Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 06-26-2014
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
SeaPilotMark is on a distinguished road
Question Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Just bought my first real boat. Ericson 29. Couldn't afford to be in a regular dock so I settled or a star dock. Which means I don have electric. I've been told that there are permanent solar panels that can be installed on the deck to tricle charge my battery.

After some brief research I haven't found any useful literature. Any suggestions. Does anyone rely on these? I don't plan to use battery power hanging out at the dock.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-26-2014
DRFerron's Avatar
A mod and her dragon
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,173
Thanks: 71
Thanked 161 Times in 145 Posts
Rep Power: 10
DRFerron is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

When we had our 22 footer the PO installed a small solar panel attached to the cockpit seat (we could sit or stand on it) that was used as a trickle charger. We never had a problem.

It will depend on how much you need to keep charged.
__________________
Donna


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Catalina 30 TRFK

Contributing Editor
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
magazine

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Rock Hall Cruising Station

All things that are, are equally removed from being nothing. John Donne
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-26-2014
Puddin'_Tain's Avatar
Don't call me a "senior"!
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 885
Thanks: 0
Thanked 29 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 1
Puddin'_Tain is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

It depends upon the type and size (Ah capacity) of you batteries, but you'll probably need a larger solar panel than just one of the those little "trickle chargers" (along with a good charge controller). Most of the panels marketed as such are between 1 and 5W. I have a total of 275 Ah of batteries on my boat (2 x 225 Ah 6V golf cart batteries and a 50Ah 12V reserve battery), and a 20W panel is just about right for keeping everything "topped off". If you have a smaller total Ah capacity, particularly if you are using AGM batteries, you may be able to get away with a 10W panel. But I wouldn't count on anything below about 10W having enough output to avoid the consequences of long-term undercharging of your batteries.

EDIT:
The rule of thumb is that wet cell batteries lose about 1% of their charge per day (AGM batteries self-discharge at a rate of only about 10 or 20% of that, or about 0.1 to 0.2%). So, discounting that a small part of the total battery capacity on my boat is in the form of AGM, that means that I need to supply about 3Ah a day (rounding to the nearest whole Ah) to maintain the batteries. A 20W panel, in a fixed position on the push-pit rail, can supply slightly more than 1 amp at charging voltages, or about 5 to 7 Ah per day (a bit more on a sunny summer day, quite a bit less on a stormy winter day). Allowing for various inefficiencies in the system, and counting on the system having to "catch up" after cloudy/stormy days, that works out to be just about the right size.
__________________
Typed on my Underwood Finger-Flight Champion portable typewriter (in triplicate, using carbon paper), sent to my basement laboratory via pneumatic tubes, transcribed by Minions on a Commodore 64 (complete with 5 1/4" single-sided floppy), and uploaded to the Internets via 14.4 kbit/s modem. Ain't modern technology grand?

Last edited by Puddin'_Tain; 06-26-2014 at 05:30 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 07-16-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 4
seaner97 is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Check out aurinco.com. They have a decent breakdown of what you'd need based on what you want to run in their "education" section.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 07-16-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
Posts: 2,077
Thanks: 6
Thanked 55 Times in 52 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Stumble is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Since you are at a dock instead of at a mooring you may want to look into a dock mounted solar panel. We did this with a now sold boat and it worked fine. It was a lot simpler and easier than trying to figure out where to mount a solar panel on the boat that was also easily removable while sailing.
__________________
Greg Rubin
Attorney
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 07-16-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 178
Thanks: 10
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 1
WGEwald is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

My setup (panel and charge controller) is from Northern Tool, has worked well. The panel is flexible. The rigid one I had got blown off the boat and smashed during the winter when boat was on jack stands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 07-16-2014
newhaul's Avatar
islander bahama 24
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: bremerton wa
Posts: 1,328
Thanks: 7
Thanked 39 Times in 39 Posts
Rep Power: 5
newhaul is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddin'_Tain View Post

The rule of thumb is that wet cell batteries lose about 1% of their charge per day (AGM batteries self-discharge at a rate of only about 10 or 20% of that, or about 0.1 to 0.2%). So, discounting that a small part of the total battery capacity on my boat is in the form of AGM, that means that I need to supply about 3Ah a day (rounding to the nearest whole Ah) to maintain the batteries. A 20W panel, in a fixed position on the push-pit rail, can supply slightly more than 1 amp at charging voltages, or about 5 to 7 Ah per day (a bit more on a sunny summer day, quite a bit less on a stormy winter day). Allowing for various inefficiencies in the system, and counting on the system having to "catch up" after cloudy/stormy days, that works out to be just about the right size.
Actually the loss rate is more like 2%per month not 1% per day
I use a sun force 5 watt unit on my islander works great all I do with my battery is charge my cell phone and occasionally use running lights my cabin lights and my anchor light are all independent solar units.
__________________
Illegitimus Non Tatum Carborundum.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 07-16-2014
Old enough to know better
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Posts: 2,358
Thanks: 18
Thanked 83 Times in 80 Posts
Rep Power: 9
miatapaul is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Do you have refrigeration? That is the big energy hog if you plan on leaving it on, but not insurmountable for a solar panel. Otherwise likely a small panel will do, unless your boat leaks a lot, but we are not talking old wood boat, so you should be OK.

edit:

Also if you go with LED interior and navigation lighting you can really reduce your daily use a lot. How often do you plan on being on the boat? Do you have an inboard with charger?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 07-16-2014
Puddin'_Tain's Avatar
Don't call me a "senior"!
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 885
Thanks: 0
Thanked 29 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 1
Puddin'_Tain is on a distinguished road
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Actually the loss rate is more like 2%per month not 1% per day
I use a sun force 5 watt unit on my islander works great all I do with my battery is charge my cell phone and occasionally use running lights my cabin lights and my anchor light are all independent solar units.
Hmm..

I went back and looked it up again, and the actual rate is about 1% per week. However, the rate of discharge is temperature dependent. So, "your milage may vary".

I used to have one of those 5W panels on the push-pit of my boat, and it couldn't quite seem to keep up; the batteries always seemed to be at about 80 or 90% charged. But, since my boat points south (more or less) in her slip, the mast is probably shading the panel for part if the day. In any case, with the 20W panel I use now the batteries seem to be much "happier".
__________________
Typed on my Underwood Finger-Flight Champion portable typewriter (in triplicate, using carbon paper), sent to my basement laboratory via pneumatic tubes, transcribed by Minions on a Commodore 64 (complete with 5 1/4" single-sided floppy), and uploaded to the Internets via 14.4 kbit/s modem. Ain't modern technology grand?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 07-20-2014
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,286
Thanks: 0
Thanked 79 Times in 70 Posts
Rep Power: 8
mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
Re: Will Solar Panel Trickle Charge Battery?

The very small panels described above are pretty useless, mostly designed to leave on the dash of a car to keep the battery from losing too much.

Best to get a panel of 20 to 30 watts for maintaining and if actual charging after a sail is involved get one over 50 watts. And any panel that is worthwhile needs a controller - regardless of what you read on the internet.
__________________
Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Tags
battery , panel , solar , solar panel , trickle charge

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Charge Controller and batteries for solar panel jkzdad Electrical Systems 3 08-13-2012 06:16 PM
Solar Charge Controller and Battery Hookup sailtobike SailNet FAQ 9 06-18-2011 06:20 PM
solar panel and two battery banks to charge GlenDC Gear & Maintenance 3 06-29-2007 12:03 PM
Solar Power for Battery Charge KnotaClew23 Gear & Maintenance 1 09-23-2005 04:40 PM
solar power trickle charge bmcald Gear & Maintenance 14 02-20-2003 05:09 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:02 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.