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AuthorMessage
rovers
rovers

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:42pm

Post Subject: solar power

hi everyone - can anyone advise us on solar insulation? we have bought solar panels - led lights - 2 large batteries and a inverter etc? basically we would appreciate any advice/instructions to install? many thanks

rovers
rovers

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:08pm

Post Subject: solar power

installation we meant lol - not completely crackers,,,,,, yet!

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:29pm

Post Subject: solar power

Unfortunately to ensure you have no unrealistic expectations and to do all you can to get a satisfactory out come you appear to have rather put the cart before the horse. Almost everything to do with installing or updating batteries and charging systems starts with a power audit so you KNOW how much electricity you need to store and produce in any given period. Without this data it is not really possible to know what to expect. I note that you do not give any specifications for the two “large” batteries, whether they are both domestic batteries or if one is an engine start battery or the size/output of the solar panel and inverter. You also make no mention of a solar controller. I very much fear that you are not very familiar with boat electrics so anything I say may be difficult to understand. Assuming your panel has an output of over 20 amps and your batteries are 12V and at least 110Ah capacity each. I think that you will require a controller to ensure the solar output never damages the batteries by over charging them. There are two types worth considering, PWM or MPPT. The PWM is an older and cheaper technology but MPPT is newer, much more expensive, but delivers up to about 30% extra output, especially if some of the panel is in shade or its mounted horizontally. Beware of many Ebay “MPPT” controllers. The controller should come with the wiring instructions. The batteries are wired in parallel with ALL positive wires on one side and all the negatives on the other (that is joint the two batteries + to + and – to – with the connections to the boat on opposite sides). The Boat Safety Scheme demands a master switch to isolate almost all the electrical equipment, it is best to put that on the positive side. It also lays down minimum size for all main battery wiring but you may require larger cables depending upon the electrical load. I think the BSS requires 25 sq mm conductor CSA but the inverter may demand a much larger cable depending upon its size. The inverter positive feed would go to the switched side of the battery master switch with a suitable fuse close to that connection. The inverter negative (again thick wire depending upon inverter size) would go to the battery negative. The solar panel pos. and neg. wires (again you need the output in amps and the cable length to calculate cable size) go to the controller input terminals and the controller output terminals go to the battery negative. In this case the positive also goes to the battery positive bypassing the master switch. A suitable fuse should be fitted close to the batteries. I fear that you may need more information and diagrams. I can not put diagrams on the forum so if you do email me – Tony@TB-Training.co.uk but at the moment the floods are playing havoc with my email service. Tony Brooks

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