Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:26 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:09 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:41 am
Posts: 66
So, I was walking through home depot today and saw they had solar panels on clearance. I picked one up to use on my fish finder, a Humminbird 385ci. It is a Sunforce 12v/5w solar panel. I'm thinking of mounting it on the top of my igloo cooler. Here's my question...

Is it just as simple as connecting it to the battery?

It appears from the specs that the Sunforce puts out about 330mAh and the Humminbird takes 425mAh. I'm thinking it would supplement the battery and keep it from discharging during those long days. I fished this rig last year and it would deplete the battery after 6 or 7 hours. I'm hoping to keep it alive all day.

I'd love to see how anyone else using solar panels has theirs set up. Thinking of adding a bilge pump as well. We spend a fair amount of time out in the Gulf and it seems a bit of water in the hull is sometimes unavoidable when the rollers and chop kick up a bit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:55 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:35 pm
Posts: 12
Yeah, I have at the moment 80 watts of solar panel on my hobie, you should have a regulator, to avoid overcharging the batteries. I was able to fit two Fullriver 55ah sla batteries in the hatch in front of the seat, they slid backwards and were perfect, albeit heavy, but the ballast effect was welcome in the water.
I have 2x 20 watt panels on the front hatch and 2 x 20 watt panels on the back, above the rudder box.
Simple, but very effective and it is wonderful to see 5 amps going out, and 5 coming in.

The regulator, I put into a sealed box and used ruber grommets for the wiring.

The comments you will probably get will be "Have you got solar panels on it?"

Noooooo...*shakes head*


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:55 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:11 pm
Posts: 42
Oh man 2 x 55ah batteries. I am guessing there is a trolling motor on here. That's a lot of juice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:56 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:06 am
Posts: 736
Location: Amelia Island, FL
A friend of mine is involved in the design and engineering of solar products. When I asked him about mounting a solar panel on my PA he simply stated " Don't waste your money. If you want something that will charge your batteries and keep you out on the water, this type system would be far to large and expensive for this type of application".

He did go on to explain that you may get a "trinkel" type charge from these small panels but certainly not enough charge your battery. His recommended solution was very simple......

Carry a spare/extra battery :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm
Posts: 169
Location: vero beach, fl
pa14naz wrote:
Oh man 2 x 55ah batteries. I am guessing there is a trolling motor on here. That's a lot of juice.


I was thinking the same thing. 24v 110aH. Wow. I could mix margaritas on board!

_________________
Cathedra Mea, Regulae Meae.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:55 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:34 pm
Posts: 116
Just hook it up to your battery. Don't worry about over charging. 330ma isn't going to over charge your battery given that the sun is out only maybe 6 hours of useful charging and that 330ma is if there's a perfect angle towards the sun for that full 6 hours or so. Most of those size panels only output 15 volts or so anyway, so once the battery gets over 13.8 volts, the current is going to drop no matter what.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:37 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:58 pm
Posts: 155
I was talking about this today with the guys at Battery Plus. They have me similar info as to what islandspeed got. Basically it's not worth it for our application. I purchased a sealed AGM Deep Cycle Werker 12v 20aH battery and a Battery Tender that puts out 1.25A to charge it over night. The smaller 7.5aH and 9aH 12v security batteries just weren't cutting it for me. They wouldn't last a full 10 hours on the water after the first couple trips. With these batteries if you drain them more than 50% you'll find that the batteries won't charge all the way back up. Each battery would last me only a month or two before it quit charging back up. Hopefully this new larger capacity battery will fix that!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:17 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:11 pm
Posts: 42
uno mas wrote:
pa14naz wrote:
Oh man 2 x 55ah batteries. I am guessing there is a trolling motor on here. That's a lot of juice.


I was thinking the same thing. 24v 110aH. Wow. I could mix margaritas on board!

A lot of weight too. 77 lbs in batteries. That is a beast.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Solar Power Help!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:48 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:35 pm
Posts: 12
pa14naz wrote:
uno mas wrote:
pa14naz wrote:
Oh man 2 x 55ah batteries. I am guessing there is a trolling motor on here. That's a lot of juice.


I was thinking the same thing. 24v 110aH. Wow. I could mix margaritas on board!

A lot of weight too. 77 lbs in batteries. That is a beast.



But wait, there is more...so, we have 80 watts of panel..(thus far)...I have an idea, but, following old Toms example, I aint saying....it will involve the addition of another 105 AH, this time in Lithium, which will give me 215 ah...this is driving a 55 lb thrust Minn Kota at the rear, (somewhere) and another 33 lb thrust Minn Kota toward the front. I hazard a guess that none has a clue as to where the 55 ah batteries actually nest..just perfectly, I might add...and the lithium batteries will be in two separate banks, some here...some there...
One 10 mm bolt holds the complete 55lb thrust motor in place, and the 33 lb motor will just kinda "sit there"...

Weight vs displacement.

With a vessel of this displacement, light weight is very much a disadvantage...the thing sits like a cork on the water with the nose cutting in far too much. By transferring some of the weight aft, with the batteries aft and LOW..this problem will be mitigated.

Conjecture has it the pyramids were built with rollers, I happen to disagree with this, however, rollers are very much the "Go" with a vessel of this magnitude. The thing is difficult enough to handle bare hull, so why bother when a 100 bucks will buy a winch. Winch...rollers....ute...home.

Now, to any that say "Oh 215 Ah is waaay too much capacity" I counter with this: Sun dont shine every day.

As to the issue of solar panels...you will find that they are just fine, hell they are designed to be outdoors, and at about a buck a watt these days, just buy another.

I have entered into discussions with a battery supplier (lithium) to provide custom packs, and am in negotiations with a solar panel manufacturer to make "fitted" panels for the hobie.

I also am able to fit another 200 watt panel to the Hobie, in addition to the 80 watts previously mentioned, giving an output of 280 watts.

I dont want the thing to just fly...I want it to FLY.

I also am considering awind turbine for those non sunny days...but you know...dont want to appear extreme.

But...when I say goodbye cruel world..know this....I will have the 12 volt shower, the lights, the winch...

Mock me not Yorrick...


:))


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group