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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / solar panel battery charging
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Posted By Discussion Topic: solar panel battery charging

Similar Threads That Might Help :
starter battery solar panel advice| Using Solar Panels to topp the batteries| solar battery charging| Solar Panels| Solar Panels| Solar Panel fitting|

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Still-Cruising
Nov-08-2017 @ 12:21 PM                           Permalink
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Hi

we used to have one of those 20 watt briefcase panel which came with a regulator. Isolation diodes are a good idea but you get a 0.7volt drop across them, as the three batteries were all the same size and age we just looped them together and connected the panel to them. We ran this for six winters and the batteries were always OK. We have since upgraded to a permanent 100watt panel system up which has been a great success as it keeps pace with the electrical demands during the summer if the engine isn't run.

Best Regards

Bob

PO20 But NR12 as much as possible.

FireDave
Nov-17-2017 @ 5:36 PM                           Permalink
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Some great ideas on here, thanks for posting! I don't have shore power (yet- it's on the list for next month), but I had originally been dissuaded from getting a solar panel.
I have 5 batteries total: 1 engine, 4 leisure
With dual alternators on my Nanni T4 engine I believe. So just looking for advice on what to get for a solar panels, but a 100w seems the way?

spiderman
Nov-17-2017 @ 8:46 PM                           Permalink
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Interesting topic this.
I have been contemplating buying a solar panel. My batteries are now 7 years old and have given me no problems at all. I have no mains connection for a battery charger, I run a fridge, heating and a tv through an inverter so my question is this.
How much extra life could  I expect to wring out of those same batteries had I have had a solar panel connected from new?.








Paladine
Nov-17-2017 @ 9:36 PM                           Permalink
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Impossible to know, I would think. There are so many variables.

How many leisure batteries do you have?
How far down do you take them before charging?
How do you charge them (engine or charger)?
Do you keep them fully charged during the winter?

The one thing that will kill a 'normal' leisure battery quicker than anything else is to discharge it below 50% and leave it in that condition for a while, or repeatedly discharging it below 50%, even if it is then charged straight away. Some people can kill a battery within a year.

While initially I bought a small (30w) solar panel to save me taking the batteries off during the winter, I now have a 218w solar panel, which makes me independent of mains power when out cruising, and saves me from having to run the engine just to charge the batteries. It's not always in my plans to cruise for 4 or 5 hours every day.

So I wonder how much diesel that solar panel has saved me.

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

annville
Nov-18-2017 @ 2:05 PM                           Permalink
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HI Spiderman How long is a piece of string. If a battery is trickle charged AND as Paladine said it could last indefinitely,having solar panels means that the battery will last longer. i have 120w one that is connected to the battery banks all the time, i then have more that are only connected when cruising this keeps all the batteries charged up most of the time during daylight hours no noise no engine wear and saves diesel.BUT there is a cost involved and you do need a roof area that is out of the way and reasonably flat.shore power is still the cheapest but can you get it all the time.A 110w panel will run a fridge,now how much more power do need do you use a tv, heaters, radio, lights etc is a nother matter.you cant have to many panels/watts they don't give out the maximum all the time and they do need cleaning to get max power and not moored in the shade.They also have a 20 plus life span ,how long does a gallon of diesel last charging your batteries. solar panels are roughly £1=00 per watt plus fitting brackets cable etc. John

pargeandmarge
Nov-26-2017 @ 8:09 AM                           Permalink
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Morning All
I have a  battery charger from shore power which has 3 ports. One connected to the domestic bank. One connected to the starter and a spare. I obviously have an alternator. The batteries and charger were fitted by a marine engineer and I have no problems with the system it works very well so we are pleased with that.
My question is can I join a solar panel 100 watt to the batteries directly without it affecting the other system in any way or should I leave it alone as we have no problems.
Sometimes we like to stay on a mooring NOT 24 HOUR  Tinhat for a couple of days and we have a fridge.
I have seen a German folding one that I fancy not the cheapest but looks good so I would only connect it when moored for an extended period.
Regards
Marge and Parge

annville
Nov-26-2017 @ 12:38 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Simple answer is yes, But! you would need a twin port regulator/controller, one for domestic and one for starter.The solar would only charge these when the battery volts dropped.when sailing or on mains charging the battery volts will be above that required to initiate solar charging,when moored if volts drop solar will start charging.A folding solar panel comes with its own regulator but it has only one port you would connect this to your domestic bank when wild moored,they are more expensive, case elevating brackets controller etc. You would be better to have two or more panels permanently fixed running from one twin port controller,Folding panels  can be quite heavy and awkward to use you need somewhere to store them unless, it's a small 50 watt panel then hardly worth the having one unless its for over winter battery maintenance. John

pargeandmarge
Nov-27-2017 @ 3:13 PM                           Permalink
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Hi John
Many thanks for your input. We will leave it as its our holiday and don't want to make hard work of it. Never thought about the weight and they seem to be a bit awkward now you have mentioned the draw backs.
Regards
Marge and Parge

Brenda52
Nov-27-2017 @ 7:29 PM                           Permalink
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If you are looking for a simple solution just get one solar panel and connect to the domestic battery especially if you run the bilge pump off the domestic battery. The Starter battery is normally fully charged once you have been out on a trip and will hold its charge.
Alternatively buy 2 solar panels and charge domestic from one panel and the starter from the other panel, much easier and more reliable than putting splitter etc in circuit.
Keep it simple the more items and complexity you add the higher the chance of something going wrong.
Brenda

annville
Nov-28-2017 @ 12:33 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Brenda Doing it your way could! over charge the battery and damage/destroy it, if over 5%=10% of max charge rate.John

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