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Old 01 April 2015, 16:59   #1
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Solar panel on boat.

On our yacht we have a large solar panel fitted and it is amazing how much power it does actually put on over the course of the day.

I'm thinking about putting one on the rib, but not sure as to location and or if it were to be a permanent fix.
As the boat is out all day diving it does sit still for a couple of hours with a short sharp journey to collect divers then is sat again while having a chartplotter, echo sounder, VHF and a 12v charger for a phone buzzing away. would be nice knowing something is going back in.

Does anyone have one fitted or have had the same idea ?

Cheers Phil
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Old 01 April 2015, 17:02   #2
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waste of time IMO.

solar panels do not produce enough to put enough juice back in to top up sonar/VHF/chargers etc all running. yes they work well at keeping batts topped up when not in use, ideal for that.

i wouldn't bother with the hassle of doing it on a RIB for going out for 1 day. on a good day a good solar panel that fits on a rib will give you about 8-10 amps all day, you would get more running your outboard for 15 mins or so.

one of my hobbies is flying RC helis/planes, big ones, and i need to charge 50v 5000mah batts constantly (in an RC heli 50v 5000mah only lasts 4 mins) so we run a 24v charging bank (12v leisure batts in series) with suitcase size solar panels, i.e too big for a rib and we only get about 5-10 amps per day.

cheers
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Old 01 April 2015, 17:09   #3
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Solar panel on boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubrus View Post
waste of time imo.

Solar panels do not produce enough to put enough juice back in to top up sonar/vhf/chargers etc all running. Yes they work well at keeping batts topped up when not in use etc, ideal for that.

I wouldn't bother with the hassle of doing it on a rib for going out for 1 day. On a good day a good solar panel that fits on a rib will give you about 8-10 amps all day, you would get more running your outboard for 15 mins or so.

Cheers
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Old 01 April 2015, 17:37   #4
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So a good option would be to have it fitted when it's out of the water to keep it topped up for when needed ?

Thanks for the prompt advice.
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Old 01 April 2015, 18:01   #5
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Solar panel on boat.

As a rough rule of thumb a 13-15 watt PV panel with give you circa 1 amp/hr in ideal conditions, by ideal think Mediterranean. 1 amp isn't going to do anything for a battery in a couple of hours.

They are basically designed to maintain battery condition over an extended period of time.
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Old 01 April 2015, 18:26   #6
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I wouldn't bother with it period as it isn't a case of ebay and whack a cheap panel on there. If left long enough you could boil the battery with a reasonable panel, I've seen 18v in a car battery before due to a 600w wind turbine charge controller failing and I've seen our battery bank at 14.8v with the solar panels if no one has been flying for weeks and discharging...dodgy.

You would be far better taking the batt out if left months between uses and top it up at home every couple of weeks. Just keep it off concrete floors when at home and it is golden.

Those ebay and halford 15 quid specials do feek all except kid on they work if that is the kind of thing you mean. The internal to resistance of a battery has to be over come before it starts to charge and a panel that size would struggle to charge a phone!

Cheers
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Old 01 April 2015, 18:40   #7
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Sorry...40 quid for 6 watts (my ass).....geez.

http://www.halfords.com/motoring-tra...maintainer-12v
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Old 01 April 2015, 18:40   #8
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Quote:
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Just keep it off concrete floors when at home and it is golden.
What does concrete do to boat batteries?
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Old 01 April 2015, 18:48   #9
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Why a lot of batts are covered these days, they lose a lot of punch in cold due to internal resistance going up.

In older days batts had a problem with being on cold floors and it discharging them, or at least sped up the natural losses, modern plastics cured this though. So from that point of view you can leave it on concrete indefinitely. With that said the reason I still do it is purely trying to keep cold at bay from it while in storage as the lower the internal resistance the better the battery is.

If you keep it trickled up every few weeks, even on cold floor, it will be fine though.

If you absolutely had to keep it fresh then the panel above would help keep it where you left it I'd think. As Alan has said, your looking at small numbers here so I personally dont think it is worth it.....to each their own though

Cheers

P.s some good info here on the older tech our batts use....not long till lithium is the norm though thankfully.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...d_acid_battery
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Old 02 April 2015, 02:39   #10
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There is lots you haven't described. Where is boat stored (I.e. can it charge during storage).
Battery size (mAh)
Alternator output
Total draw of all ur kit connected.
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