Solar Install

Discussion in 'Downeast Projects and Boat Building' started by Genius, May 28, 2018.

  1. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Opinions welcomed for the solar array install on the Jarvis Newman. Hidden fastening or easy fastening?

    Doing with the brackets hidden will require more work involving tapping and studding the array frames or using HD velcro. The threaded G10 pads will be epoxied to the cabin top.

    Also trying to figure out the penetration. Thinking of hiding the wire penetration under one of the arrays with a small pad to keep water from finding its way down. I'm 50/50 on using a gland seal or just relying on the pad to keep water out.
     

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  2. Old Mud

    Old Mud Captain

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    Lookin good !!, I put a 100 watt one on mine 9 or 10 years ago. Best thing i ever did. Didn't do any hidden fasteners just down and dirty . Silicon ed in because i didn't know if it would stand up and wanted to be able to remove it easy knowing well that nothing on a boat is permanent. Well, still there and working fine.
     
  3. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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    That's called "temporarily permanent" :D I picked up a 50 watt unit to keep the batteries topped off, but haven't even had time to open the box and begin to think about installation. So I'll be watching this thread for any tips.
     
  4. BunkerMan

    BunkerMan Senior Member

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    Which units do you guys recommend? I wana get a small one for the skiff and a 1000 watt for the tj. I looked on amazon and I’m confused on what to get
     
  5. fortier256

    fortier256 Captain

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    Attached is a pretty in depth write up that was available on another forum. May be too much info but the writer sounds very knowledgeable. Good luck.
     

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  6. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    I’ve used a 100w Renogy unit on a previous boat. This boat is getting a 200w system. Both sets were bought through Amazon. Good quality IMO.
     
  7. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Yup, one of the better upgrades I’ve done as well. One thing I’ve read about is having air flow under the panel for cooling. With temperature the panels apparently lose efficiency.
     
  8. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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  9. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Good article!
     
  10. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    So, the panel on the left is showing the bracket. The one on the right has hidden fastening. Is it worth the effort to do the hidden fastening?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  11. Old Mud

    Old Mud Captain

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    .All depends if you want a Cadillac or a Rolls Royce instillation. :)
     
  12. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    I remember a recent quote of the day...strive for perfection, settle for completion. I’m going to follow that advice.
     
  13. Toolate

    Toolate Captain

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    You could probably just 5200 those G10 blocks in place and they would stay for ever. I would leave the wire entry accessible and push the panels together to get them to share a mounting block or 2. Mounting block is nice idea because inevitably a panel or something will go bad and you will want to install something else or if you want to put the wire entrance under it then you can unscrew the panels from the G10 blocks and not worry about re-bedding something.

    Would love to see how this ends up.
     
  14. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    so the house is glass over plywood. This is one of the reasons for the pads. I didn't want to make any holes and the pad also rises the attachment above the water flow which also reduces the chances of water entry. The placement of the panels had a lot to do with how it caught my eye and some functionality also. Placing together made a big black block on the top and I didn't like that. So, I moved them around and moved them again, measured, moved, measured.....you get the picture. Walked around the boat to get other vantage points, etc. Really ended up with something my eye liked.Finally settled on the after end away from the mast that may cast a small shadow on them. This position also gives me the option of making the penetration through the overhead at the cabin or the overhang. Still not decided how the wiring run will go. Thinking about looks, water entry and smooth runs.

    I really wanted to mount these the easy way but, with some good advice I've decided to take on the hidden mount option. Going with HD velcro which makes it easy to remove for road transport, winter storage, and storms? Measured out and marked for the stud option if the velcro proves to be a failure.

    After marking and sanding 50 percent of the pad locations I realized there was a more efficient way of doing this. Started out doing the sanding by hand. What I really should have done was hot glue some stops to mark the position, mark the general location, sand with a machine then test fit. Then I would be able to do my final masking. Oh well. I was hoping to get some glued down today...but I had to make it home to grill some steaks with the admiral. They should go on tomorrow.

    As for wiring, I'm going with a parallel system to increase current flow for the PWM charger. I have a short run and it makes no sense to me to set it up as a higher voltage system with a PWM charger. I've used a half dozen makes and models in a couple different applications and really like the Renogy unit. Going to wire a power meter with a shunt to see how much power is being generated. Already have one installed on the house system to measure usage. They are cheap, definitely would recommend to others to install.
     

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  15. Toolate

    Toolate Captain

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    You got it sanded I would just glue those things down. Too scared of the damage they would cause if the Velcro let go or the adhesive for the velcro myself. Fast cure U/V 4200 would last forever and you could cut it with a wire in minutes to remove if you want. Think you know what you are doing so please ignore if you like :).

    Interested to see how this works out!
     
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  16. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Thanks. In the past I've put them down like Old Mud said, but I used butyl tape. It was really really strong. I've used this 3M velcro stuff before on other things and it hasn't failed. But, I am a bit skeptical also. The panels were placed and epoxied yesterday, so I'll get to see what the velcro pull test does. Once I get the install done I most likely will be putting the stainless studs in. The stop blocks were hot glued down to help with positioning, definitely worth doing this....it helped big time when it was time to epoxy. Used the fast hardener on the epoxy and really had only one minute of work time with the heat. It was perfect.

    A couple of young whistle pigs stopped by the boat yard at lunch.
     

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  17. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    yesterdays work pictures. Went with a penetration into the cabin using a gland under a panel. Didn't use a pad, I hope I don't regret it.
     

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  18. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    more...
     

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  19. osprey47

    osprey47 Senior Member

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    Beautiful installation! Not sure how you decided to run your wiring. This is what we have.

    6 100watt at 21V panels (4 dedicated to house battery bank, 1 to engine start, 1 to aft thruster bank). The wiring is encased in wire black corrugated sleeves and run to the base of the radar/antenna mast. We use junction boxes (in the event we have to remove the mast) at the base of the mast. No issues and the panels have been in place for 15 years.
     
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  20. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Almost done, a few small things to clean up. Still need to secure wiring under panels, install conduit inside, protect or figure out how to deal with the wire between the panels and some small wiring for the solar gen load meter. Things I would have done different....may have used the t-bolts for fastening, may have made two gland penetrations to hide the wire between the panels.
     

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