Join Date: Jun 2015
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Our boat is equipped with one 30w solar panel, hard mounted to the deck just forward of the companionway. I think it is original from the factory, so it could be 32 years old, but still seems to keep the batteries charged. I am currently without power at the marina, its been on solar panel alone for 5 months. Lacking anything else to work on, I was thinking of upgrading to a 50w panel and a new controller. I say 50w panel because the size is right to mount it in the existing location.
Questions... The new panel comes with watertight connectors. Would it be wrong to splice and solder the panel to existing wiring? Does the size of the wire make a difference in efficiency? The original wire is pretty small, should I upgrade that as well to 14ga.? Last question, I have two flooded deep cycle batteries as a house bank and one sealed start battery. I see some controllers have two outputs for the separate banks. My current controller has only one output, its connected to the house bank, so I leave the boat with the battery selector to all. Is that shortchanging my start battery?
Thanks in advance......