Solar Battery Charger 12 volt marine

Solar Battery Charger 12 volt marine

Solar battery charger 12 volt marine

Solar battery charger 12 volt marine

Solar battery charger 12 volt marine can be use to keep the battery  fully charged when the boat is setting on a trailer or setting at or slip.

Keep your battery charged – Clean, green, and free energy wherever you are – Reduce energy loss from electronics – Operate even on a cloudy day.

Marine solar panel kits:

  1. Potential to deep sea when discharged
  2. Only one easy way to top up your discharged marine battery
  3. Contains Solar panel, Charge controller, Inverter and Battery.
  4. 100 watt 12v Solar Panel kit is best for your deep sea marine boat.

How solar charging works for marine

A marine solar charger is equipped with several photovoltaic sensors. Their main role is to transform sunlight into electricity. Slate-shaped, they are composed of photovoltaic cells or photocells. They are made from semiconductor material, in most cases silicon. Indeed, this material allows an optimal yield compared to so many other semiconductor materials.

Once the particles of sunlight, known as photons, come into contact with the electrons in the silicon, energy transmission occurs. Subsequently, the silicon releases electrons and it remains only to channel them to obtain electricity. It should be noted, however, that the electricity obtained is in proportion to the amount of light that the photovoltaic cells receive. Thus, depending on the needs of its owner, the energy provided by a solar charger can be used directly or stored in a battery.

What it can do for you?

Solar battery charger boat: Blue water sailors need a lot of energy

solar battery charger for boat harbor freight

Whether circumnavigation of the world or a deep see-water trip lasting several months, sufficient for life and survival on board is the sufficient and reliable power supply. The numerous electrical consumers such as light, navigation instruments, refrigerator, bilge pump or laptop often bring the on-board batteries on long trips to their limits.

There are various solutions to cover the electricity needs of a cruising boat or marine. Almost always a solar system is used. If dimensioned correctly, it can cover the entire power requirement and charge the starter and consumer battery like a generator.

In order for everything to work as smoothly as it sounds here, it is important to understand how the individual components of a solar system work and how the power requirements on board are determined. In this post I would like to explain both.

The essential components of a solar system for marine

  1. Solar panels.
  2. Charge controller.
  3. Inverter
  4. Batteries

Solar system components

A solar system consists of four components: the solar panel, the solar charge controller, inverter and the batteries. The latter are usually already on board.

The 12 volt solar panel for marine

A 12v solar panel converts light into electricity. The stronger the incident light intensity, the greater the power generated. The power generated by the module is used to charge the batteries.

Here you can imagine a solar panle as a normal charger analogous to an alternator or a generator. However, there is the difference mentioned that the height of the charging current always depends on the light intensity.

In other words, as soon as light falls on the solar panel, power is generated and the battery is charged permanently with a more or less large charge current.

A typical solar panel used on cruising boat.

To increase the charging current, several solar panels – even of different sizes – can be connected in parallel.

To increase the charging voltage several solar panels – the same size – can be connected in series.

The charge controller

The charge controller is connected between the solar panel (s) and the battery. Its task is to regulate the charging current and to protect the battery safely against overcharging or too deep discharge. In addition, the charge controller is used for battery care.

The charge controller regulates the charging current and protects the battery safely against overcharging or too deep discharge.

Depending on the design of the charge controller, two separate battery systems can also be connected to one charge controller. This is the basic requirement on most blue water boats, as there is always a starter battery for the engine and a consumer battery (also called on-board battery) for the individual consumers on board the boat.

It is important to understand that solar charge controllers exploit the special properties of solar panels and have been specially developed for them. They should therefore not be used as charge controllers for other power sources.

The following sketch shows the structure and the electrical connection of a solar system on the boat:

Construction and electrical connection of a solar system on board a boat

Important: In the literature it is sometimes claimed that you can possibly do without the charge controller. Personally, I do not think this makes sense and strongly recommends the use of a charge controller. If there is an over voltage that would have compensated for a charge controller, the damage to the battery is many times higher than the purchase price of the charge controller.
Demand determination and dimensioning of the solar system

In order to plan a suitable solar system for the marine and application, the following procedure has proven itself: In the first step, the demand is determined. In the second step, it is clarified which power is conceivable at which location before the appropriate module type is selected in the third and final step. Not every module fits every ship.

Step 1: Determine the need

In order to determine the demand, first of all the actual state of the marine boat is analyzed. The first question that comes up is the question of how big the utility battery bank is? The size – also called capacity – is given in ampere-hours (Ah).

Battery Bank

A battery bank is a series of batteries connected in parallel in a system with a voltage of 12 volts. If the electrical system is operated with a voltage of 24 volts, the batteries are connected in series.

Once the capacity has been determined, the next step is to analyze which consumers are connected to this battery bank. Consumers with a high energy requirement are, for example, the refrigerator, the watermaker or the autopilot and, depending on the system, the navigation system (plotter, AIS, radar, GPS etc.).

On the basis of consumers, a so-called energy balance is created. In the process, the various daily requirements of all consumers on board are added up in order to calculate the daily energy consumption to determine use.

Helpful in creating the energy balance is an online demand calculator, as it can be found here or here, for example.

The daily consumption in the above example is 35.4 Ah or 424.5 Wh. Accordingly; the solar system would have to be dimensioned so that it can cover this daily requirement. For this to succeed, in addition to the determined power consumption, the capacity of the battery and the light irradiation as a function of season and region must be considered.

Step 2: Consider the marine boat area

Decisive for the power output of a solar panel is the amount and intensity of the incoming light. And these in turn depend crucially on which region of the world the trip is planned. Here is an example: In the following graphic, the power output was compared against two sailing areas. Compared are Palma de Mallorca (Mediterranean) and Copenhagen (Baltic Sea).

Power output Palma de Mallorca (Mediterranean) and Copenhagen (Baltic Sea) in comparison

The performance yield per day at a location can be easily determined using an online revenue calculator. In this case, usually a horizontal mounting of the solar panels without any partial shading is taken as a basis. Such a revenue calculator can be found here, for example.

From the calculation results thus, which daily yield a solar system will produce. The demand calculator should be designed to take into account that the sun shines more on some days and less on others (monthly average).

The value for the yield then represents an average that can be used for practical purposes. On especially nice days, more is generated, and in rainy weather less electricity is generated. These fluctuations must be bridged by the battery. Therefore, a sufficiently large battery is always necessary in connection with solar systems. Often it makes more sense to expand the battery capacity than to enlarge the solar system, in order to better compensate for the variations in the radiation.
Step 3: Select the module type and installation location

Usual assembly places on marine boats:

  1. The fixed mounting on deck or on a hardtop by gluing or screwing.
  2. The attachment on the Bimini, the sprayhood or on the equipment rack.
  3. The mobile application on deck – for example, laying out or fixing with ropes or rope. In this case, the connection is then made via a 12-volt socket without additional electrical installation.

Example of deck Solar Panel installation

Basically, a solar system can also consist of a mix of these three types. On board the boat, part of the modules would then be permanently mounted on deck for permanent charging of the batteries. In addition, when boarded, modules could be clipped onto bimini and / or sprayhood and / or mobile solar panels could be laid out on the deck or secured with ropes.

Example of attachment on the Bimini

The advantage of mounting on the Bimini is significantly less shading than in the deck assembly.

Example of attachment on the hardtop

In mobile use on deck, the attachment is usually done with ropes and rope. The advantage of mobile use is a perfect alignment with the sun – even when the sun is low.

There are modules on the market that already contain the charge controller and therefore only have to be connected to the vehicle electrical system via a socket via a socket. Once plugged in, they start charging the battery. These are so-called Plug & Play modules. It’s that easy.

Examples of mobile use of the modules on board

12 volt marine Solar Charger: Best Solution

Spark 100W flexible durable solar panel

ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) : This composite material combined with the quality of manufacture makes the Seatronic panels extremely robust. They will not be subject to delamination, cracking or corrosion. This coating also ensures optimal light transmission that improves the efficiency of the solar panel. ETFE has been used for many years for applications where durability and resistance to temperature is a priority (Project Eden in England for example)

Pros:

HIGH-PERFORMANCE CELLS: Sunpower cells have a 20 to 30 percent higher yield than monocrystalline cells and have the added advantage of being extremely reliable (SunPower photovoltaic cells hold the world record for power generation). For example, SUNPOWER photovoltaic cells have been selected to power the Solar Impulse solar aircraft.

PERFECTLY WATERPROOF DESIGN: These neatly finished solar panels are guaranteed for five years parts and labor and their performance is guaranteed for 5 years at 90%.

QUALITY OF MANUFACTURE: These solar panels are also manufactured in accordance with the ISO9001 and ISO140001 standards in order to guarantee the highest level of quality.

TRACEABILITY: Each module is individually tested under ISO conditions and has a unique serial number that can not be tampered with to ensure a certified quality level.

MODULAR INSTALLATION: These solar panels can be set up on a bimini, glued on the bridge or used in mobile installation thanks to their very small thickness and their reduced weight (three times lighter than a rigid panel for the same power). Eyelets are available for easy attachment and their flexibility of 30% allows them to be placed on curved supports.

Advantages: the ETFE coating ensures optimal transmission of light to the cells and guarantees the durability of the module. Their flexibility of 30% allows installation on various supports. These solar panels are resistant to occasional trampling and can be glued to the deck.

Advantage of Sunpower Flexible Solar Panels:

HIGH-PERFORMANCE CELLS: Sunpower cells have a 20 to 30 percent higher yield than monocrystalline cells and have the added advantage of being extremely reliable (SunPower photovoltaic cells hold the world record for power generation). For example, SUNPOWER photovoltaic cells have been selected to power the Solar Impulse solar aircraft.

PERFECTLY WATERPROOF DESIGN: These neatly finished solar panels are guaranteed for five years parts and labor and their performance is guaranteed for 5 years at 90%.

QUALITY OF MANUFACTURE: These solar panels are also manufactured in accordance with the ISO9001 and ISO140001 standards in order to guarantee the highest level of quality.

TRACEABILITY: Each module is individually tested under ISO conditions and has a unique serial number that can not be tampered with to ensure a certified quality level.

MODULAR INSTALLATION: These solar panels can be set up on a bimini, glued on the bridge or used in mobile installation thanks to their very small thickness and their reduced weight (three times lighter than a rigid panel for the same power). Eyelets are available for easy attachment and their flexibility of 30% allows them to be placed on curved supports.

  1. Panel power 55W
  2. Sunpower Back contact cell type (23.1% return)
  3. Power Voltage Max (VMP) 17.6V
  4. Intensity at Max Power (IMP) 2.84A
  5. Open circuit voltage 20.8V
  6. Intensity of short circuit 3.07A

The influence of partial shading on the power output of a solar panel
In order to achieve the optimum power output, mounting surfaces should be selected for the solar panels, which are as rarely as possible shaded. Under no circumstances should the modules be mounted below the railing, handrail, antenna brackets, lines and the like, as depending on the type of shadow significant performance losses may occur.

It should be explained that a solar panel consists of several solar cells, which are connected in series. If it comes to a shading of a single cell of the module or a sub-area, the power output of the solar panel changes very strong. The entire module is only as powerful as the weakest illuminated solar cell.

This effect affects solar panels of all manufacturers, regardless of whether mono- or multi-crystal cells are installed. Bypass diodes can not prevent this effect either. The following graph shows the performance drop in various shading.

Examples of the effect of shading a solar panel

The influence of the angle of incidence on the power yield of a solar panel

To get the best performance out of a solar panel, the sun would always have to fall onto the module at a right angle and strike all modules of the module at the same angle.

Of course you can come up with all sorts of mechanisms on a boat to guide the module to the sun. In practice, you will hardly want to do this effort and can. Therefore, most owners mount the solar panels on flat surfaces and accept the power loss.

It is important to note that the modules are not bent too much during assembly, so that all cells of the module are illuminated by the sun at the same angle of incidence. A solar panel wrapped around the boom can hardly produce any power, as the following graphic shows.

Examples of the effect of the angle of incidence

Conclusion

For blue marine sailors, a solar panel is an ideal complement to the existing energy management on board. The solar system generates electricity without exhaust gases and without a running engine. Conversely, this means more enjoyable anchoring in quiet bays and less expensive stays in expensive marinas. What’s more, solar power means independence – especially when traveling on a long journey or around the world.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Awesome website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!|

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