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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2011
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I have a similar situation....

Is it Ok to leave the solar charger connected directly to the battery while using electronics?

I have read in several places where they say to disconnect panel while using battery.

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Old 08-24-2011
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folly, in theory the battery will swamp out (absorb) any excess voltage from the panel unless your battery is fully charged, the panels are really huge, the sun bright, and the load small.

In practice a panel may put out 17-22V when it is rated "12" volts and there's a lot of electronics that will blow out at 15 volts, so if you're on a budget you disconnect the panels. Or, use a multimeter and make sure you can't blow anything, i.e. that under the "best" worse case, you never see more than 14.4 volts on the "12" volt supply lines to the electronics.
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Old 09-05-2011
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You have many options presented here. LED's are expensive. A bigger battery is probably a good choice regardless of what else you run. AGM batteries have a longer/better reserve rating. Outboards....Several problems here; Your basic 9+ hp outboard "may" charge the battery, but will move a J24 at hull speed at idle, and at idle, will not put out enough to charge the battery and could wiegh upwards of 90lbs. and also require a seperate fuel tank, and the storage for it. Most J24 owners that I know don't want the weight aft, so they remove the motor for racing, and I garantee you will not want to lift a 9+hp motor on and off the back of your boat. I run a 4hp with charging circuit(6 amps), with an on-board tank, and it does charge the battery because you do rev it enough for full output, it wieghs 55lbs. Still not light, but I need the motor to get the boat out and in to the morrage.
My choice for you : bigger battery with solar for back-up.
Best of luck
Kary
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Old 09-20-2011
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I am curious what you go with... I have a Capri 22, and as I understand it, the small solar (5w) is enough to top off the battery, but that is about it.

I have a 6HP with alternator, and I know it would not charge the battery when it was dead flat (daughter likes to see lights on in the cabin apparently during the day)... Anyway, was just thinking of how/where to mount the tiny solar panel (stern rail obviously, but then when/how)?

I really don't run the motor enough to charge anything.

Yes I like the idea of LED's everywhere, so I'll be looking into that for one of my MANY winter projects.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Quote:
Anyway, was just thinking of how/where to mount the tiny solar panel (stern rail obviously, but then when/how)?
I mounted my Harbor Freight 5 watt panel on the stern rail (zip ties for now) and ran the cabling through starboard Dorade vent back to the battery. I'll fashion a better mounting solution this Winter, but it works just fine for now.

I changed out all the bulbs on the boat with LEDs, and have LED running lights. All that's left is replacing the masthead light with an LED version.

There's no shore power at my current marina, and I've had no problems with power.
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Old 09-23-2011
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carl-
As the HF manual for that product says:
"7. This product is not water-proof, so keep out of the rain."

It is intended to be kept on the dashboard of a car, not water-resistant at all. You might want to try adding some silicone seal to improve your odds.
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