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  1. #1
    hurley is offline Registered User
    Location : woodbridge suffolk
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    Aug 2006
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    Default 5w solar panel

    Hi Just looking for a bit of advice please.

    Do I need a voltage regulator for a 5w solar panel. It will be connected to an 85 hr Leisure battery. It will be connected for upto a week at a time on a swinging mooring.

    Thanks Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    2,688

    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    If it has a built-in diode to prevent discharge, it will not need a regulator. I used mine for over a season like that with no problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    3,550

    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    you can put 10% of the capacity of the battery in with a solar panel without using a regulator, so no.
    you'll get more out of your panel if you mount it near vertical pointing south, side of the cabin is much better than the top.

  4. #4
    VicS is offline Registered User
    Location : Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
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    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    [ QUOTE ]
    Do I need a voltage regulator for a 5w solar panel. It will be connected to an 85 hr Leisure battery

    [/ QUOTE ] No not at all. I have used 5watt panel with no regulator connected permanently to a much smaller (40 or 45 Ah leisure battery) However a 5 watt panel might just be a tad small for a 85 Ah battery. I note Maplin recommend 10watts for a 70Ah, although I dont really see why.

    As others have said check that it has a blocking diode to prevent discharge at night.

    Also connect the panel to the battery via fuse rated to protect the wiring.
    Sea Wych Owners Association: www.Seawych.org

  5. #5
    hurley is offline Registered User
    Location : woodbridge suffolk
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    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    Cheers Guys, for your prompt help !

    I will go for it !

    Regards Nick

  6. #6
    William_H is online now Registered User
    Location : West Australia
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    Jul 2003
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    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    On a swing mooring you are likely to have the panel pointing at the sun only a portion of the day so actual Amp hours produced will be a lot less than for a boat in a fixed mooring. So certainly don't need a regulator.
    Regarding the blocking diode. You can test if you don't know if one is fitted by connecting a milliampmeter (multimeter on current) between on lead and the battery. You should be able to measure the actual current into the battery at the time about 250 milliamps (1/4 amp) is good.
    Now cover the panel so it is in darkness. The current should drop to zero but show no reverse current. (switch the meter to the most sensitive range. No current means it has a blocking diode (most have them fitted) good luck olewill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    237

    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    As already stated will be fine (most contain the blocking diode - but worth checking as detailed before) however it is on the small side. Don't forget that the 5W output is under ideal conditions - so you are unlikely to see this averaged out over a day (even without cloud etc)
    Bristol Channel Yachting Association (BCYA) ... go to http://www.bristolchannel.co.uk

  8. #8
    Relax's Avatar
    Relax is offline Registered User
    Location : the frozen north
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    Default Re: 5w solar panel

    If you look at 'the book' (Calder) he recons you can get away with 0.5% capacity unregulated (AHr cpacity viz panel capacity) and that 0.3% is ideal as a float charge for the battery - to prevent discharge.

    I have a tiny (think they are 1.5W Maplins panels) attached directly to each of two 85 AHr batteries and they keep the charge up fine - though I doubt they would actually recharge the battery.
    All men dream, but not equally.
    Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds,
    wake in the day to find that it was vanity.
    But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
    - T.E. Lawrence -

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