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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 05-03-2011
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Dualing Chargers

I looked in the relavant manuals and didn't see a concise answer.

My new solar panels have a charger (Morningstar) that is programmed to charge, float, and equalize on a shedule. So is the 110V charger (Heart). But niether knows what the other has programed.

Is it it best, perhaps, to turn one of these off when the boat is a the dock for long periods?
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Old 05-03-2011
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Yes, most likely, since with two charging sources which are unaware of each other one or both are very likely to be tricked re: the SOC (state-of-charge) of the batteries they are connected to.

Bill
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Old 05-03-2011
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With a solar panel, why bother to leave the boat plugged into shorepower. This is a constant "issue" over the years, usually surrounded by people wanting to keep their fridges on all week so they have a cold one when they come on board. I believe that keeping a boat plugged in when you're not there is a potential for an unnecessary disaster. Buy a cold six-pack at 7-11 on the way to the boat.

In your case, it has little to do with "controllers," since even a smart charger is dumb about controlling anything other than voltage and perhaps time. It'll switch to float when the battery volatge rises, which is what the solar panel is doing anyway.

You made a good investment in the panel, use it.
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Charger / controller

Which model controller (Morningstar) do you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
I looked in the relavant manuals and didn't see a concise answer.

My new solar panels have a charger (Morningstar) that is programmed to charge, float, and equalize on a shedule. So is the 110V charger (Heart). But niether knows what the other has programed.

Is it it best, perhaps, to turn one of these off when the boat is a the dock for long periods?
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Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbee View Post
Which model controller (Morningstar) do you have?
Prostar 15A
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Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
With a solar panel, why bother to leave the boat plugged into shorepower. This is a constant "issue" over the years, usually surrounded by people wanting to keep their fridges on all week so they have a cold one when they come on board. I believe that keeping a boat plugged in when you're not there is a potential for an unnecessary disaster. Buy a cold six-pack at 7-11 on the way to the boat.

In your case, it has little to do with "controllers," since even a smart charger is dumb about controlling anything other than voltage and perhaps time. It'll switch to float when the battery volatge rises, which is what the solar panel is doing anyway.

You made a good investment in the panel, use it.
Yes, this seems obvious; I was surprised not to see a statement in either manual.

I'm not paranoid about the on board power system; however, I'm not too warm and fuzzy about the cord.

I've learned to drink stout warm and like it, but I bring ice! I leave nothing on when I'm off the boat. It is just battery maintenance. I'm sure some worry about their sump pumps, but I have none and have no through-hulls.
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Owners manual

In your owner's manual it says:
"• Auxiliary Generators: Engine generators and other sources of power may be
connected directly to the battery for charging. It is not necessary to disconnect the
ProStar from the battery. However, do not use the ProStar to regulate these other
sources of power."

You might call Morningstar (they have been helpful to me) and possibly your charger's manufacturer and ask their thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Prostar 15A
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Old 05-04-2011
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Leaving a boat plugged in to shore supply also opens one up to all kinds of stray current issues and accelerated corrosion or premature destruction of anodes.

If another vessel has grounding issues on your shore power circuit, you could pay the price
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Old 05-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbee View Post
In your owner's manual it says:
"• Auxiliary Generators: Engine generators and other sources of power may be
connected directly to the battery for charging. It is not necessary to disconnect the
ProStar from the battery. However, do not use the ProStar to regulate these other
sources of power."

You might call Morningstar (they have been helpful to me) and possibly your charger's manufacturer and ask their thoughts.

Yes, this is the reason for the thread. The above indicates leaving everything on, or at least does not suggest turning other charging sources off. I spoke with a Morningstar rep and they basicall repeated the manual quote, adding that the solar was a smaller charging source and that meaningfull interferance was unlikely.

Yet, I agree with the logic of others; they parallel my thinking.
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Old 05-05-2011
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I'm not sure why you would want to keep your charger plugged in, if you have a solar panel? Is the panel too small to keep the batteries up? Possible issue if bilge pump ran continuously?
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