Re: Amel solar panels



Solar panels: I did a lot of research, including in this forum to find out how much power is required (about 140Ah a day).  So I opted for the most powerful panels with the smallest footprint, that being the Panasonic N330.  Two of these deliver 660W in theory.  I got up to 590W peak in the first month.  They are roughly 3m2 for 2, about 2.1m wide when side by side, and 1.59m long.  Most other brands are closer to 4m2 for the same power with monocrystalline cells.  Installed flat on an arch over the transom.  I also took advantage to install LED lights with an outside switch over the transom.

The Voc is 69.7 and Isc 6.07.  Allowing for 25% more in extreme conditons (eg very cold and sunny), I opted for the Morning Star Tristar MPPT 60 controller.  It's an overkill, but the MPPT 30 and 45 were out of stock and this was only slightly more expensive with better features (eg Ethernet connection to browse performance history).  Each of the 2 panels has 4 zones, so if any zone is in shadow then the other 3 continue to work at full power.

By the way, a great place to locate the MPPT is the hanging space just before the battery bank.  Remove the false cover to reveal a shelf.  The outer tube is a direct connection from the lazerette to the chart table, so I broke into it for the wiring.  I installed 2 breakers, 16A from the panels and 32A from the batteries. If battery circuit breaker is triggered then the solar panel is also triggered, to avoid damaging the MPPT.

Together with new AGM batteries I have a power transformation.  I used the Generator just for 1h in 5 weeks, thus saving diesel.  I reduced gas cooking by running an induction plate and microwave off the invertor.  I added a Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard, which is also charged indirectly form the solar panels, and saving petrol costs.  On sunny days the batteries were always 99%+ charged after about 11am, even when running autopilot, making tea, etc.

Yes I opted for the more expensive ACMO rigging, including all new turnbuckels etc.  It was rigged in France by Gremco.  I had also contacted Amel to do it, but they no longer use ACMO on SMs. Although Amels quote was less, I thought it better to go with ACMO.  However, within a week I noticed rust appearing on the 12mm ACMO swages.  The others were OK.  I hope that between Gremco and ACMO that they will sort that out.


#151 SM Travel Bug, Cleopatra Marina

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