Solar System Details

Development

Over the past 12 months we have been looking at up-dating ​our systems. Whilst the current systems work perfectly well it is now time to change.

Our existing panels have always been top quality mono-crystalline with Grade "A" cells but the new cells are even better and the new panel will give slightly better efficiency.

Our MPPT solar charge controller has always been manufactured by a reputable company, been very efficient, with a very low quiescent current of 50mA. We discussed our requirements with many manufacturers and tested many controllers (Reports are shown on "Reports Page") and the final decision was the Tracer Series from EP Solar. The new controller will go further than before. The quiescent current is less than 50mA, has load output facility, remote monitor, battery temperature sensing and facility to connect a laptop. 

The new systems will also provide for isolation of the solar array and battery bank.

How much extra is this all going to cost I hear you ask?

Answer - NOTHING EXTRA AT ALL.

In fact, you will gain.

The original 300 watt system will become a 330 watt system, at the same price (2 panels)

The original 400 watt system will become a 495 watt system, at the same price (3 panels)

The original 600 watt system will become a 660 watt system, at the same price (4 panels)

A new 990 watt system (6 panels)

Will they take up more roof space?

The new panels are larger, but the original 300 watt system consisted of 3 panels taking up 1.98 sq/mtr, whereas the 330 watt system is 2 panels taking up 1.98 sq/mtr. 

Solar System Isolation Switch

New 3 Position Isolation Switch (right) ensures correct connection / disconnection of the system. Comes pre-wired for self-fit systems. Red "anderson" plug on left side of switch is for Battery connection and Grey "anderson" plug on right is for Solar Panel connection. As always the corrosponding cables come pre-fitted with the other half of the "anderson" plug.  The plugs will only connect to thier corrosponding colour and can only be plugged together one way.


FULL SYSTEM DETAILS


Standard "Tilt & Flat" systems from 165 - 990 watt 

Each panel is 165 watt mono-crystalline with new premium high efficiency Grade "A" cells and measures 1480mm x 670mm x 35mm. 

Each System consists of the following: 

1 to 6 x 165 watt solar panel (qty obviously dependent on system)  with 0.8 mtr length of pre-connected solar cable with male / female solar connectors. 

1 pair of aluminium mounting brackets for each panel with hand-wheel knobs (Panels now have threaded inserts so no wing-nut required). These brackets allow a 2 way tilt angle of about 30 degrees. 

1 x 6mtr length of meta-flex cable (different lengths available on request) to connect solar panels to solar charge regulator, with 2 pairs of pre-connected solar connectors at one end and boot connectors at the other. The solar connectors are "handed" to ensure correct polarity. This cable is flexible but very well protected, so is ideal to run along the roof. 

6 x meta-flex cable clamps. 

1 tube of marine flex which can be used to bond the mounting brackets if you prefer not to drill, or as a sealant in conjunction with the fixing screws. 

1 x ABS weather proof box and meta-flex cable gland which can be used to aid cable entry into boat.  (This is the most awkward bit of the installation no matter who fits the system).

1 x Solar charge regulator with display showing battery voltage, solar amps and much more, depending on type ordered (Tracer MPPT), complete with battery temperature sensor, remote monitor and software.

1 x 3 position isolation. Off - Battery - Solar - thus ensuring correct connection and disconnection.


1 x 3 mtr length Brown / Blue 10mm H7 Rubber cable for connection between Solar Charge Controller and your battery bank. The brown cable is pre-fitted with an in-line fuse and both cable have 8mm ring connector at one end for battery termination and boot connectors at the other end. 

1 x Set of fixing screws including drill and tap

1 set of documents including invoice, connection drawing, self-fit help guide, Solar Charge Controller instruction booklet, panel specifications and warranty documents.

If you choose to "self fit" and get into problems, do not worry, we will not leave you in the "thick brown stuff". We will help you resolve any problem.

Notes on MPPT

Notes on MPPT 

Please be careful if looking at other MPPT systems. There are other low cost units stating they are MPPT but in fact they are not. Our MPPT control is quality.

200 watt example in optimum weather conditions. 

2 x 100 watt panels are plated at approximately 5.6 amp each, i.e. 11.2 amps 

Our standard PWM has shown up to 12.5 amps 

Our MPPT has shown over  17 amps 

If you happen to have more panels fitted and exceed the maximum solar input (weather permitting), our MPPT protects itself and also limits the output to its maximum rating. 



We know of a few “so called” MPPT controllers which stop charging and trip, and they will not re-start automatically. So unless you are there to manually reset they do nothing. 

We have also tested MPPT Controls which are “MPPT by name only” and are actually PWM. 

Notes on Solar Panels 

Again please be careful when looking for solar panels. 

All our new panels are Mono-crystalline, 165 watt, 22 volt with Grade “A” premium effieciency cells. 

Due to the increased efficiency, the panels are physically only slightly larger than the 100 watt panels

1 – The physical size is still easily manageable and fits nicely down the side of a narrow-boat 

2 – THE VOLTAGE * 

* The voltage is important. 18 to 22 volt is ideal for a 12 volt battery system. Larger panels can be much higher voltage and are not really suitable for a 12 volt system. Some are 36 volt which we would use on a 24 volt system but could be used on a 12 volt system with the right choice of controller. Some are even higher voltages and a waste of money. Normal charge controllers will possibly trip on over-voltage so again be aware of voltage on the solar panel and the working voltage of the controller. 

Our MPPT does allow panels to be connected in “series / parallel” providing a better working voltage in low light level because they accept higher solar input voltages without any problems.

CONCLUSION 



Purchase a full system from us and you even receive the cabling with pre-soldered sockets. Have it fitted or “self fit”, either way if anything does go wrong we are here to help.  

This is why we offer full systems…….you receive peace of mind. 

2 Panel 330 watt

They don't have to be side by side

Peace & Quiet

Looks nice and peaceful!

Keep the noise to a minimum, fit solar & reduce engine usage

Another 2 Panel 330 Watt

We will always discuss positioning to suit your boat.