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Old 15-03-2017, 10:32   #1
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Storing boat with solar?

The thread on putting a switch in the solar wiring got me thinking. If I'm putting the boat on the hard for a time, do I leave the solar hooked up and charging? Or disconnect it and the batteries? 6 month time frame.
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Old 15-03-2017, 10:37   #2
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

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Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
The thread on putting a switch in the solar wiring got me thinking. If I'm putting the boat on the hard for a time, do I leave the solar hooked up and charging? Or disconnect it and the batteries? 6 month time frame.
Pete
I would say of course you let the solar charge the batteries ! But would be interested in other opinions nonetheless.
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Old 15-03-2017, 10:53   #3
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

I keep my batteries hooked up to solar panels (with a charge controller) all winter. I've been doing this for many years.
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Old 15-03-2017, 10:58   #4
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

Install a cheap chinese 12V timer. You can then decide if you want to have your batteries charged daily, weekly, monthly or whatever you like. If not at all, you do not need a timer
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:00   #5
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

My thought would be that keeping them topped up would be a good thing. Just wondering if one of the experts that know more about electrickery than I do is going to tell me that leaving them on float for 6 months will kill them?
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:30   #6
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

My Nicholson 35 is on the hard in Michigan since Sept with the solar panels under the white shrink wrap charging the Trojan 105s. Checked them last week for the first time and all is well. Didn't even need water.
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:40   #7
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

I leave mine coondcted when away from thr boat, but adjust bulk and float votages by 0.5 volts down, in my case, bulk is reduced fro 14.8 to 14.3, and float from 13.5 to 13.

Not seen to have any adverse effects.
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:55   #8
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

If you've got a decent controller, leaving them connected is definitely the best thing to do.
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:58   #9
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

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If you've got a decent controller, leaving them connected is definitely the best thing to do.
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:59   #10
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

My Outback 80 I can just set the absorption and float voltage to a float setting. That way every morning it wakes up in float voltage, no power is used overnight, you don't want to go into absorption with a fully charged bank.
You could though, Outback 80 I can also set the amps that it trips into float at, just set them and every morning it would go into absorption for just a few minutes, then trip into float.

A battery tender is just a charger that sits at float voltage is all, so you now just have a real expensive battery tender
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Old 15-03-2017, 12:08   #11
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

I don't think I can change the programming on mine. As I understand it, it will automatically Bulk, Boost/Absorption, then Float. It's supposed to remain in Float until a load exceeds the charge current, then return to Bulk. It also runs an Equalize automatically every 4 weeks.
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Old 15-03-2017, 17:04   #12
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot
My Outback 80 I can just set the absorption and float voltage to a float setting. That way every morning it wakes up in float voltage, no power is used overnight, you don't want to go into absorption with a fully charged bank.
This discussion is very timely. I just added new batteries to a boat that has solar charging. There is currently no load, so every morning the controller goes through the modes of Bulk and Absorption on the way to Float. Because the battery bank is new and fully charged, it passes through these modes very quickly.

How is the higher voltage of absorption (for a short period of time) harmful to a fully charged bank?
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Old 16-03-2017, 08:44   #13
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

Over many years, I have seen no evidence of harm to batteries leaving them connected to a reasonably intelligent charging source. I also lower the charge set points just a little during the off-season, and I raise the solar panels to near vertical to eliminate snow load. This, of course, also reduces the daily solar output. Your regulator/controller should take care of things anyway.

NOTE: I would question the practice of equalizing them every few weeks!
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Old 16-03-2017, 09:16   #14
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

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Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
The thread on putting a switch in the solar wiring got me thinking. If I'm putting the boat on the hard for a time, do I leave the solar hooked up and charging? Or disconnect it and the batteries? 6 month time frame.
Pete
In general, it is wise to reduce windage when stored on the hard for a length of time. So my suggestion is to take the panels off, especially semi-flex. If desired, connect a little 15 w panel to the controller to keep the batteries on float, and set it somewhere it won't get damaged or covered in snow, depending on location. Note that a 15w panel at 60 degrees facing south will put out as much as a flat 100 w panel in a northern winter (way more when the latter is covered with snow).
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Old 16-03-2017, 09:28   #15
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Re: Storing boat with solar?

Check out Maine Sail's tutorial
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