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post #21 of Old 07-03-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

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Golf cart batteries are 220 - 240 AH so 2 will give you 220 - 240 AH @ 12 volts.

A 100 watt panel is rated at about 5.6 amps. With a good controller (MPPT) that can get an output of about 7 amps at charging voltage. On a sunny day without panel shading you can get about 35 AH into the batteries from such a panel.

If you are only getting 8 or 9 AH per day something is wrong.
you are correct on Ah ratings, phone is too small

I have 2 @225 Ah each, and the 8-9amps was purely a thrown out number for
possible worst case

Most people new to solar dont think about the variables that you removed from the game

as for output, dont forget if you just throw it on a flat surface that does not get full sun angle, unless you are real close to the equator, output could be that low with clouds and shade in the mix,a shadow from a line/cable can reduce output also, then throw in a heated panel and possible small wiring and a heated battery

solar has so many variables when you go mobile with it, best thing is to read everything you can to help make desiesions your happy with

a friend listened to everyone and mounted a 50 wt panel flat on top of his black truck roof, in N.VA and used one 12v deep cycle battery, it would not run his fridge for more that a day-1/2

same setup angled towards sun in Cochise Co Az, kept fridge going all weekend, lots of variables

Great site by the way, thanks...just need to get a boat and learn to sail



P.S.

measure boat surfaces before looking for panels, 100+ wt panels are pretty big
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post #22 of Old 07-06-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

On a boat at a marina it is helpful to angle the panel. On a mooring flat is better.
On a sunny day figure 5 hours at full output unless in the south where 6 hours is a better guide. Obviously less on a cloudy day. The northern hemisphere has pretty good sun angles in the summer - few cruise in the winter.

There is a gain to using a MPPT controller - 15% or so.

A 100 watt flex panel is 21" x 42", solid frame panels a bit larger. On a sloop aft is the best location - on a pole, mounted on the stern rail or on each side, or on an arch on larger boats.

My customers do not have the issues that your friend had. Good installation with proper cabling and a good quality controller - MPPT preferably - gives good results in the cruising season.
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post #23 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

I have two 100 Watt Kyocera panels that easily charge a bank of 8 x 6V batteries (900AH) fully during the day, including concurrent usage of autopilot, fridge, etc. I have a setup where I can angle the panels but so far have rarely felt the need to do so. So for you needs I would think a 50W panel should be sufficient. agree with others on getting a good controller. However, do some homework on the different styles (MPPT vs PWM) and decide on which one fits your need. I was looking to augment my panels with wind and/or towed generators and found a dual charge controller, but have not made a final decision yet. One big payback I got was to go with better cabling. The PO on my boat had used a single cable from both panels to below deck, then hooked that up to two smaller cables to hook up with the controller amidships. Although in theory that should have been OK, the point where the cables were joined heated up so much by late morning that it seemed a fire hazard. It also meant that energy was being wasted. When I changed the cable to a hefty 6AWG and used a good copper connector, my charge at the controller increased about 10%.
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post #24 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

I had two 215W Kyocera panels on my last boat (a Beneteau 423) with a simple solar charge controller. I lived on the boat for 5 years and never had a problem with any part of the solar system so I can definitely recommend Kyocera for reliability.

Buying at $1 a watt leads you to the bottom of the barrel in quality in most cases. $2 to $3 a watt is more normal I think, maybe $4 a watt for flexible panels like those from Go Power.

The above comment is no longer true. Prices have come down drastically in the past few years, especially on the fixed panels.

Check out Marine Solar Panels For Sale - e Marine Systems and Panels. I have dealt with both companies and been very satisfied.

On the new boat, I didn't want to have to mount fixed panels on an arch so I went with flexible panels. They are more expensive but are zipped to the top of the bimini so it's a cleaner looking installation. It's only been a couple of months but they seem to work well so far.

For anything but a very simple system, go with an MPPT controller. That is the only way to extract the maximum power from the panels.
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post #25 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

For a smaller system go with a Genasun MPPT controller. They have models starting at 4 amps for very reasonable prices.
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post #26 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

I recently ordered a 50 watt panel from Renogy. I haven't installed it yet, and I don't know enough about solar panels to comment on the quality. They seemed to have good prices and shipping was free. It arrived in about a week from California to New York.
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post #27 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

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I recently ordered a 50 watt panel from Renogy. I haven't installed it yet, and I don't know enough about solar panels to comment on the quality. They seemed to have good prices and shipping was free. It arrived in about a week from California to New York.
I've got their 100w kit, been installed since Memorial Day. Seems sturdy enough, the contoller was easy to hook up and has been plenty to keep my two GC2s at full. I've gone out for a few days straight in semi-overcast conditions, and it topped them back off in what seems like just a few hours of sun the last day before coming back. I'm sure most panels would be the same, but it was really hard to not take the chance for the price of it.
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post #28 of Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

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I lived on the boat for 5 years and never had a problem with any part of the solar system
i heard the Mars region of the solar system can get a little rough

The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do.---Captain Jack Sparrow


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post #29 of Old 07-08-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: solar recommendations

@Charlz0, which 100w kit at Renogy?

@Davester, which 50w panel?

There are variations between mono vs poly etc etc

Last edited by andyselzn; 07-08-2014 at 03:09 AM.
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post #30 of Old 07-08-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

The one I used, was this one:

100W Mono Bundle | Renogy Store

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