Date   

Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Ryan Meador
 
Edited

"Higher operating voltage panels are better" is an overgeneralization.  You need to factor in the desired performance, costs of the other parts of the system, topology of your charge controllers, and your battery bank voltage.
 
  • Buck controller
    • converts panel voltage down to charge voltage
    • required if your panel voltage is ever higher than your maximum charge voltage
    • sacrifices power in low light conditions (morning, evening, or when shaded) because the panel voltage is below the battery voltage
  • Boost controller
    • converts panel voltage up to charge voltage
    • collects all the power in low light conditions
    • will not protect from overcharging if your panel voltage exceeds the maximum charge voltage
  • Buck-boost controller
    • A combination of the two, always ensures you have the correct charge voltage
    • More expensive than either of the others
As you can see, a panel with a maximum voltage that is below your battery maximum charge voltage can achieve maximum performance with a cheaper boost controller.  A high voltage panel is forced to choose between lower performance with a cheaper buck controller, or higher performance with a more expensive buck-boost controller.
 
You're correct that a higher voltage means you can use a smaller diameter wire, but you need to weigh that against the other factors.    Kelly and I settled on a boost-only topology for our installation, since the 24V battery voltage is high enough that the wires aren't huge.  On a 12V boat, we would probably go the other way.
 
Blocking diodes are a very good idea if your panels can ever be shaded, but they come with a tiny performance cost.
 
You also want to consider how many charge controllers you need.  To get the best performance, you need a charge controller for every angle of solar panel you have.  If they're all flat on top of an arch, you can get away with a single controller for all of them, but if they're curved on a bimini, you probably want one controller per panel.  Additionally, more controllers gives you more performance when the panels are partly shaded because the panels can each find their own MPP.
 
For what it's worth, a recent issue of Professional Boatbuilder magazine considered the SunPower Maxeon cells to be the best on the market right now.
 
Ryan and Kelly
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA

On Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:28 AM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Joerg,
Keep in mind, that the marketing claims made by Victron (a very good company, by the way) fit most panels on the market today.
They all have to be “Marinized”, or waterproof, as they all exist in our ambient environment. No panels are designed for “indoor only” applications.
Another thing to keep in mind:
Higher operating voltage panels are better.
Most higher output panels operate at about 35-40 volts. This makes a much more useable panel, for a few reasons. One, the panel reaches a useable charging voltage earlier in the morning. An 18 volt panel might be able to charge batteries by 11:00 am, when it’s voltage is finally higher than the battery charging voltage. A 36 volt panel will be able to reach a chargeable voltage, maybe by 8:00 or 9:00 am.
Second, moving watts through a wire at 18 volts, requires a larger wire gauge than moving those same watts at 36 volts. At 36 volts, the wire can be half the diameter. This saves weight, and money, and makes for an easier installation.
This makes the job of the solar controller important. A simple PWM controller will waste much of the energy from the panels. Always go with a good MPPT controller. They cost a bit more (Victron makes good, economical units), but are more than worth it.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 10:41 AM, Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io <jhe1313@...> wrote:

Joerg

 

 


Re: Howes fuel treatment

Bernd Spanner
 

Matt,
sure thats a policy discussion.
it would be very interesting how high above the bottom of the tank the fuel is taken out of the tank and how many liters are unusable fuel. Will be a job for my endoscope cam.
best thing is for sure to have a water separator, eg Racor, in the system.
--
Bernd
SN 119 / Cascais, Portugal


Re: BOW THRUSTER

Bernd Spanner
 

Hi Bill,
the pin is in. From the sound what i hear it disconnected between the motor and the upper part of the shaft.
will check again when I am back from work in a few weeks.
what I think is strange that it worked well for a couple of times. If it would turn out to be the pin which fell out after a few runs I will weld it in.
--
Bernd
SN 119 / Cascais, Portugal


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Matt Salatino
 

Joerg,
Keep in mind, that the marketing claims made by Victron (a very good company, by the way) fit most panels on the market today.
They all have to be “Marinized”, or waterproof, as they all exist in our ambient environment. No panels are designed for “indoor only” applications.
Another thing to keep in mind:
Higher operating voltage panels are better.
Most higher output panels operate at about 35-40 volts. This makes a much more useable panel, for a few reasons. One, the panel reaches a useable charging voltage earlier in the morning. An 18 volt panel might be able to charge batteries by 11:00 am, when it’s voltage is finally higher than the battery charging voltage. A 36 volt panel will be able to reach a chargeable voltage, maybe by 8:00 or 9:00 am.
Second, moving watts through a wire at 18 volts, requires a larger wire gauge than moving those same watts at 36 volts. At 36 volts, the wire can be half the diameter. This saves weight, and money, and makes for an easier installation.
This makes the job of the solar controller important. A simple PWM controller will waste much of the energy from the panels. Always go with a good MPPT controller. They cost a bit more (Victron makes good, economical units), but are more than worth it.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 10:41 AM, Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io <jhe1313@...> wrote:

Joerg


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Joerg Esdorn
 

Amel installed Victron panels on the A55 as an option.  I have 400W which work well.  Those panels have blocking diodes which are supposed to improve performance in shaded locations.  This is a potentially big benefit.  They are also marinized.  See attached specs.  I believe that they are more expensive than panels made for house installations.  You might check them out.

Cheers. Joerg 

Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem


Re: turning direction of prop and thread pitch - Santorin

Daniel Frey
 

On my Santorins prop it says: L 19 x 14

L = left turning

19 = 19 inch = diameter of the prop

14 = 14 inch = theoretical distance achieved with 1 turn

Daniel Frey, SN 64 / 1992


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Matt Salatino
 

I have a friend in “the business”. His company installs solar panel systems on homes, businesses, and municipal buildings in New Jersey.
He feared, and had lots to complain about the tariff wars, claiming his business would be ruined, because no one would afford Chinese panels, as the prices would skyrocket. 
The tariffs had the opposite effect.
Tariffs squelched the Chinese demand and economy. Chinese installations went down, as the local economy was effected by the tariffs. The factories either had to shut down, or build a surplus. They continued to build, and prices dropped. Wholesale panel prices before tariffs were $0.42/watt. They dropped to $0.32/watt.
It turns out that my friend’s business improved, as he was able to enjoy a lower material cost.
He installs several brands, but mostly Trina Solar.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 5:04 AM, David Crisp <david@...> wrote:

Thanks for all the feedback.
Bill Rouse's comment is kind of where I thought we might end up. That is few people have been through enough brands to be able to make a fair comparison, plus the technology has been evolving fast as have the manufacturing techniques. 
Good to hear the positive reports on Trinasolar. The supplier I spoke to sells LG, Trinasolar, Panasonic and other brands as well and when asked recommended Trinasolar on the basis of there being little difference between them and LG to justify the price difference.
--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58


Re: Amel 55 Steering Cable Information and Supplier

Paul Stascavage
 

Thank you for your responses Bill and Joerg.  Their Hull Number is 009, so apparently you must be correct Joerg regarding the changeover from earlier to later hull numbers.  I was mistaken with regard to their location.  They were in Martinique.  The service center was able to effect some kind of repair to get them operational, but they do still need to source replacements.  If anyone has any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

All the best,

Paul Stascavage 
SM 466.
S/V Rita Kathryn 

RitaKathryn.com

Currently Cruising The Bahamas


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

David Crisp
 

Thanks for all the feedback.
Bill Rouse's comment is kind of where I thought we might end up. That is few people have been through enough brands to be able to make a fair comparison, plus the technology has been evolving fast as have the manufacturing techniques. 
Good to hear the positive reports on Trinasolar. The supplier I spoke to sells LG, Trinasolar, Panasonic and other brands as well and when asked recommended Trinasolar on the basis of there being little difference between them and LG to justify the price difference.
--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58


Re: rub rail insert

Jarek Zemlo
 

Steve,

did you purchase the insert for rubrail with the same profile as attached in my previous message? AMEL is not sure if it will fit the 1997 model. 

All the best
 --
Jarek Zemlo
NOA BLUE
SM 201


Re: Engine Mounts and Decoupling Vetus/Engine Block

Alan "Woody" Wood
 

That’s all really helpfull, thanks for that Herbert. So you slide the tool back and forth on the shaft to get the alignment right before bringing the engine and shaft back  together after the jobs are done? Unfortunately i’ll Still have to remove the shaft alternator to get to the leak on the flywheel bell housing I think :/ but certainly feel more comfortable abor starting the job now.

Woody


Re: turning direction of prop and thread pitch - Santorin

Volker Hasenauer
 

Hi Everyone,

I wonder if the turning direction of the prop on the Santorin in left or right hand? 

Does anyone of you know the pitch of the thread on the Santorin? I have a drawing on the gearbox, however it only say M 20.....but is silent about the pitch.

Volker
SY Aquamarine, Santorin 027
Borneo/Malaysia


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Matt Salatino
 

Let us know how that works. It’s certainly an interesting concept.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 10, 2020, at 9:42 PM, Peter de Groot <pandmdegroot@...> wrote:

I recently installed a 400W "bifacial"  panel from LG on a solar arch In theory the "bifacial" feature allows reflected light from below to contribute (or actually exceed the panels rated output). Since the panel is suspended over highly reflective water it seemed like a good idea.

 

It's too early after installation to know if the benefit is real.  It might be worth considering.

 

Peter de Groot

La Querida SM207

Moss Landing, California


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Peter de Groot
 

I recently installed a 400W "bifacial"  panel from LG on a solar arch In theory the "bifacial" feature allows reflected light from below to contribute (or actually exceed the panels rated output). Since the panel is suspended over highly reflective water it seemed like a good idea.

 

It's too early after installation to know if the benefit is real.  It might be worth considering.

 

Peter de Groot

La Querida SM207

Moss Landing, California


Re: SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bushing

Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy)
 

Alan that sounds great. We might haul out in one of the yards in Whangarei, but I'd definitely appreciate chatting with you on this and other topics.

Cheers,
Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy SM23
Opua, NZ


Re: SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bushing

Alan Leslie
 

Mike,

I'll be on Elyse in Opua in April preparing for the trip to Fiji, if you would like any assistance or advice.
I've done the C-drive seal replacement job quite a few times now without issues.

Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437
G21 Opua


Re: SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bushing

 

You're welcome  I always used normal waterproof wheel/axel grease. 

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Amel Owners Yacht School - www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

On Mon, Feb 10, 2020, 5:48 PM Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy) <svtrilogy53@...> wrote:
Thank you Bill. Those are great tips. Do you have a favorite grease for this job? Is Molykote a good choice?

Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy SM23
Opua, NZ


Re: SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bushing

Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy)
 

Thank you Bill. Those are great tips. Do you have a favorite grease for this job? Is Molykote a good choice?

Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy SM23
Opua, NZ


Re: SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bushing

 

Mike, 

My guess is that 99% of water egress is caused by one or more of these mistakes/omissions:
1.) Seals and/or wear bushings NOT purchased from Amel.
2.) The wall of the seal cavity NOT completely cleaned with emery cloth (see below).
3.) The seals NOT oriented according to Amel specs.
4.) The seals NOT inserted the correct depth.
5.) The seals NOT completely greased with waterproof grease
6.) The wear bushing O ring NOT greased and/or not the correct size
7.) The propeller shaft NOT completely cleaned where the wear bushing O ring meets the shaft.
8.) Did not follow the instructions
9.) Trusted a mechanic who said he could do the job

Here is a really good tip for you:
To clean the inside wall of the seal cavity, use a curved file with 400 grit 
wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around the end. This must be clean and smooth. 
Ensure this is done correctly.
image.png


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   
View My Training Calendar
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On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 4:01 PM Mike Longcor (SV Trilogy) <svtrilogy53@...> wrote:
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. I appreciate both schools of thought here. Great diagram Bill, I'm hoping to find my current seals in this orientation. I'll report back any worthwhile findings when I do this job in April. I'm sure thorough prep and careful installation are crucial.

Mike Longcor
SV Trilogy - SM23
Opua, NZ

On Tue, Feb 11, 2020, 5:46 AM CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
If you had a choice of:
Choice A protecting the loss of oil and destruction of the C-Drive
Choice B protecting from some seawater intrusion causing a haulout
Which would you choose?
image.png


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   
View My Training Calendar
cloudHQPowered by
cloudHQ


On Sun, Feb 9, 2020 at 11:15 AM Jean-Pierre Massicotte <Massicotte.j.p@...> wrote:
Hello Mike, Amel recommandations is to change the seals and bushing every 700 h of use. Also recommend 2 seals protecting the oil side and one on the water side.

We before crossing the Pacific we reverse this logic since haul up facility are fare apart and if water get in here it could make a big mess in the engine room by over flowing.
(We use the shaft alternator during all crossing)
It's very important to clean well the seal seating on the water side and make sure no residue remain.

Regards

Jean Pierre Massicotte
SN 51

On Sun., Feb. 9, 2020, 09:51 Craig Briggs SN 68 Sangaris via Groups.Io, <sangaris=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Mike,
I suspect there is nothing new on this nor any particular consensus - it may well have migrated from engineering to philosophy ;-)
If yours is fine you may want to follow the adage of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Or change it and in a couple of years add to the anecdotal evidence being accumulated.
Cheers, Craig


Re: Recommended solar panel brand

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

We just installed 3 x LG335 Neon 2 black and have not had to use the generator since. I have seen up to 35A and the sun won’t get directly overhead for another month or two yet. I got them from Solarflexion in California and they cost USD1290 for the three.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of David Crisp
Sent: 10 February 2020 09:46
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98