Author Topic: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie  (Read 552 times)

DRG400

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Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:31:54 PM »
I am brand new to solar and putting a system on a houseboat. Not wanting to run the generator unless really needing to. I purchased 4 new U.S. Batteries US2200xc2 6v batteries. I have 3-160w solarland mono panels. Midnite KIDD solar charger and a Magnum Energy MSH3012M inverter. I have changed all lighting to 12V LEDs. I've had the system set up for about a month now while we are remodeling the boat and everything works fine. We ran a small portable air conditioner last week for a few hours and it drew the batteries down to where the inverter shut itself off. I was kind of figuring it would but I guess what I'm not understanding is why it took over two days to get the batteries back to full. I called where I got the solar system from but have not heard back from them.
 I went to where I bought the batteries to make sure I had all of the charge settings set correctly. I did. So my first thought was to add more batteries so they last longer but in doing that I am thinking I will need to add more solar panels in which I do not have a lot of space for more.
 Or just have to be prepared to run the generator if wanting to use the AC unit.
Any info or thoughts on what I need to change or do would be greatly appreciated. 

Doug

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 04:08:37 PM »
Hi DRG400,

AC does use a lot of power. You likely do need more panels.
For the most part if full batteries run down quickly then you need more batteries but if empty batteries take a long time to charge then you need more panels.
That is a bit over simplified since there are many factors.
Do your panels have full sun all day?

Welcome to the forum.
Doug

Westbranch

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 04:42:03 PM »
Or just have to be prepared to run the generator if wanting to use the AC unit.

You hit the nail on the head with that statement IMHO...

you went to the trouble of replacing the lights to LED, relatively, that is a minor saving overall when compared to an AC unit, .

Don't give up yet as you have to do an inventory of ALL loads, measured in Watthrs or Amphrs, and then see what headspace you have left or not any (ie a deficit)

If you list out the specs of the panels and Batteries generator, panel orientation, etc. [ Think  Power making  VS power users (consumption)] the forum members may have some suggestions for your setup... like using the Gen to bulk charge and let the sun do the Absorb and Float.  Also the orientation of the boat when at anchor or at the wharf would be good to know...
KID FW1811 560W >C&D 24V 900Ah AGM
CL150 29032 FW V.2126-NW2097-GP2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3Px4s 140W > 24V 900Ah AGM,
2 Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr, NetGr DS104Hub
Cotek ST1500 Inv  want a 24V  ROSIE Inverter
OmniCharge3024  Eu1/2/3000iGens
West Chilcotin 1680+W to come

DRG400

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 04:46:44 PM »
I love over simplified. There was full sun on them for a couple days before it got cloudy. I’m going to experiment with building a rack that I can try to keep the panels directly in the sun. 

ClassicCrazy

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 07:28:50 PM »
What are the charging setting you are using ?
Do you have a Whizbang on your system so you get an idea of what the SOC state of charge is ?
Also are you using Ending amps to end absorb and go to Float ?
If all is well and your batteries are getting fully charged then run the generator when your batteries get down to 70 or 80 % SOC and you have your AC on .  Running your batteries down lower will lead to a shorter battery life span.

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

DRG400

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 08:33:12 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone.

Larry, I just ordered the Whizbang jr. today. So hopefully will get it installed this weekend. the following are the settings the place I bought the batteries from gave me. I dont believe I have the ending amps set correctly as they didnt know.

Float 13.02v
Equalize 15.3v
Absorb 14.7v for 3 hours
Bulk 14.7v @ 23 amps

Westbranch, My panels are 160w @ 8.8amps Solarland SLP160S-12
Inverter is MAximum Energy MSH3012M
Batteries are four US batteries us2200XC2
I removed the original generator from the houseboat and have not replaced it, still debating what to get. The boat is in drydock while it gets a makeover. Its sitting basically in a east west orientation so the panels are in the sun pretty much all day.





Westbranch

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 02:53:26 PM »
I think that the inverter is a MAGNUM built inverter / charger ... Pls confirm, but on page 59 it shows a constant draw of 36A Watts -no load (432W)  and 10A WATTS in search a fair tare load! Part of the battery depletion problem.


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=2ahUKEwi2tcXOuaDhAhVCj54KHZY5CdAQFjAFegQIBRAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.magnum-dimensions.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2FMagDocs%2F64-0089%2520A%2520Owner%2520Manual%252C%2520MSH3012RV%2520Series.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2FypRSvnFniZshD7FqUwV-

Correction As noted by TechnoDave below in post 14
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 12:01:04 AM by Westbranch »
KID FW1811 560W >C&D 24V 900Ah AGM
CL150 29032 FW V.2126-NW2097-GP2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3Px4s 140W > 24V 900Ah AGM,
2 Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr, NetGr DS104Hub
Cotek ST1500 Inv  want a 24V  ROSIE Inverter
OmniCharge3024  Eu1/2/3000iGens
West Chilcotin 1680+W to come

DRG400

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 05:02:37 PM »
Yes it is an inverter/charger. However I do not have the charger part set up.

Westbranch

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 05:55:06 PM »
All you need is 120V to plug it into... just shore power, or the generator you have removed...
KID FW1811 560W >C&D 24V 900Ah AGM
CL150 29032 FW V.2126-NW2097-GP2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3Px4s 140W > 24V 900Ah AGM,
2 Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr, NetGr DS104Hub
Cotek ST1500 Inv  want a 24V  ROSIE Inverter
OmniCharge3024  Eu1/2/3000iGens
West Chilcotin 1680+W to come

ClassicCrazy

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2019, 07:04:12 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone.

Larry, I just ordered the Whizbang jr. today. So hopefully will get it installed this weekend. the following are the settings the place I bought the batteries from gave me. I dont believe I have the ending amps set correctly as they didnt know.

Float 13.02v
Equalize 15.3v
Absorb 14.7v for 3 hours
Bulk 14.7v @ 23 amps

Westbranch, My panels are 160w @ 8.8amps Solarland SLP160S-12
Inverter is MAximum Energy MSH3012M
Batteries are four US batteries us2200XC2
I removed the original generator from the houseboat and have not replaced it, still debating what to get. The boat is in drydock while it gets a makeover. Its sitting basically in a east west orientation so the panels are in the sun pretty much all day.

Here are your battery specs.
https://usbattery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/usb-charging-recommendations.pdf
If the batteries aren't real old I would lower the Absorb to 14.4v
The float they recommend seems kind of low but that is what they recommend .
Take a look at this and see if your batteries are wired so that they will share the charge and loads more equally .
http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

Westbranch

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 01:01:57 AM »
From that link that Larry posted the values are based on a SHORE power type charger that can provide constant Amperage like the Bulk Charge ... in solar you will never be able to supply 14.7 V at 23 amps as once the charger achieves the ABSORB Voltage the Amps start to drop until they hit the time limitation or the WBjr determined End Amps value you will have to determine and then set in the Classic CC..

You need to get them to give you the SOLAR CHARGING  VALUES!
hth
KID FW1811 560W >C&D 24V 900Ah AGM
CL150 29032 FW V.2126-NW2097-GP2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3Px4s 140W > 24V 900Ah AGM,
2 Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr, NetGr DS104Hub
Cotek ST1500 Inv  want a 24V  ROSIE Inverter
OmniCharge3024  Eu1/2/3000iGens
West Chilcotin 1680+W to come

DRG400

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 12:11:14 PM »
This is how I was told to hook up my batteries. This is not shown on any of the diagrams on the link you sent.

ClassicCrazy

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 12:36:48 PM »
Your wiring would be the same as method two in that link I sent ( just think of each series pair as one battery in that link)

Did you also order a shunt with the Whizbang or do you already have one in your system ?
You will need to change your wiring a bit on the negative in that you will have  only one wire from the negative going to one side of the shunt. you will need to move all the other negatives  to the other side of the shunt  ( from charging, inverter, etc ).

That way the Whizbang will be able to count everything going into and out of your battery and show you only what is going into battery . Then you can use ending amps to terminate absorb and also calculate SOC of battery , loads, etc.

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

Resthome

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 01:01:14 AM »
Where are you located?  Yeah you need shore power or generator if you are going to run an AC unit off an inverter Especially if your battery bank is 12 v. We run a swap cooler with a DC motor so it doesn’t use the inverter. Pulls around 18A and can run it from 10am to 8pm in the summer without draining the 840ah battery bank. Bank fully charged by 11am.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 01:26:51 AM by Resthome »
John

10 x Kyocera KC140, Classic 150 w/WBJr, Link10 Battery Monitor, 850 AH @ 12v Solar One 2v cells, Xantrex PROwatt SW2000
Off Grid on Houseboat Lake Don Pedro, CA

tecnodave

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Re: Houseboat Solar Project for newbie
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2019, 01:21:46 AM »
WB,

You are misreading the Magnum specs.......10 watts idle not 10 amps......36 watts inverting no load......not 36 amps...big difference.  The Magnums are pretty stingy using power at idle.

Td
#1 Classic 150 12 x Sharp NE-170, 2S6P, 24volt L-16 Rolls-Surette S-530, MS4024 & Cotek ,  C-40 dirv.cont. for hot water
#2 Classic 150 12 x Sharp NE-170, 2S6P, 24 volt L-16 Interstate,Brutus Inv.
#3 Kid/WBjr 4/6 Sanyo 200 watt multilayer 4/6 P
#4 Kid/WBjr 4/6 Sanyo 200 watt multilayer 2S 2/3 P