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Old 08-11-2006, 10:40 PM   #1
Rear Admiral
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 437
Default Duckhead...

Tell us more about your Solar System!

What size solar panels? Which controller? What sort batteries? AGM, Gell? Lead Acid? What's your existing fridge like?

We're in process of installing hard bimini & stern arch to mount eight 80 watt panels in hopes of primary power for two refrigeration systems. The boxes are insulated very well, so we're well on our way to frozen Margaritaville.

Where are ya anchored at the moment?



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Old 08-12-2006, 03:50 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 11

Ya Mon, that was my life 4 yrs ago! Unfortunetly I'm back on land in the wonderful-world-of-work but it was a great 2 yrs cruising FL, eastern seaboard and caribbean. We stayed at a dock two days out of the whole time and never found a need to plug into shore power. Sounds like you have done the homework for what you're planning.

When we get back out there this is what I'm doing.

6 or as many as you can fit 6 V. golf cart batteries (balance your load around the boat)

6 solar panels, the big ones

Windmill not needed cuz I'm not a northern lattitude sailor but if you are do us a favor and avoid Air-Marine, they are too loud.

Controller was found on the web. It was a big marine electric place out of CA I think the name started with an F? It was small and worked great. Also got this anti-sulfation thing that in theory sent pulses thru the wiring breaking up sulfation before it happened. When the batts would take no more charge (14.4 V,) one relay would disconnect solars, very simple. I ran full runs (individual wires without connections) of sufficient guage from each solar panel, did'nt gang wire in case one failed altho I don't know if it would have mattered. It's just smarter to isolate and work on one without disrupting charge from the others. Every bare wire was dipped in a store bought "magic potion" before crimping, think it was 2 oz of used 10w30 but they charged me like it was caviar.

We had an older 110/12/propane fridge that was on propane most of the time (20Ib went 3 weeks) but I hear you can get a very efficient 12v that can be maintained with a good solar setup. I would get the most efficient fridge I could regardless of price. It's quite simple to do the math to see if your setup will work and the fridge people will help with this too.

Sometime you find yourself on land way past your bedtime having fun, then all of a sudden your new found sailing mates have to go! Why? because they have gone too long without firing up the engine to get that cold plate pulled down...they are a slave to their refrigeration system. You are doing it right. Fair winds, Mark

PS never have an agenda on a sailboat-never HAVE to be somewhere, it can get you killed... wait till better weather comes
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