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Old 13-03-2023, 07:13   #16
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Re: Solar array advice & MPPT

One key thought is that when shaded, even a small bad caused by boom the current does not flow. For that reason alone I put them in parallel. I have mine mounted on back of Bimini and on Davits, the one on the davits puts out more than the other one.
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Old 13-03-2023, 07:41   #17
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Re: Solar array advice & MPPT

We originally had two 100W rigid panels for our boat. Wife did not want them on the bimini, so I made mounts that would hang from the lifelines while at the dock or moored. Worked great, but they had to be removed and stowed every time we wanted to take the boat out. Eventually went with two 175W flexible panels in a PVC frame lashed to the cabin top. This works great, we don't have to stow them, they continue to charge while underway and I can still walk (carefully) on the cabin top to furl the sail. (I do not walk on the panels.) They are in parallel so when one side is shaded it does not adversely affect the output of the one in the sun. (Renogy 175W panels, Renogy Rover Li 40A MPPT controller) Panels are lashed with dyneema line to each other, the mast base and handrails. They have withstood windstorms that have shredded sails on other boats. (60mph + gusts)
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Old 13-03-2023, 13:43   #18
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Re: Solar array advice & MPPT

I had an arch fabricated for the transom. It is aft of the backstay and all shadows. It is high enough to walk and stand underneath. It has dingy davits that bring our dingy up high enough to make thieves look elsewhere. It holds 540 watts of solar (Three 180 watt panels.)
I started with four 70 watt flex solar panels and a 68 knot squall ripped them apart. The solid panels are bolted on and the panels will not tear off in high wind. The arch also gives me a platform for floodlights, pole holders, fender storage, etc.
Either controller will work. Just use wire sized for the max current. It's a one-time expense.
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Old 13-03-2023, 18:44   #19
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Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Re: Solar array advice & MPPT

Bolt the rigid panels directly to the bows.
Mark where you want the bolt holes to go on the fabric, while stretched in place on the boat.
Remove the fabric and add eyelets where the bolts will pass thru the fabric.
Relocate fabric on tensioned bows and drill holes.
Place panels over and either drill frames or add angle brackets in aluminium to attach via bolts to the bimini bows.
DIY welding required.
Would probably suggest adding reinforceing patches to the eyelet area, ad perhaps glue-on or self-adhesiv sail tape could do this job if there is no-one around with a sewing an auto trimmer for example.
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Old 17-03-2023, 06:23   #20
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Re: Solar array advice & MPPT

I have the same setup as OS2Dude for my flex panels.

Initially, inexpensive panels did die from wind induced flexing, so the semi-flex panels I have now come mounted on a sheet of aluminum.

The only problem I have found over 10 yrs is that the pos connection inside the "sealed" junction box mounted on the back of the panels corrodes & dissolves completely! Three applications of liquid electrical tape over the case seams after repairs has worked well.
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Advice, mppt, solar

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