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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-10-2012
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Mainsail comes through again with solar

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/solar_panel

Last season was i was able to kind of sort of keep the battery's charged if you pretended a bit and i really did NOT want to do that this year SO with Mainsail taking out the guess work i got solar









I am not super thrilled with the terminal strip on the Genasun control so you have to be REALLY careful with the wiring and fuse it
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Old 03-12-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Interesting. Would you tell us how much it cost and what it will produce? And what gear you run?
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Old 03-12-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

40 watt Sunwize panel and Genasun control 315 dollars

All the stainless mounting stuff was another 179 dollars But its nice because with the hinge units the panel folds up OR down if i have to get in a tight dock space

Its 40 watts and its putting out 2 amps give or take which had no problem bringing up a group 27 and kicking in the ACR to get the matching starting battery

The battery's were down to 12.4 over the winter and there both happy at 12.75 after two days in the driveway with far from ideal sun
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Great, thanks.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Tommays - I am assuming that the panel comes with all the necessary diodes and what not? Also, where did you get the mounting hardware & tubing? Finding a vendor for that seems ot be the biggest challenge for me here in the Midwest.

Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Sailrite had the best deal as it all dodger/bimini hardware

It was (3) 1" split clamps (2) 1" tube ends (3) hinges and 36" of tube
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
Sailrite had the best deal as it all dodger/bimini hardware

It was (3) 1" split clamps (2) 1" tube ends (3) hinges and 36" of tube
Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

MainSail is da man. Again. This article will get me off the fence and install something!

I had a question for which I could not find an answer. If I install a 15W or 20W panel, (primarily for topping off batteries), what kind of controller would people recommend? The GV4 seems like overkill for a really small installation (say under 40W).
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
Sailrite had the best deal as it all dodger/bimini hardware

Thanks for posting this recommendation! I have been wanting to make some mods to my bimini and this will save me quite a bit.
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
MainSail is da man. Again. This article will get me off the fence and install something!

I had a question for which I could not find an answer. If I install a 15W or 20W panel, (primarily for topping off batteries), what kind of controller would people recommend? The GV4 seems like overkill for a really small installation (say under 40W).
You really need to do the math. A PWM may be a good option but a shunting controller rarely is.

A 15W panel is good for "maintaining" a charge not really for "charging".. A 15W panel at max output is about .85A. Multiply that X about 4.5 hours per day at full output = 3.8 Ah's of charging per day, in optimum conditions.

A 400Ah bank, pretty common on a cruising boat, at 80% state of charge from alternator charging, still leaves you with an 80Ah deficit.

80Ah's X Charge Efficiency Losses @15% = 92Ah / 3.8Ah's Per Day = 24.2 days to go from 80% to full on a 400Ah bank.....

For a 200Ah bank cut those numbers in half or about 12 days to replace the the last 20% of bank capacity, IF, the sun shines every day with minimal to no clouds.....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-25-2012 at 08:46 AM.
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