Island Packet 35 - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 63 Old 04-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Island Packet 35

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I could be wrong..again..but i dont think its possible to get 30 amps from 400w .

Should be closer to 20..max.
Imo, 15 would be happy territory
Maybe check output at the panels..if you are curious.

...edit
What is the voltage of the panels?
Well, this is what the ammeter reads around mid day on a clear sunny day. I don’t have a portable one to hook up to my panels directly, but the controller is reading feed line from all 4 panels. Each panel reads close to 20 volts when tested individually before controller.

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Re: Island Packet 35

100w 18v panel does 5.55 amp...in test conditions
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Re: Island Packet 35

Maybe the ammeter is not accurate. Still, it charges the battery bank quite quickly. I was actually worried that these 4 panels will be too much for my 30 amp controller.

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Re: Island Packet 35

Watts = amps x volts. Law of physics, no room for maneuvering.

It was just my gut, but 30 amps of charge seemed like alot from that setup. I wondered if I could really tell the scale of the panels, but the fact that they are not all well angled into the sun (which is normal) should degrade even rated capability. Of course, anything less than ideal conditions would do so.

Glad to hear they seem to be getting the job done, but I wonder how accurate the controllers are and how the OP knows it's really fully charging. Most shore powered chargers are bad enough that they appear to be fully charging, but are not really doing so.
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post #35 of 63 Old 04-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Island Packet 35

Its 10 am and the batteries are fully charged. Last read of the ammeter when it was still charging was almost 20 amps.

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Re: Island Packet 35

Yes, I was thinking that maybe the controller cuts off the charge from solar panels too early but I would rather have these gel batteries undercharging than overcharging.

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Re: Island Packet 35

A clamp multimeter that reads dc is very useful on a boat
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Re: Island Packet 35

The only way to know that Gel batteries are fully charged is with a shunt that is monitoring charge acceptance amps (the actual amount of amperage being accepted by the batteries) during Absorb voltage. The amperage being put out by the charge source isn't directly related. IOW, just because your panels are putting out 30 amps, doesn't mean the batteries are taking it in. Once Gels get above 80-90% charge, they accept very low amperage, as a percent of capacity. Is your setup judging fully charged this way?


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Re: Island Packet 35

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Is your setup judging fully charged this way?
not sure about that. But judging by the battery voltage in the morning (almost always above 12) they are being properly charged.

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Re: Island Packet 35

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not sure about that. But judging by the battery voltage in the morning (almost always above 12) they are being properly charged.
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but that has nothing to do with knowing they are fully charged before sundown. For Gels you never want to see below about 12.3 volts to know you didn't drop below 50% capacity. You said 'almost', so that sounds like you've seen less than 12, which would be very hard on your house bank and clearly below 50%. Nevertheless, this doesn't say anything about whether they started at 100%.

I really don't mean to be making you dizzy. I think this started because it seemed like the output from that panel system was surprising. The two separate issues are:

Do you make enough power to get through your day?........ sounds like you do, if you drive them below 50% of capacity. No law says you can't, you just shorten lifespan.

Is the charging profile going to maximize the lifespan of the house bank?....... I'm worried about this one, but you may not be. Lead acid wants to get to a true 100% of capacity with routine, to avoid excess sulfation. The good news is that Gels are able to take more abuse than others, but they're not immune.
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