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TOPIC: Solar installation

Solar installation 10 Sep 2017 23:55 #94967

  • Peter Cawson
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> Oh yeah one big important point to remember with solar panels .....do NOT connect the minus of the solar panels to the DC ground/minus
ONLY connect the frame to the ground and only connect the MPPT to the + and - of the battery

I presume the Plus and Minus of the panels can be directly connected to the Plus and Minus of the MPPT and then on to the battery Plus and Minus terminals?

Peter

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Solar installation 10 Sep 2017 22:04 #94966

Julian Edwards wrote: I thought I would take a look at the booklet and tried the link in the Knowledgebase on solar. ' barges.org/library?task=document.download&id=651 ' It did not find any document.

Links to documents to the library seem to have been broken in the upgrade to the new website. This (and others on the page) have been corrected.

In general, if anyone finds a problem please report it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so it can be properly logged and dealt with.

Pete
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jan Pieterse

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis, Europe

Solar installation 10 Sep 2017 21:26 #94965

  • Jan Pieterse
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Oh yeah one big important point to remember with solar panels .....do NOT connect the minus of the solar panels to the DC ground/minus
ONLY connect the frame to the ground and only connect the MPPT to the + and - of the battery
I have seen

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Solar installation 10 Sep 2017 21:19 #94964

  • Jan Pieterse
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The problem I see with flexible panels is the efficiency / space
the ePVL68. have got about 0.04 watt/ sq inch efficiency wile a 'normal' non flex panels is between 0.1 and 0.18 watt/ sq inch
also the cost for 'normal panels is much cheaper still
One other installation way to consider is vertical against the side of the wheelhouse/ main cabin
That way also the water reflects the light onto it
There used to be a website with a 'bauhaus' barge which had both sides of the whole barge covered with panels.

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Solar installation 10 Sep 2017 21:05 #94963

  • Julian Edwards
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Hello Pete
I thought I would take a look at the booklet and tried the link in the Knowledgebase on solar. ' barges.org/library?task=document.download&id=651 ' It did not find any document.
Regards Julian

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Finally did it, sold the farm, downsized and found a barge. All happens now from 2015.

Solar installation 09 Sep 2017 19:49 #94953

Harvey,

>I installed six ePVL68 laminate solar panels by Unisolar three years......

Snap. Installed 6 in 2008. Bought direct from USA when $2.08:£1. Best output a few weeks ago was 466w, rated power is 408wp. A Dutch research paper reckoned the PVL 68 had an equivalent 80w output over the year due to their output in low light and cloudy conditions.

Have done quite well this year, but much more cloud than previous years; currently no Indian summer with loads of dark grey cloud.

Colin Stone
KEI
www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk

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Solar installation 09 Sep 2017 18:43 #94950

Questions that aren't answered in the Solar Power booklet are
- Is CIS better? It appears to be better than other thin-film panels but no more efficient than standard panels. See tinyurl.com/y75dm8ox. So, if you are thinking of thin-film for a more discreet installation, then these would be sensible.
- Partial shade? Low light? CIS does seem to work better, from the reference above.
- Flat? Most of us have flat panels but they can still be good. E,g, my 800W-rated mono panels are producing 150W in the low (bright) sun at 6.30pm in September and achieved 550W earlier in the day.
- Small polycrystalline panels? You would need to put the panels in series/parallel, best explained in the booklet. Using an MPPT controller the max voltage can be as high as the controller spec, so you might best put two series-wired groups of three in parallel, which would suit your three shaded / three lit scenario, with a controller rated at 3 x Vmax of the panels. Seven panels wouldn't work.
- Diodes in the panels? Get it confirmed by the supplier. If not in the spec, they're probably not in the panels.

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis, Europe

Solar installation 09 Sep 2017 18:29 #94949

I installed six ePVL68 laminate solar panels by Unisolar three years ago for a total of about 400 watts. They've worked so well that this summer I never got around to un-winterizing the generator. I chose these panels because of their size. They are 2849mm(112.1”) by 394mm(15.5”). My wheelhouse roof is three long, narrow removable sections, each too narrow for a conventional solar panel. I stuck two of these long, narrow panels on each roof section. These six flexible panels weigh 4 kg each and are paper thin. They come with an extremely sticky backing. I wired them in series through a Midnite Solar MPPT controller. Unisolar has gone bankrupt but their inventory was purchased and they are widely available online. They are popular with the Winnebago crowd, who stick them to their roofs. They were designed for metal building roofs, sized to fit between the ridges on standard steel roof panels. A Google search shows several sources, including, of course, Amazon.

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Solar installation 09 Sep 2017 17:43 #94947

Most of questions about solar power should be answered in the Knowlegebase article, Knowledgebase / Electrical / Solar Power and the 'Solar Power for Barges' booklet in the DBA Library, based on members' experiences. There is a link to the booklet in the KB article.

Pete

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis, Europe

Solar installation 09 Sep 2017 15:50 #94944

  • Gary Wiles
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We need to become a little more self sufficient on power and are looking toward some solar. Our boat is a small vintage harbour tug and to preserve her profile and classic appearance the installation needs to be as discrete as possible. I think we have room for approx 300-350w of panels on the wheelhouse roof. The problem is that despite being roof mounted there will be a number of things putting parts of the panels into shade, including the navigation lights, the signal mast and the radar scanner.

I noticed that CIS thin film panels work well in low light, does this include partial shade as well? We are not able to orientate the panels toward the sun, they will be mounted flat, so will the thin film technology be a benefit for our application. We would have room for 2 x 165w panels but both would be partially shaded most, if not all, of the time.

Our alterative would be 7 x 50w small polycrystalline panels. These are 12v but I assume that they could be wired in series and then run through a MPPT controller to charge our 24v bank? With 7 panels I think that at least 3 panels would be completely unshaded and in direct sunlight at all times and the others partially shaded. I've been told that a mono or poly crystalline panel will not produce any power when partially shaded unless they include bypass diodes fitted between cells or groups of cells. How do I determine the presence of such diodes if not indicated in the manufacturers or suppliers literature?

I realise that this is not an ideal installation and we are unlikely ever to see the rated power from the array, what we’re looking for is the best compromise under the circumstances.

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