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Old 10-05-2021, 18:05   #1
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Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Diego
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 1
Combining wind & solar on electric drive sailboat

Let me begin by apologizing if I’ve provided too much information or my lack of knowledge is too apparent. I’ve recently replaced a destroyed diesel engine on a Catalina 30 MkI with a Thunderstruck 10KW electric-drive. The previous owner mounted both wind and solar electric generation on the boat, although based on examination of the overall wiring in the boat, I do not fully trust the wiring or system designs.


The boat has two separate battery banks, a 12-volt house bank (2x6-volt 190Ah AGM) and a 48-volt propulsion bank (4x12-volt 105 Ah AGM). While the boat is at the slip, it has 24/7 stable 30A shore power to charge the battery banks (Xantrex Freedom HF for the house bank) and a separate one (Thunderstruck 48-volt charger for the propulsion bank), so battery charging is not an issue in port. When away from the slip, the boat has 2x120 watt solar panels (managed by a Blue Sky Solar Boost 3000i solar charge controller) and a Primus wind turbine to generate power to charge batteries.


I believe both wind and solar are currently designed/wired to charge only the 12-volt house bank.



What is the best way to connect these systems on the boat so that they complement each other and not interfere with each other?



I believe the only option to charge the propulsion bank underway would be to utilize the Xantrex inverter to provide AC power for the 48-volt charger, or to have a portable generator (Honda 2200) for longer cruises. Utilizing the Xantrex inverter seems inefficient to me, is there a better way?
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Old 10-05-2021, 18:19   #2
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Re: Combining wind & solar on electric drive sailboat

I would charge one bank with both the solar and wind. And get a dc to dc charger to charge the other from the first.

Which bank is which Likly has its pros and cons.
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Old 10-05-2021, 18:37   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: oriental
Boat: crowther trimaran 33
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Re: Combining wind & solar on electric drive sailboat

you can get many pole knife switches rated for 60 amps for not very expensive


this switch can allow your 48 volt bank to be arranged as 24 or 12 instead to facilitate charging with lower voltage



You should as well consider dc-dc converters which can move power between the two banks as well as simply wiring 4 solar panels in series is another option although keep in mind partial shade on one panel being a problem.


You can also get boost mppt for your solar. The wind generator is unlikely to be as easy to adapt.
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