PHOCOS solar charger experiences? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 11-09-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Positive ground solar installations can and are used on some boats. One point is to make sure the panels are isolated from any metal part of the boat. This can be accomplished with inert (plastic or grp) blocks between mounting points. Here is a link to a pdf regarding positive ground wiring rfrom Morningstar.
http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/su...ring.01.EN.pdf

Steve Dashew's installation on Windhorse is positive ground. Here is a link to an explanation of his system, with comments.
SetSail» Blog Archive » Sunpower 320 Solar Panels ? Real World Output Data

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post #12 of 16 Old 11-09-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Positive ground solar installations can and are used on some boats. One point is to make sure the panels are isolated from any metal part of the boat. This can be accomplished with inert (plastic or grp) blocks between mounting points. Here is a link to a pdf regarding positive ground wiring rfrom Morningstar.
http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/su...ring.01.EN.pdf

Steve Dashew's installation on Windhorse is positive ground. Here is a link to an explanation of his system, with comments.
SetSail» Blog Archive » Sunpower 320 Solar Panels ? Real World Output Data
This is why above I specifically stated "or SunPower panels".... SunPower panels, and a number of others intended for grid tie, are positive ground but to use them on a boat you really need to bypass that by not wiring in the positive ground and you then need to isolate them as Steve has done.. SunPower brand panels are not sold to off grid application so Steve obviously had some connections to get them...

Positive ground systems are more related to grid tie systems and high voltage panel configurations... Some controllers will allow it to be re-configured for positive ground & negative ground but some won't/can't.
I do not have the manual for that Phocos so can't say for sure...

On boats we are negative grounded...

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post #13 of 16 Old 11-09-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

The manual can be downloaded here:CML series (5 ? 20 A) | Phocos.com

I am not experienced with installing anything positive ground on a negative ground boat, as they all are. I also wasn't even looking for the Dashew link - I found it while searching his site for something else and thought it might help.
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

I read that morningstar manual...very informative...

thanks mitiempo...a lot...it helps a bunch

I shall repeat my panels arent positive ground...hence my eternal question if ignoring the ground all together..

I will either take a risk and try the controller out or chicken out and save up for something more mainstream


cheers guys and thanks
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post #15 of 16 Old 11-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

well I found out some stuff...

on the boat I found a 5 amp little charge controller which was deep in some parts boxes...dont know of its what was used before but Ill take a pic and maybe get some infom about it and see if it works before trying the new controller

it had 5 wires coming out of it with a fuse on a positive red lead...

and I also found out the brand of my panel

its a SOLAR JACK panel...since the controller is only 5 amps Im wondering if my panel is only around 60-80 watts or so...much less than I thought before...

if anyone has experience with solar jack panels Im all ears...

seems that on the web I only get info about solar jack pumps and systems...not specifics about the panel

anywhoo

peace
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post #16 of 16 Old 11-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

UPDATE!

I have juice!

didnt use any ground but I used the old controller I found, the 5 amp one

the battery was my car battery so it was fully charged so when testing the controller I would only get a trickle voltage which is barely over 12.75 volts but as soon as the battery was let sit for a while for a while and got to a specific voltage the charger started pumping nice voltage...it will cycle from 13v to 14.5 every 15 seconds or so so its a pretty basic charger(maybe even shunt) but enough for my needs as of now

so this saved me from testing and maybe damaging the PHOCOS charger I bought.

so hopefully I can return this "positive" ground phocos charger and use the money for something else!

I also found out my panel was sold by downwind marine in san diego...although the brand is not common im pretty sure its a standard negative ground but it really doesnt matter now...

in any case this SUN SELECTOR 5 amp charger I found I basically just hooked it up like the diagram on it explains and no issues whatsoever

so I have juice for being out at anchor now

thanks for all the advice and help guys!

cheers

christian
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