solar on boat

Old 08-21-2014, 03:28 PM
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Default solar on boat

Anyone have a solar panel on their t-top?

Looking for a cost effect panel with a charge limiter to trickle charge my batteries when in use and not in use

Doesn't need to be anything crazy just like 2amp. Want to mount it ontop of my T-top
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:40 PM
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:35 PM
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Default Solar trickle charge.

Worked great in the 70's, and still should now with better panels and batteries.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:39 PM
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Best setup if you have dual batteries:

a 30 watt marine panel with a MorningStar Sunsaver Duo charger. The sunsaver duo will charge 2 independent banks - and you can give priority to which one you need the most

Top panels today has a efficiency % of around 22% but with efficiency increase you get price increase. I have several panels in the 17-20% range and they all work fine.

State of the art marine panels are Solbian - light weight and marine safe. Aurinco is also good from what I hear. I had PowerFilm on my previous boat (28 watt panel) but that is completely soft.


Aurinco's newest have 2-7 panels "in one" which means they are more tolerant to shade. Normal panels are not so shade tolerant so even the slightest shading thing covering part of the panel and power drops like a hammer. So just the shade from a GPS on your top - would cause 30-60% of the power to drop off.. PowerFilm are also reasonable shade tolerant but still loose a lot of power when covered.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:12 PM
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Been using a GANTZ 30watt with a little control box for one bank, but it can do two. It's a little more expensive, but it helps me a lot since I carry 5 group 31 batteries. It still works pretty strong in part shade and cloudy days. Highly recommended. I know guys that hook the smallest one straight to their bait tanks with no battery and it runs the 700gph pump all day.

Like I said, it's a little more pricey, but worth it. It can be flexed for a bent roof, and can be walked on all day everyday, at least that what it said in the book.


Kid cochiese on youtube does a few videos on them.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:39 AM
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This is an extremely common topic on this forum. Looking around you will find lots of answers.
Good Luck!
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