Solar Panel

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Haro's picture
Solar Panel

Haro,  Webmaster
1999 Catalina 36 MKII

Due to local high winds and incredible amount of rain the marina's tall cypress trees had fallen and damaged local power company power lines. This stopped all electricity for the Marina.
The park and the marina was closed and restricted to tenants with limited access.
I was able to enter the marina to run the engine and charge the batteries once a week and empty the bilge of rainwater . After 6 weeks of no power,  the marina was informed that it may be another 6 weeks before power is restored.
This compelled me to install solar panel to charge the batteries.
My batteries are 2 4D flooded Lead Acid batteries that are paralleled and a reserved starter battery of the same type, but smaller, located in the lazarette.
After much research I settled on Renogy 100Watt Flexible solar panel  RSP100L-36-US $135.99 with connecting cables 20 feet pair RNG-AX  10 AWG $44.99  with MC4 connectors + tax
The charger is Victron Smart Solar 100/30 AMP Bluetooth enabled, $ 196.35. It can be moniored by installing Victronconnect App. Its settings can be changed using this App.
I spent time trying to find out how the charger should be set up to charge the flooded Lead acid batteries. I contacted the manufacturer of the batteries, but I had no luck in obtaining any data sheet.
In researching I discovered that all flooded lead acid batteries have basically the same charging characteristics and they are specified per cell basis ( for 12volts multiply by 6)
There are 3 stages of charge
Bulk - charging up to 80% of its capacity using charging voltage of 14.7 V
Absorption -  remaining 20% charging at 13.8 V
Float - Lowest charging rate of about 2% Current of capacity  at 13.8 V
It turns out that the default setting of the charger is all that is needed for this battery. There is a rotary switch setting on the charger that is set to 2 - this is all that is needed.
I was able to install on a sunny day and it started to charge at 6.1A for the 12V batteries. See the album for images.
The charger is located below the NAV table and the flexible solar panel is placed on thop of the dodger and died down with cords.
Note: forgive the bird droppings - I was pressed for time to clean them.
Contact me If I can answer any questions.

View Album

Solar panel and connecting cable purchased from:
RENOGY.COM  909 287-7111
5050 S. Archibold, Ontario, CA 91762

Solar Charger/Controller Purchased from:
7655 U.S. Highway 10 W Building E, Missoula, MT 59808
Missoula, Montana
Bozeman, Montana
Madison, Wisconsin  406 880-5952
$ 196.35,  Free shipping


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