some great information has been given so I rehash what has already been said. A couple of things I will raise are the following.
1) It is of great importance to know what power you boat is consuming over a 24 hour period so that you understand the power that is going out as well as coming in IE solar panels/alternator. I would highly recommend going through your boat and itemising all the electrical items you have on your boat, the time that on average they would be used daily and calculate within close proximity your power draw. Don't Cheat
its important you work
out your worst case scenario IE overnighting extended cruising
with everything running such as Auto pilot, nav lights etc. Once you know how much power your boat consumes, and it is surprising, you can start to understand how much power you need to generate to supply those needs. A quick search of google
for boat power calculations should find you a spreadsheet to use and make life easier.
2) You note that the best power you have seen being generated by your solar panels is 40 Amps. There could be many reasons you have seen only this amount. If your regulator
is wired correctly it will only feed your batteries what they need, same as a car alternator
or a battery charger
. Example we have 120 AH alternators on our boat but that does not mean they pump
in 120 all day long. As the battery charges the amount requires reduces through the regulator
till almost nothing when fully charged. Same as the regulator on the solar system. Heavy deleted batteries will take a fuller charge and reduce as they become full.
3) Do you know who did the original installation
. If not I would contact Outback suppliers who may be able to assist with how the panels may wired and what you should expect from you system.
4) You stated that you had two fridges and on freezer. They suck the power on any boat. It is probably the main things that consumes power as they would be on 24/7 if you lived on the boat. A) Do you need both fridges and freezer on all the time to assist in power management.
We are currently cruising on our Lagoon
410. I have house batteries rated at 400AH. Our solar panels combined input is 300 watts and I have two 120AH alternators on the motors. This is ample power
to keep us cruising. We have a large fridge and freezer and normal electrics. We do power manage but don't go without. From memory I worked out that our power consumption over a 24 hr period was 100 AH or so. In reality we use about 60AH when cruising. Our charging system copes more than adequately. We are in Hervey Bay at the moment on the pick and the solar panels are keeping up with our power usage.
I installed a Vitron Brand battery monitor to assist in keeping an eye on our power consumption and input. I use it as a guide only but to date it reasonably accurate. It displays, voltage, current
being used, current
being generated, total power used in watts and battery capacity in percentage. It works for us but I do know it has limitations.
Hope this is of some assistance
Greg and Sue