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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Mainsail comes through again with solar
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Thread: Mainsail comes through again with solar Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-20-2012 09:51 AM
Bene505
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Bene,

You're really getting beyond the Genasun GV controllers. I would look into a Morningstar or Blue Sky MPPT with temp sensing and a gel setting. Gel's really like temp sensing and proper charging. Genasun can make a GV that will do gel but they are pretty bare bones and designed for smaller arrays, you have "multiple 130's"....
Thanks Maine,

I just bought a "Blue Sky Solar Boost 3024iL MPPT Solar Charge Controller 40A/12V 30A/24V"

Right now I have a 130 watt panel, but I'm looking to get a second one. Since it does 24v, I'm tempted to put the 2 panels in series to cut down on power loss due to wiring. there won't be any shading problems up above the davits.

After buying it, I see it has a dawn to dusk timer. I'll have to check out that feature too.

Regards,
Brad
04-17-2012 06:45 PM
tommays
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Bene

I liked this one Morningstar’s SunSaver MPPT SS-MPPT-15L or the next one Up if your panels are to big
04-17-2012 03:05 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a Genesum GV-10 Genasun GV-10 MPPT Solar Charge Controller and have a couple questions.

1) We have gel-cell house batteries. Do I have to get a special one, or will the standard one (for lead-acid batteries) work?

2) I will have several 130 watt panels. Can I have multiple GV-10s, or will they interfere with each other? (I'm thinking especially as they switch from bulk charge to float mode.)

Regards,
Brad
Bene,

You're really getting beyond the Genasun GV controllers. I would look into a Morningstar or Blue Sky MPPT with temp sensing and a gel setting. Gel's really like temp sensing and proper charging. Genasun can make a GV that will do gel but they are pretty bare bones and designed for smaller arrays, you have "multiple 130's"....
04-17-2012 01:39 PM
hellosailor
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Brad-
Genasun charges something like $25 to custom program their MPPT controller for your battery type, if they don't already offer a matching model. I'd expect multiple controllers to fight each other as they have no way to determine which one is "talking".
Their tech support responds to emails same day usually.
04-17-2012 09:57 AM
Bene505
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a Genesum GV-10 Genasun GV-10 MPPT Solar Charge Controller and have a couple questions.

1) We have gel-cell house batteries. Do I have to get a special one, or will the standard one (for lead-acid batteries) work?

2) I will have several 130 watt panels. Can I have multiple GV-10s, or will they interfere with each other? (I'm thinking especially as they switch from bulk charge to float mode.)

Regards,
Brad
03-26-2012 10:54 PM
paul323
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

MS and HelloSailor - thanks both for the advice. MS - I did do the maths, and was originally thinking topping up (="maintenance charging") for a 230AH house bank, so 15W seemed adequate. But in light of your comments - and if I am going to sink $100 into the controller - I may as well as up it to 30-40W to give me some charging upside; the incremental cost is small. Of course, in CA, we do get quire a bit of sunshine :-)
03-26-2012 05:35 PM
hellosailor
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Tommy, the Genasun power "strip" isn't so bad. You may notice they put both positive terminals together in the center--making it harder to accidentally short a + and - wire together at that point. And they are positive traps, even if they are a bit shallow. Overall, I think safer than the average bare terminal strip, and better placed.

Paul-
For a 15 or 20 watt panel, "overkill" with a small MPPT controller might very much be the way to go. They can provide a 20% boost in effective charging power, and while $120? for the Genasun might be as much or more than your panel, how else can you get 20% more power without buying a more expensive panel? Then there are the batteries themselves, the cheap controllers tend to be "all or none" affairs that turn on or off, period. That's not optimum for the batteries. The Genasun is a 3-stage controller, assuming your batteries can be topped off by it, it will keep them nicely formed with a 100% charge.

Of course, if you're just working with one WalMart Group24 battery...warranty replacement is the most effective way to go.

Unless your solar panel is a small percent of your battery capacity, in which no controller or regulation may be needed at all. (Except a blocking diode to prevent backcurrent at night. Not all panels are built with one.)
03-25-2012 04:32 PM
tommays
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

I used the universal deck hinge #103120

The Genasun control is well worth the money as its a crap rainy day and the panel is still pushing out .5 to .6 amps

I just installed the in-line digital amp readout i will follow up with output under different conditions
03-25-2012 10:52 AM
Bene505
Re: Mainsail comes through again with solar

Agreed, MaineSail is the man!

Tom,

What hinges did you use? And do you have any pictures of the hinge part of the installation?

Regards,
Brad
03-25-2012 08:34 AM
Maine Sail
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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