Charging with a Solar Panel - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 11-22-2001 Thread Starter
Contributing Authors
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 536
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 18
Charging with a Solar Panel

If a solar panel is used to charge your battery, do you need a voltage regulator and an inverter/charger, or can you just use a inverter/charger like a Hart 2000?

Sue & Larry respond:
When charging 12-volt battery banks with alternative energy sources like solar panels, a voltage regulator, or charge controller is always a good idea. In simplest terms, a charge controller senses your batteries state of charge and either turns on or off the current from your solar panel depending upon its findings.

Without a method to regulate your charging current, your panels would continue to charge your battery bank even when the bank was full. The result would be gassing your battery, reduced performance, and a shortened battery life.

Some solar panels claim to be self-regulating, but their voltage is usually lower than you would want for charging a house bank on a sailboat. Wed stay away from these types of panels.

Assuming you were on your boat full-time, you could physically unhook your panel as your battery bank approached full charge. This would eliminate the need for a charge controller and ensure that your batteries didnt overcharge. We think that this is kind of a dumb idea though, since the beauty of alternative energy is that its quiet, never-ending, and self-tending.

On Serengeti, weve not plugged into shore power now for two-and-a-half years. Our five solar panels and one wind generator have provided us the freedom to travel where we want, and to stay for as long as we choose. Were a completely self-contained unit, except for food, beer, and wine. You might want to check out our article, Choosing and Installing Solar Panels. It's right here at SailNet.

The Link 2000 by Heart combines a sophisticated battery monitor with a remote-control unit for their inverter/chargers. This product will not suffice as a charge controller for your solar panel. We do believe, though, that every cruising boat should include a battery monitor as standard equipment. For most, the smaller and less expensive Link 10 works fine. If you want more features and have a desire to remotely control your inverter, the Link 2000 is tops.

Sue & Larry is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


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
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome