #10
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

Can you get someone to do a monthly check. Leaving solar connected to maintain batteries should be good but charge controllers do occasionally fail. This could either leave you with flat batteries or boil them dry.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:50   #11
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Re: Boat stored on the hard what to do with solar?

All good advice. Adjust the float to 12.6 on the victron controller. Monitor the electrolyte level, Rig low voltage fans for air circulation for mold control. keep drain hole free of debris. Hope to be back afloat sooner than later. you guys are great!
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