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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-08-2007
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Cool In the category of the only stupid question is one not asked?

We're on a mooring permanently now and considering a solarstik solar/wind system. But in the interim is there a down side to running both our Westerbeke 46 diesel and our genset at the same time to speed up the battery charging capacity? Is there any potential damage to either the engine or genset?

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Old 03-08-2007
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Yeah...but assuming the charging systems are isolated ...the real danger is to your batteries which you will go through in no time flat attempting to force a charge and not doing monitored 3 phase charging. Unless you have grossly undersized alternators relative to your battery capacity...you accomplish nothing by attempting this...especially with wet cell batteries which should never be charged at more than about 25% of their rated amperage...and then need to be stepped down to acceptance charge rates and float charge rates when up to about 80% capacity.
Check out the charging article here...pretty basic but good.
http://www.ghe.net.nz/Newsletter%2005.html
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Old 03-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeedmo
We're on a mooring permanently now and considering a solarstik solar/wind system. Is there any potential damage to either the engine or genset?
Mike,

I don't recommend you run all three at the same time. Wet batteries can only tolerate a certain amount of amperage.

Having said that, I think you will find that the SolarStik will take the place of a considerable amount of charging capability you have been relying on from your genset/charger and diesel/alternator. Especially running your genset just to charge your batteries.

Also the SolarStik comes with an MPPT charge controller that will be easier on your batteries.
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Old 03-19-2007
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Another problem with running multiple charging sources is that often they will "see" each other and drop the charging rate, based on the "higher" voltage that they're seeing, which ends up with none of them charging the batteries properly or fully.
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Old 03-20-2007
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Many thanks!
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Old 03-20-2007
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Mike...since Conchy Joe did not make it clear in his post...you should be aware that he runs an equipment review website and that solar stick owner is one of his advertisers and friends. Nothing against the product....interest like that should be disclosed so you know where it is coming from.
As far as the claims go...the solar stick on a mooring left unattended will perform exactly like any other 100 watt fixed solar panel attached to an Mptt charge controller. Only when you are on the boat to adjust the panels can you expect increased output. The solar stick may make good sense for you from a mounting or ergonomics standpoint but you must be aboard to expect increased output compared to a fixed 100w panel.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Thanks Cam!
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Old 03-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Mike...since Conchy Joe did not make it clear in his post...you should be aware that he runs an equipment review website and that solar stick owner is one of his advertisers and friends. Nothing against the product....interest like that should be disclosed so you know where it is coming from.
As far as the claims go...the solar stick on a mooring left unattended will perform exactly like any other 100 watt fixed solar panel attached to an Mptt charge controller. Only when you are on the boat to adjust the panels can you expect increased output. The solar stick may make good sense for you from a mounting or ergonomics standpoint but you must be aboard to expect increased output compared to a fixed 100w panel.
Even if you are aboard and adjusting the panels, his claims of nearly 80 Amp-hours a day are very implausible. The numbers just don't add up as several of us have pointed out in the related solar-panel thread.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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