Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar?? - SailNet Community
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Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

Renewing my battery bank. House Bank 510 Amp hours. Sealed Lead Acid (Same as last bank)
Solar Panels: 600 watts.
I have never used shore power since I installed the Solar. They cover the 500 amp house battery bank fine.
In London last winter I put in a 4 amp auto battery charger just to ensure they're topped up. Never a problem, never goes below 90% state of charge.
Solar worked well in London in winter even with the short daylight and cloudy skies.

The guy doing the electrical work and the shop want me to buy a pretty big charger.

Im having difficulty convincing them I don't need a whopping expensive one.

They want me to assume the solar doesn't work and I cycle down to 50% each day and need to pull it up from 50% to 100% each day.

After 13 years I know my fricken boat and lifestyle.

What size battery charger would you think appropriate is a 4 amp one is fine now??

Should I take into account my 600 watts of Solar?

Thanks for insights


Mark

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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

If it has been working for you why change it?

The only other rationalization I can think is if solar is your only other charging source. Did you install the solar yourself? Do you have the parts and know how to fix it yourself? If you have no other backup to solar and can't repair it yourself, I would consider upgrading your charger.
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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

Backups to solar us a wind generator I never use because I don't need it. And the engine with am 80 amp hour alternator (just boils the starter battery)

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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

As you say you know your needs.

If you just want to keep topped up not cycling 4A is fine.

If you want to be able to recharge from shore power when deep cycling then 60A or higher, especially if AGM.
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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

If it aint broke.....
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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

"After 13 years I know my fricken boat and lifestyle."

Just tell the professionals that a larger charger would disrupt the aura of your vessel, and even worse, that your choice of "four" is not your choice, but rather it was done to imprison the four horsemen of the apocalypse, so changing it to anything else would be a REALLY BAD IDEA.

Make sure to say it with a suitably grave face. And, make them promise not to tell anyone.

I think they'll stop trying to sell you anything after that.
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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"After 13 years I know my fricken boat and lifestyle."

Just tell the professionals that a larger charger would disrupt the aura of your vessel, and even worse, that your choice of "four" is not your choice, but rather it was done to imprison the four horsemen of the apocalypse, so changing it to anything else would be a REALLY BAD IDEA.
Finally I have had good advice from the internet!
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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
If it has been working for you why change it?

The only other rationalization I can think is if solar is your only other charging source. Did you install the solar yourself? Do you have the parts and know how to fix it yourself? If you have no other backup to solar and can't repair it yourself, I would consider upgrading your charger.
Curious as to what you think are reasonable spare parts for solar, and what parts of a solar installation could be repaired in the field (if at all)? Our solar setup consists of solar panels, some wire, and a charge controller. That's it. I can't think of any spare parts that aren't just another panel or controller, and if I had more panels and controllers, I'd install them instead of keeping them as spares. As for repairing it, anything that broke would require replacement of a whole panel or controller.

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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Curious as to what you think are reasonable spare parts for solar, and what parts of a solar installation could be repaired in the field (if at all)?
I am currently designing my own solar setup. Mine will be fairly simple and my understanding of larger systems is limited. If you have an MPPT failure a spare cheaper PWM controller would be good to have as would the wiring, crimper and connectors to work around any problem that may occur. My solar panel has a PWM built in but I plan on wiring it to an MPPT. If my MPPT were to fail I could rewire the PWM if my wiring tools were onboard.

I have been on a crossing with completely electrical failure. It makes one a little paranoid.

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Re: Calculating Charger Requirements: Can I offset Solar??

Solar is about as simplistic as you can get....if off the dock.
My greatest concern has been hi wind squalls...the frame structure.
Also makes sense to run multiple controllers.
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