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Old 15-11-2020, 13:57   #361
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Pardon my ignorance... could you explain me the fuse rating? why a 40A fuse for the MPPT that is rated 30A? Is the latter well protected with such fuse?
Thanks
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Old 15-11-2020, 15:07   #362
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Oops. My bad. Itís a 30A breaker between the PV and MPPT.. Max fuse per panel is 15A and there are 2 wired in parallel. There is also a 30A inline fuse off the panel wire combine before it comes into the cabin. Belts and suspenders, I suppose. Thanks for noticing.
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Old 16-11-2020, 01:04   #363
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quebramar View Post
Pardon my ignorance... could you explain me the fuse rating? why a 40A fuse for the MPPT that is rated 30A? Is the latter well protected with such fuse?
Thanks
The fuse protects the wire. It should be sized higher than max load and lower than the wire's ampacity.
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Old 19-05-2021, 15:48   #364
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Here's our install:

Type and model and size of boat.

Bavaria 46E sloop

Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)

Originally 650W (5 x 130W)

Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?

All panels are 21.25" X 47.25"

Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?

June 2020


Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there? Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing? Does it cause windage problems? Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging or equipment?

Panels were installed on our canvas bimini. Generally, there can be some shading undersail from the backstay, mainsail/boom, so there has been some drop in production. Overall, weíre satisfied with the production. We elected to not install an arch for the panels, to preserve the aesthetics of the boat.

The original bimini design/size allowed for a total of 5 panels.
4 panels were wired: 2 ea in series then parallel to a Victron 100/50 MPPT
Then a single panel to a Victorn 75/15 MPPT

Panels were mounted using the CMP earth magnet kits directly to the fabric.


Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it? Marine or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?

Panels are from Custom Marine Products, Sunpower cells.
Semi-flexible for marine use.


Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?

Panels were $599 each plus freight. Plus mounting magnets, controllers, wire


Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.



Damage? Has the installation been damaged by wind or corrosion or breakage?

This May (2021), we lost 2 panels in a gale. We had a new bimini constructed, slightly larger and with a different frame design. We werenít on the boat at the time, and suspect that gusts created flapping that shifted some of the magnets, and then the wind got underneath and lifted. The other panel, we suspect wasnít properly placed, so an edge was too close and allowed wind to get underneath.

Ideally, the magnets allow us to remove the panels when high winds are forecast. Weíve not had any issues with wind up to 30 kts.

The initial install allows for 6 magnet positions on each panel. We are increasing that to at least 8-10.

We were given 2 used 100W panels to use until we can replace/add more new. The current bimini size will allow us to have a total of 7 of these size panels for a total of 910W. When we do that, Iíll need to add/change out one of the MPPTs.


What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?

More magnets per panel and good positioning.

Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Disatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system?

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?

We coupled the install with a 550 Ahr LiFePo battery upgrade. Weíre cruising in Pacific Mexico with plenty of sun, so weíre getting enough solar to keep us happy several days before needing to consider running the engine. We donít have a generator or wind.
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Old 08-08-2021, 20:36   #365
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Beneteau Oceanis 323

Total Panel Output : 100w

Panel Size: L 26.9 in X W 1.38 in x H 40.2 in

Age of Panels: August 2021

Panel Location: Transom rail mount, no issues with wind or shading.

Type and Brand of Panel: Sunforce (Marine/RV)

Total Cost: ~$300 (panel, PWM controller, stainless fittings, round and square aluminum stock)

Total Efficiency: Very efficient. Runs all our house needs: fridge, recharges , charges 2 iPhones, runs VHF, lights, radio. House bank is 2x12v about 100ah each.

What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?: MPPT controller, bigger battery bank, somehow tie in engine battery for recharging.


Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Dissatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system? No, so far has been amazing and works great.

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising? - we can stay off the grid for as long as water and food lasts us. Electricity is no longer our limiter (and it was the number one issue for us before).







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Old 23-08-2021, 20:08   #366
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

I recently removed my Bimini and two semi-flexible panels for Hurricane Henri, When I reconnected them, no juice. I tried applying "bulb grease" to the connectors to ensure a good connection, but still no juice. Any suggestions on where to look for the failure to connect.
RSB333
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Old 24-08-2021, 04:35   #367
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSB333 View Post
I recently removed my Bimini and two semi-flexible panels for Hurricane Henri, When I reconnected them, no juice. I tried applying "bulb grease" to the connectors to ensure a good connection, but still no juice. Any suggestions on where to look for the failure to connect.
RSB333

Any sunshine?
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:20   #368
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by epiic View Post
Type and model and size of boat.
2015 Jeanneau 409 (41ft)
Any problems?
No problems, dissapointments or surprises. I am perfectly satisfied and I am yet to experience any weakness of my system.
[/B]
Great looking system. 2 questions though,
As I understand the batteries can load fairly quickly. Besides your mentioning the wires, does it get warm when loading at max. capacity?

And I noticed that with a 80% discharge the battery has a 1000x cycle life. Does that count up to a year or 5 of use?

They sure looks workable for our system.
Thanks, Gijs
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Old 11-12-2021, 06:25   #369
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Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoha View Post
I went with a like of the cheap Chinese flexible step on panels found on ebay these days, sized 41"x22", 100w nominal, at $200; bought from a fellow member here a few years back. Used a Morningstar pwm controller - which was the only one I could find that charges two banks, I didn't want the complications of echo chargers or combiners at the time. Given we mostly use the boat on weekends, this 100w is more than enough as a maintainer; the banks are 2x group 27 for house + 1x group 24 for start.

The considerations were not to spoil the looks too much, play with the available space, and not make complicated mounting arrangements; we didn't have a Bimini at the time. The only mounting piece i had to make was a little plywood "lip" as the panel extended over the companionway cover hood.

Here are a couple of photos of this installation. Will likely upgrade to an mppt controller (currently maxing out at 80 watts), but maybe with a switch to go back and forth between the existing pwm duo controller as a maintainer and the more efficient mppt for when we are using the boat more actively?

Anton

Attachment 140838
Attachment 140839


An update, 9 years later. After some guests jumped around on the panel, its output dropped significantly (to maybe half), and previously it was working just fine, even though itís a flexible Chinese panel. So I took it off last week.

Oh boy. The gelcoat under the panel was destroyed, likely from heat. Here are some photos. So - donít make the same mistake!

Anton

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Old 11-12-2021, 07:47   #370
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Just stepping into solar, one panel at a time. I was originally going to buy Solbian, but at 3x the price I bought Renogy. So far, so good. Questions?Click image for larger version

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Old 11-12-2021, 07:51   #371
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoha View Post
Oh boy. The gelcoat under the panel was destroyed, likely from heat. Here are some photos. So - donít make the same mistake!

Anton
Ouch sorry to see that,
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Old 11-12-2021, 13:36   #372
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeld View Post
Just stepping into solar, one panel at a time. I was originally going to buy Solbian, but at 3x the price I bought Renogy. So far, so good. Questions?Attachment 249689Attachment 249690


Looks like you have wires on top of the panel. Any chance to fix that? First, they are actually blocking the sun, you should have over 6amps if this is a 100 watt panel; second, the wires will get heated when the panel gets warm.

Just my two centsÖ
Anton
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Old 11-12-2021, 15:01   #373
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Anton,

That was an "early" photo taken during installation. I was testing out the connections. We get 8+ amps mid-day. It's a 175 watt panel driving a 30A MPPT controller. I'll probably add two more panels.
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Old 11-12-2021, 20:44   #374
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeld View Post
Anton,

That was an "early" photo taken during installation. I was testing out the connections. We get 8+ amps mid-day. It's a 175 watt panel driving a 30A MPPT controller. I'll probably add two more panels.


175/14=12.5 . So if itís a real mppt controller you should get that many amps. (14 is the voltage of a 12 volt battery being charged when not too discharged.) 8 amps sounds a little weak going into the battery.

If you have a few loads for testing (15 amps or more, so that you know that the battery is accepting as much charge as the panel is producing), how many amps do you get?
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Old 12-12-2021, 00:56   #375
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Yesterday it wasnít snowing all day, so we did the first test hoist of our FLINsail (three 100W flexible panels that you pull up like a mainsail).



Given the foggy December conditions not much output, but at least we could see some benefit from the easy tilting mechanism: these panels produced 12x what a fixed panel on our cabin top did, despite being only 5x larger.

The intention with these panels is to get some extra production that we need to run our work computers from anchor next summer.
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