Solar panels & house bank

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shade2u2
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Solar panels & house bank

Postby shade2u2 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:32 pm

Looking at solar panels and inverter with 4 6V batteries for our 39 Sedan.
Where have you installed the panels?
Where have you installed a 4 battery house bank?
John
1986 39 Sedan w/Crusader 454 & 1.92 drive.
former - '84 28 Express Hardtop w/single 360 1.5:1 drive (SOLD - now in Uruguay)
Ohio and Muskingum Rivers (Marietta, OH)

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bcassedy
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby bcassedy » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:03 pm

John,
Not sure this would be applicable to your 39 sedan, but on our 32 sedan we have 4 batteries that sit on a ledge in the engine room at the forward end. I believe this was the standard config. 32's appeared to come with 3 batteries (1 starter for each engine and a "house battery" that had Perko battery control switches (1 - both - 2 - off for the engine/house set) and (a separate on - off for the single start battery. I installed a 4th battery and replaced the single Perko battery switch with another "1 - both - 2 - off" one.

As to solar panels, we don't have any but I have heard of users mounting flexible panels on their bimini top. Additionally, there have been those who made a custom mount to erect permanent panels. The drawback would be the angle of these permanent panels not being optimum when under way or anchoring. The flexible panels aren't quite as effective, but they do eliminate finding/building a permanent mount.

Another possible solution might be the use of a solar suitcase unit. I bought a 200w Renogy unit for our use when camping with our popup. It provides a great deal of flexibility and doesn't take much to turn towards the sun. With the 50' extension cord I made up, we can place it wherever is convenient. Same could be true on your boat. I installed a short pigtail setup that runs to our inverter/charger. When we wanted to use the solar unit, it was just a matter of connecting the solar extension cord to the unit and the other end to the pigtail.

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge
Located in Aurora, In.
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Fastjeff
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby Fastjeff » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:06 am

Remember to use some kind of overcharge protector with the solar panels. Some people just hook them to a battery and walk away!

Jeff
"We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, not at the top." General Marvage Slatington

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bcassedy
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby bcassedy » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:31 pm

We purchased the Renogy unit that comes with a controller so we're covered, but some may not know that. Harbor Freight offers a 100w unit with controller, but it weighs twice as much as the Renogy unit and you only get 1/2 the watts.

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge
Located in Aurora, In.
Twin 318cu in Chrysler
1.5:1 Velvet drive trannies
Fresh water only

barkleydave
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby barkleydave » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:48 am

I built a Solar setup for a video camera . I used a Renogy 100 watt panel and a Mourning Star Controller.
Now the reality is... At peak sun which is 4-6 hrs per day... max. output of a 12 volt panel is only 5 amps!

This works great for low draw devices such as LED lights and in my case a 1 amp draw camera and router on a 100 amp deep cycle battery.

While it will help at anchor do not expect it to keep up with your power demands if using higher amp devices.
1987 Marinette 29 FB Sedan
Retired Boat Accident UL and USCG trained investigator
Retired USCG Captain

Fastjeff
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby Fastjeff » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:38 am

Hate to say this (call me Mr. Negative) but the value of solar panels have been greatly exaggerated by those in the business of making and selling them. After all, how well do they work at night, in cloudy weather, or when not aimed right at the sun? And that's most of the time.

Jeff the Cynic
"We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, not at the top." General Marvage Slatington

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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby jralbert » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:25 pm

Sorry, Jeff but you may be looking at this from a narrow viewpoint. Of course, they don't work at night. That's where batteries come in. And they don't have to be aimed perfectly to get a decent dose of sunlight. I can't do the money math but there are scads of folks with solar selling the excess power to the power company (as I said, I am not trying to do the money equation but at the least, it's pretty reliable even on cloudy days and cuts the use of fossil fuels by a lot. And that's not an argument for this boating forum).
Two personal examples: On the boat, we had a small solar fan, one of the Nicro units. With a battery, it provided ventilation day and night, 365 days, for about 5 yrs before I changed the battery. Convenient and worry-free. At home, the motion light at our front door has a solar panel sort of aimed at the sun on the no-sun side of the house. I don't know if it saves ANY money (no doubt no saving) but the install sure was easy, the light is bright. It was 25 bucks.
The solar technology is getting better and cheaper.
-joel-
former owner 1988 '32 FB Sedan
Chesapeake Bay
twin 318 / 240 hp
Potomac MD

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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby Fastjeff » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:12 pm

My buddy loves the solar panels on the roof of his house. It cost the taxpayers $60,000 to install, however.

Jeff

PS: I used batteries on my old boat to power an inverter. Barely made it through the night (TV and lights, along with making coffee in the morning). Lead acid batteries don't hold much energy and are inefficient during charging. The electric car batteries are far better but $$$ pricey.
"We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, not at the top." General Marvage Slatington

CapnGary
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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby CapnGary » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:16 pm

I am a newer owner of a 32 FB and am also considering installing solar panels.
I also have a 32' Gemini Catamaran sailboat, on which I have 2 100 panels, and a PMR controller. It works great. In the summer, I can just about let the fridge run, and keep the batteries charged on solar alone. Cloudy days are usually cooler, so the fridge doesn't run as much, but it panels still put out. Facts to consider are... ANY amount of shade cuts the wattage greatly, meaning an obstruction like a sailboat mast, etc.. I was thinking of the roof section before the sedan windows, but closer to the step up on the bow. Over the bimini would be fine but odd to configure and looking weird to me.

I like the idea of the folding panel, set up when needed. I only wish the M had more storage for items like this when no in use.

Having very efficient things hooked to makes a big difference also. The sailboat has a Isotherm 130 12/120 fridge. Led lights, a 12V TV. Propane hot water,stove, oven ( no electric use there)

My newer (to me) M has a dorm fridge, regular 32" TV, crappy alcohol/electric stove. If I keep the boat, replacing these items and adding solar with make anchoring out a breeze. Upgrading these items can be a bit pricey, when added together, so I am weighing it all out.

I also live in the Florida Panhandle, so lots of sun is a plus. Where we used to live in PA, having solar would have been a waste as sunshine was not so plentiful.

My 2 cents,
Capn Gary
Tuner Fish
Milton, Fl
1986 32'FB

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Re: Solar panels & house bank

Postby Fastjeff » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:26 am

..."Where we used to live in PA, having solar would have been a waste as sunshine was not so plentiful."

I resemble that remark! (Used to live in the Lehigh Valley.)

Fully agree on that "crappy alcohol/electric stove". Used mine once on alcohol and nearly set the curtains on fire! A propane stove is a lot better deal (and safer). Also, I could have been assured of making my breakfast in the morning after a night running off the inverter.

Jeff
"We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, not at the top." General Marvage Slatington