Solar Product Review - 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
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 02-24-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: St Croix, Virgin Isl
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lgaggie96 is on a distinguished road
Solar Product Review

I'm looking at putting solar panels on our boat, since we are moving it to a mooring. I have searched Sailnet and the web for reviews on solar panels or solar panel kits, but haven't had any luck. Any recommendations on Products/brand names?
My main concerns are refrigeration, bilge pump, and lights. The boat is not a live aboard, but is used every weekend and on cruising vacations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 02-24-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
I'd recommend you read this post on solar power first.

As for name brands... I'd recommend going with an MPPT charge controller. The two most commonly used brands are Outback, which is over kill for a lot of situations as the smallest unit they make is a 60 amp; and Blue Sky, which makes a nice 25 amp unit with integrated display.

If you're looking to expand to wind as well as solar, you'd probably be better off with the Outback, since it has the option for a dump/diverter relay.

As for solar panels. Lots of brands out there. Siemens, Kyocera, Sharp, Mitsubishi and Sunsei/ICP solar are fairly well known and well regarded.

ICP solar makes kits that are fairly reasonable buys, but they don't come with an MPPT type charge controller, which is an oversight IMHO.
__________________
Sailingdog

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

Telstar 28
New England

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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 02-24-2009
Valiente's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,491
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Valiente has a spectacular aura about Valiente has a spectacular aura about
SD...I'm still getting used to these concepts. I'm looking at 4 x 130W Kyocera panels or equivalent plus a 24V Air-X wind turbine that I would transform down to 12 V before it went into my charge circuit. My house banks will be circa 840 AH in 4 x 8D lead-acids and these will feed into Xantrex echo chargers, one to a single start battery and the other to a battery in the forepeak for a 1200W Lofrans windlass. The charger/inverter (already purchased) is a Xantrex RS 2000 and I have a Honda EU2000 as a tertiary backup/power tools on deck portable genset.

Could the Outback (which sounds appropriate) MPPT handle BOTH charge sources simultaneously and how does the dump/diverter relay deal with this? I have the impression that a heat sink is involved, and I would rather not have that down below, unless I could use it heat hot water!

I'm not trying to hijack the thread so much as expand it, because your answer will illustrate the function of MPPTs in a well-designed alternative charging system.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read my countdown to voyaging blog @
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
  #4  
Old 02-24-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
SD...I'm still getting used to these concepts. I'm looking at 4 x 130W Kyocera panels or equivalent plus a 24V Air-X wind turbine that I would transform down to 12 V before it went into my charge circuit. My house banks will be circa 840 AH in 4 x 8D lead-acids and these will feed into Xantrex echo chargers, one to a single start battery and the other to a battery in the forepeak for a 1200W Lofrans windlass. The charger/inverter (already purchased) is a Xantrex RS 2000 and I have a Honda EU2000 as a tertiary backup/power tools on deck portable genset.

Could the Outback (which sounds appropriate) MPPT handle BOTH charge sources simultaneously and how does the dump/diverter relay deal with this? I have the impression that a heat sink is involved, and I would rather not have that down below, unless I could use it heat hot water!
The Outback FlexMax 60 will handle approximately 900 watts of panels or wind gen. While, I think it should be fine with the setup you've got listed above, to be safe and give yourself some expansion space, it might be wise to get the FlexMax 80 instead. . The diversion relay can be used to power a hot water heater or feed power back to the braking mechanism on a wind gen, or possibly both, depending on how complex you want to make it. You may have enough power from the four panels and the wind gen that running a hot water heater is feasible.

Quote:
I'm not trying to hijack the thread so much as expand it, because your answer will illustrate the function of MPPTs in a well-designed alternative charging system.
__________________
Sailingdog

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

Telstar 28
New England

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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 02-24-2009
Cruisingdad's Avatar
Best Looking MALE Mod
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
Posts: 9,904
Thanks: 3
Thanked 110 Times in 53 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough
I use Kyocera panels and Outback. I have been pleased with them.

Brian
__________________
Sailnet Moderator



1987 Tayana Vancouver 42, Credendo Vides, (Mom and Pops boat, F/T Mobile Live Aboards in Puget Sound)

My Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Follow My Blog at:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Follow me on Facebook:

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
  #6  
Old 02-24-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
bselly is on a distinguished road
Has anyone ever heard of or had experience with a Morningstar charge controller? The thing I loke the most about them is that they have automatic and manual equalization and remote interfaces. I am looking at the 60 and 80 amp models.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 02-24-2009
Cruisingdad's Avatar
Best Looking MALE Mod
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
Posts: 9,904
Thanks: 3
Thanked 110 Times in 53 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by bselly View Post
Has anyone ever heard of or had experience with a Morningstar charge controller? The thing I loke the most about them is that they have automatic and manual equalization and remote interfaces. I am looking at the 60 and 80 amp models.
Why would you want automatic equalization?

Brian
__________________
Sailnet Moderator



1987 Tayana Vancouver 42, Credendo Vides, (Mom and Pops boat, F/T Mobile Live Aboards in Puget Sound)

My Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Follow My Blog at:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Follow me on Facebook:

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 02-24-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
bselly is on a distinguished road
The simple answer is that I am lazy and forgetful.

The other benefits would come if you are leaving the boat for an extended period. First, it will automaticall equalize on a monthly schedule while you are gone. Second, if for some reason there is no sun and/or wind for a week and your batteries discharge too much, it will sense this and equalize early in order to salvage the batteries.

But…to be honest….it is mostly because I am lazy and forgetful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 02-24-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
The Blue Sky controllers, and IIRC, the Outbacks can be set to do so as well. The Morningstar controllers are fairly recent and have no track record as of yet AFAIK.
__________________
Sailingdog

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

Telstar 28
New England

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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 02-24-2009
lbdavis's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 560
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
lbdavis is on a distinguished road
Blue sky does do automated equalizations, but I believe you need the IPN ProRemote, something you'd want to get with the bluesky anyway.

lgaggie96, if you really want to get a firm grip on this, skip SD's silly little link and just read through this thread real quick.
__________________
S/V Gracie
P303
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

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
Charging with Solar Power Kevin Jeffrey Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 07-28-2003 09:00 PM
Choosing and Installing Solar Panels Sue & Larry Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 11-06-2000 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:43 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.