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Old 02-16-2013
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Solar guy

Greeting & salutations!
I'm joining the group more as a resource than anything else. I was drawn to the forum by a solar panel question, and would like to stay in touch.
Cheers all!
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Solar guy

Welcome as a resource! I have a question about charging with solar and alternator. My boat has three AGM batteries – two for house and one for starting. They are connected to a 1-2-ALL-Off selector switch. I have installed a 50W solar panel and have wired it through a controller directly to the house bank only. I’d like to also keep the starting battery’s charge up with solar and think that by turning the selector to ALL, that will do it since all 3 batteries are connected to it. I’m wondering if the batteries, solar panel, controller or any other component could be damaged if I charge the same batteries with solar while the diesel is running and the alternator is also throwing a charge into them? Can I simply leave the switch to ALL whenever charging with alternator and/or solar? Is there a simple, not-too-expensive way of monitoring all this charging?
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Solar guy

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Originally Posted by MoeIsMe View Post
Greeting & salutations!
I'm joining the group more as a resource than anything else. I was drawn to the forum by a solar panel question, and would like to stay in touch.
Cheers all!
Your bright comments and sunny disposition will shed some light on a highly-charged subject, eclipsing some of the wired-in rising stars with shocking results!
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Solar guy

James, that was horrible. I've reported your post as abusive. Not to the OP, but to the rest of us!
bljones and jameswilson29 like this.
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Solar guy

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Your bright comments and sunny disposition will shed some light on a highly-charged subject, eclipsing some of the wired-in rising stars with shocking results!
Shocking indeed! I'll try to stay grounded as I navigate the positive experience of this forum!
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Solar guy

It's okay- with enough charge the inmates here are easily LED to their cells.


Oh, frack me...i am reduced to nerdpuns.
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Solar guy

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Oh, frack me...i am reduced to nerdpuns.
Reduced is right!!!
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Solar guy

Re charging with solar - running the engine and alternater at the same time won't harm anything. (FYI I have solar at home and on my boat )
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Solar guy

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Originally Posted by seadoug View Post
Welcome as a resource! I have a question about charging with solar and alternator. My boat has three AGM batteries – two for house and one for starting. They are connected to a 1-2-ALL-Off selector switch. I have installed a 50W solar panel and have wired it through a controller directly to the house bank only. I’d like to also keep the starting battery’s charge up with solar and think that by turning the selector to ALL, that will do it since all 3 batteries are connected to it. I’m wondering if the batteries, solar panel, controller or any other component could be damaged if I charge the same batteries with solar while the diesel is running and the alternator is also throwing a charge into them? Can I simply leave the switch to ALL whenever charging with alternator and/or solar? Is there a simple, not-too-expensive way of monitoring all this charging?
The common terminal approach will be fine. Both the alternator & the solar are in the same voltage range, plus the solar charge controller will turn off the input from the panels if the voltage of the batteries indicates they are 'full'. Basically, you will likely only see solar charging when the alternator is not running, since the charge controller will see the charging voltage from the alternator and decide that it has nothing to offer.

I would recommend going with a good quality charge controller such as MorningStar or EcoEnergy. You will probably want to size the controller to accommodate any future expansion of the solar... 6A will support approx 100W of solar.

I hope that helps... let me know if any other specific questions arise during your hunt for equipment.
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