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Thread: Solar panels

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Cool, I'd be interested to know how you get on with the panel, the controller however I know is good, it has timers too or will shut down its output if the battery level gets too low etc. All can be adjusted its pretty flexible. The people reviewing them on youtube seem to like them too.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by adwuk View Post
    Thanks for the charge controller link above. Been looking at a similar setup to keep a 110Ah service battery topped up. We run instruments, VHF and hopefully the autopilot when it is working properly! Lights in the evening also plus small amount of water pump. I have also ordered a 50w semi flexible panel from the same seller, so total cost of 148. Seems pretty reasonable given comparative costs from other websites.
    Any plans for how you will affix the panel to the deck? That (and not having measured where I ideally want to place it) is all that has stopped me ordering the same setup!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Tarbert
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Tim - my plan is to put it on the cabin top (I know that it will be under the boom). Plan B is in front of the mast if the shade from the boom proves too much. Final fixing will be done with 3M 4200 (adhesive, but it won't damage the gelcoat if you want to remove the panel), although I thought double-sided tape, or maybe even velcro, to start with until we were happy with the position and size.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by TimT View Post
    Any plans for how you will affix the panel to the deck? That (and not having measured where I ideally want to place it) is all that has stopped me ordering the same setup!
    I have a Nasa 20W http://www.nasamarine.com/proddetail...arpanel&cat=23 through a CMP12 solar regulator http://www.seamarknunn.com/acatalog/...0.html#SID=384 to my Platinum SD685L 75Ah leisure battery, from which the main drain is the tiller pilot. I use the tiller pilot a lot as I'm usually solo, and the panel keeps up with the drain on a sunny day, and generally has no difficulty keeping up with the instruments and lights. My VHF is handheld and charged from the main battery occasionally.

    I haven't hooked up a sensitive ammeter and done the calculations yet. However, I do have one of these volt/ammeters http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JGP1BP8/ with the ammeter in line with the battery and can highly recommend it. (I know then the solar panel is keeping up because the ammeter reads zero drain.) I filled the back of the meter with silicone electronic potting compound http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/servisol-s...ant-75ml-re89w to keep the electronics from getting damp.

    The solar panel was held down by duct tape on the aft locker for a lot of last year, but now it's stuck down with a generous bead of Sikaflex. Nasa recommend this as a method. It suits me as it's removable and doesn't involve making holes in the boat, and *especially* not putting screws in the deck core, which you should never do http://www.yachtsurvey.com/hardware_attachments.htm

    Pic of solar panel in place, for the curious https://www.flickr.com/photos/rptb1/...7636041296953/ This spot is almost never in shadow on my admittedly unusual boat.
    Last edited by rptb1; 23-06-15 at 15:18. Reason: adding more references
    Mostly solo sailing the 6m junk-rigged Tammy Norie. https://tammynorie.wordpress.com/

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    gosport
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Poecheng View Post
    Not sure about the arm and a leg bit but I recently got (having seen it recommended) a Victron 75/15 controller.

    This is a proper MPPT controller (many on Ebay that claim they are, are not) with a defined charging system.

    I am a saddo over charging systems and voltages and watched it one sunny day ("Heath Robinson" system with a hard, framed 30W panel, the controller and linked to 3x85AH domestic bank) go through its charging regime.

    Very impressive and I would recommend one.
    I have the Victron 75/15 too, hooked up to a Victron blue solar 80 watt panel and very pleased with it. Overnight with the fridge running and all the cabin lights on for a few hours the batteries drop to around 94/95% and by mid day in the Solent the batteries are back to 100% (2x110 amp)

    I changed the light bulbs to LED last summer and this has made a big difference as the Batts would drop to about 88-89% with normal bulbs.
    So + 1 for the victron regulator.

    J

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,756

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Last year I fitted a 50w rigid panel on top of the hatch garage, linked to a 20A charge controller with remote monitor, total cost about 100 off eBay. Pleased as punch.
    Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Chatham
    Posts
    802

    Default Re: Solar panels

    http://www.banggood.com/LCD-12V24V-A...FXQatAodmwYADg. Not knowing much about solar panels, I have a 12v panel, but no controller, would this item be suitable.
    Toilet paper,It's a rip off.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Binman View Post
    http://www.banggood.com/LCD-12V24V-A...FXQatAodmwYADg. Not knowing much about solar panels, I have a 12v panel, but no controller, would this item be suitable.
    Looks very similar to mine. I went without a controller for a while, but decided to try a cheap one -- why not? It has a secondary function of protecting the battery from drain when its voltage drops too low.

    Here's a picture of mine just after I fitted it. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rptb1/14613716329/
    Last edited by rptb1; 24-06-15 at 07:41. Reason: Linking image
    Mostly solo sailing the 6m junk-rigged Tammy Norie. https://tammynorie.wordpress.com/

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,459

    Default Re: Solar panels

    I've a 20w semi flex panel with a pwr ? controller. Controllers are cheap these days and worth fitting just for the display which tells you if the panel is working and how much charge in the battery. Good advice is to do an energy audit to see how much power you need to generate and then fit as large a panel(s) as will physically fit in available space. Shading is a problem o on a small boat but not as serious as sometimes made out.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    Shading is a problem o on a small boat but not as serious as sometimes made out.
    I did a few simple experiments with my Nasa 20W panel, measuring the current output and shading it in various ways. I'd heard rumours that a linear shadow (such as a rope shadow) across the panel would kill its output. Nope -- no measurable effect. I wouldn't call my experiments thoroughly scientific, but I was satisfied that my mainsheet wasn't going to make a big difference in the position I chose. It's another reason to fit a sensitive ammeter and try the panel down in different spots.
    Mostly solo sailing the 6m junk-rigged Tammy Norie. https://tammynorie.wordpress.com/

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