Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Amel solar panels
Thank you for this post contribution. I am in the process of adding an arch and solar panals. I have been researching the panels for about 30 days and have found it to be most confusing because of the lack of standardized testing and zealous claims by manufactures. The Panasonic N330’s were not on my radar since they are still very new in the USA with limited distribution. However, they are now my first choice.
I have a couple of specific questions: Were the two panels connected together in parallel at the arch? What gauge wire did you use for the run from the arch to the battery bank? I assume the 16A breaker was installed on the positive cable between the panel and the MPPT? And, the 32A breaker was installed on the positive cable between the MPPT and the battery shunt? Where did you install the breaker box – The hanging locker seems a little hard to get to (the hidden compartment that I never knew was there)? Did you use the same style of breaker as used on the rest of the Amel or did you design a box and something else?
Again, thank you again for the information and sharing.
With best regards,
Super Maramu 2000
Currently cruising: Tampa Bay for hurricane season
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 10:22 AM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] 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