Solar powered boats

Hi, I'm new to the forum.

I have made wood boats in the past and in my retirement, I've started to make them again and redo existing boats into a solar powered system.  The idea being you can charge your batteries while you are using them on the lake or river.... and easily keep them topped off while at home waiting for the next adventure.

I have made a couple prototypes on aluminum boats.  They are 12v systems and easier to set up.  I used a single 100 watt renogy panel and 20 amp renogy mppt controller with 3- 100amp lead acid batteries.  I run a 35 and 46 lb thrust 12v trolling motors and the system on a sunny day will keep up with the usage when trolling at med power.

I'm trying my first 24v system.  I got a 24v 86 lb thrust brushless trolling motor, and two 100 watt panels and the same 20amp controller.  I'll use two 105 amp lead acid batteries.  I reviewed a diagram and I think I know the hook up, but thought I'd post here and get some advice from you pros:-)  Thanks in advance!

Wayne' Cedar Boats
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Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    Can you tell us a bit more about the motor? Like the current draw @ 24 volts? Something like this?

    https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Electric-Adjustable-Freshwater-Saltwater/dp/B07BYRCML8

    Maybe 50 amps @ 24 volts at full power? 25 amps at 1/2 power?

    One website suggested 1 amp per lb of thrust @ 12 volts... That would be 0.5 amps per 1 lb of thrust @ 24 VDC (all things being equal--which they rarely are).

    Using a DC current clamp DMM (make sure it is DC current reading, many are AC only, not AC/DC current). Example of a mid-range DC clamp meter:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07546L9RT

    Also, near what major city, are the boats used... For example, a flat mounted array near Medford Oregon:
    http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.html

    Medford
    Average Solar Insolation figures

    Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a horizontal surface:

    JanFebMarAprMayJun
    1.84
     
    2.70
     
    3.80
     
    4.98
     
    6.17
     
    7.40
     
    JulAugSepOctNovDec
    7.75
     
    6.84
     
    5.22
     
    3.46
     
    1.90
     
    1.60
     
    So, a 200 Watt array, used April through September would be 4.98 hours of sun minimum (open sky, no shade, average per day, some days more and some days less):
    • 200 Watt array * 0.61 DC solar system eff * 4.98 hours of sun April = 608 WH per day
    • 608 WH per day / 24 volt battery bank = 25 AH per day harvest (April average)
    • 25 AH per day harvest * 1/25 Amps @ 50% thrust = 1 hour per day
    In general, solar harvest is not as much as most people think.

    Say you use 6 volt @ 200 AH golf cart batteries (flooded cell). 4x in series for 24 volt bank @ 200 AH.
    • 200 AH * 1/25 amps {1/2 thrust} * 50% capacity (longer battery life if not over discharged) = 8 hours of reliable stored energy (almost 16 hours in an emergency)
    So, 1 day of 8 hours "cruising" or 4 hours at full thrust, would take almost 8 days to recharge the 4x golf cart batteries (from 50% to 100% SoC).

    We have some other rules... One is that you should charge a FLA battery at 5% to 13%+ rate of charge... 10%+ if used every day:
    • 200 AH * 29 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller derating * 0.05 rate of charge = 377 Watt array minimum
    • 200 AH * 29 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller derating * 0.10 rate of charge = 753 Watt array nominal
    • 200 AH * 29 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller derating * 0.13 rate of charge = 979 Watt array typical "cost effective" maximum
    Anyway... Some suggestions/observations and lots of guessing.

    Your thoughts?

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the info.

    Here is the trolling motor I'm using on this boat.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DLSRG7C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'm using two, 105 amp lead acid 12v batteries to make the 24v.
    I'd like to upgrade to four-  6v 200 amp batteries someday... but that also will add weight to the boat.  This boat is a fiberglass 15' river drift boat.  It moves on the water real easy.
    My other setup in a much heavier 16' vee hull aluminum is 12v with three 100 amp lead acid batteries and one 100 watt panel like I'm using two of for this 24v system.  I also ran a 12v fridge at times... I'd get it real cold and then shut it off if I was running down the batteries too fast with the 12v trolling motors.

    I might put a smaller fridge on the drift boat too, if I seem to have power to spare.

    I won't be using the trolling motor all day long ever... we stop and fish or let the dogs play, and the panel seems to charge up the 12v system fairly quickly back to 100%.  We seldom cruise at full power... only when we need to get the dogs before they get something:-)... or when going up or down river to the next fishing spot.

    I don't need to supply enough power to run all day even on lowest power, but I think it might be possible.. what do you think?  Lowest power really still moves the boat along on a lake... I'd guess about 2 - 3 miles per hour.

    What I like most about the system is keeping the batteries all ready to go any time I decide I can get away for a quick trip.



    Thanks again for the help..
    Wayne

     
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Bill,
    Yes, I live in Ashland Or.  ( just south of Medford), and fish the Rogue River and lakes around the area.
    If I'm out on a 6 hour fishing trip, I'd use the trolling motor for 1 hour or so, on med speed ... on average.  Usually a 5 or 10 minute blast and then fish for an hour or so.
    But it's great to understand the limitations of the system, so one can plan accordingly.

    I'm also planning on building some small all electric and propane powered houseboats in the near future, after I get the hang of this solar thing on smaller systems... and see what these newer brushless trolling motors can do.  I have a 12v brushless already on one of my boats, and it does seem to out preform the older standard ones on less power usage.   I know I'll need help planning out the houseboat system!

    Thanks again, Bill and nice to meet you.
    Blessings,
    Wayne
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Also, I hinge and "lazy susan" my panels so I can face them as directly as possible into the sun whenever I stop... or cruising slowly on a lake in one direction.

    Wayne
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    Wayne,

    You are very welcome.

    The above was based on lots of guesses... You basically need to figure out how much power (peak Watts/Amps) and energy (total Watt*Hours/Amp*Hours @ xx volts) per day you want to support.

    We have some rules of thumbs that quickly get us to a place where you have a "reliable" and functional system for your need
    As you can see, a change from my guesses to your needs will dramatically affect the system size/configuration.

    Motors, whether boats or refrigerators, take a fair amount of energy to run. The details are important here.

    Refrigerators... A propane fridge is nice for weekend RV use. A refrigerator or "cooler type" with a "real" compressor can work OK:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Unique-2-8-cu-ft-80-l-Solar-12-Volt-24-Volt-DC-or-110-Volt-AC-Portable-Refrigerator-Freezer-in-White-UGP-80L1-W/306705315

    They may use something between 50-120 Watts (you need to find the specifications and/or measure actual energy consumption). A typical refrigerator/freezer (stable internal temperatures) may run around 50% duty cycle.

    https://assets.danfoss.com/documents/DOC223886433208/DOC223886433208.pdf

    Do not go with the solid state type coolers (Thermal Electric type)... They are pretty inefficient:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect

    Energy usage is set of highly personal choices and needs... We are here to help.

    Take care,
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Hi Bill,

    Here is the fridge I used in a Promaster RV conversion I did, and I move it to the boat when I need it.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CG4Q1YJ/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    On low power energy saving mode, it seems to draw about 5 amps as far as I can tell.  I need to get some of those measuring tools you proposed in another thread to someone else.

    Lots of folks are converting RVs for sale,  I think the boat market for electric conversions seems more open.. Do you think there is much of a market for fishing and pleasure boats that run on electric and provide most or all of their energy needs with solar panels?

    I guess, in my ignorance, I've been just adding some solar capacity, and living with what energy I get from it:-). It would be great to learn how to scale a system.  I guess that is why I joined the forum. 

     In the RV the fridge with one of the 100 watt panels and a single 100 amp battery can't run all night, but I just get it real cold in the last part of the sunshine day, and try not to open it during the night, it stays plenty cold.  During the day, the panel keeps up with the fridge motor real easy and the battery is fully charged and the fridge is real cold by sundown.  The daytime is when we open the fridge and need it the most.

    Wayne

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    Wayne,

    I don't know about electric boat conversions. I just don't have any experience.

    With doing the math/paper designs first, you can better match expectiona against performance.

    Solar power is not cheap, and if not done correctly (matching system performance against loads+expectations), people will not be happy and (many times), batteries will have a short life (over discharging, under charging, bad for lead acid batteries).

    Just characterize your loads and needs--And we will help to define the solar power system(s). You and your customers will have to decide what works and has best value.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thanks, Bill that makes loads of sense!  Choosing the best batteries for a system seems to be a real challenge also.  I tried some smaller lithium ones, hearing that they hold a lot more power than lead acid, but didn't know what I was doing, so went back to basic lead acid.  Do you have a review section on these newer batteries as they come on the market?

    Wayne
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    There are a couple of battery forums here... But not a lot of reviews of vendors there.

    The "high tech" batteries... It is difficult because there are few (good quality) manufacturers and much of what we see comes from companies that take those cells and configure them into packs/banks of batteries with Battery Management Systems (Li Ion batteries are pretty close to "ideal batteries" that have high efficiency, low self discharge, can store at any "reasonable" state of charge, high density, high current surge/fast charging).

    And, it seems, that most of the "battery integrators" come and go pretty quickly. Hard to find out the details and limitations of "their" batteries and limitations of the (many times custom) BMS system.

    The drawbacks are that Li Ion has multiple chemistries--Some "better electrical performance", others a bit more "safe". But all of them are much more susceptible to damage/ruination if a cell is operated at too high or too low of voltage--And can have issues if operated below freezing temperatures.

    Lead Acid batteries at 1/2 to 1/4 the price are hard to ignore. And by the time you have a large enough Lead Acid battery bank to supply the loads for 10-20 hours--They are "good enough" electrically to compete with what Li Ion batteries are good at (supplying high current from a small battery bank).

    Sort of like those Li Ion "jumper batteries". A battery pack the size of a good size paperback book that can jumpstart your car and needs recharging only once a year. The downside, it can only jump start the car once before it is "dead". Great if your engine starts on the first crank... Not so good if it takes a few times to start (and starting fluid, etc.)--Then you need "more battery".

    My suggestion is to define your needs (AH @ XX Volts or Watt*Hours of storage, maximum current needed, how much solar you can fit, etc.)... Then ask the question of what is available in Li Ion or other chemistries (AGM can be a good fit, if not cheap. Sealed Lead Acid batteries, no cell water levels to check, no electrolyte leakage, high surge current).

    Then members can suggest batteries and vendors for your to look at.

    Li Ion are great where weight and space limited (RV, Aviation, portable) and can supply high amounts of current (for a short period of tie) and accept very high charging rates. But expensive to buy, and expensive if "mistakes are made". And with solar, we generally do not have very large solar arrays just so that we can charge a battery bank in less than one hour (utility power/gensets are much cheaper "fast charging" solutions vs solar).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thanks Bill, great info again.

    I have this battery on my potential wish list.... what do you think of it and the maker?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078JB836N/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_6?smid=AB5MTDU6O7NYE&psc=1

    But living in Ashland, where it does freeze maybe a dozen days a year.... the Li Ion sounds like it won't work for me, unless it's kept in a house boat where it can stay warm with some type of heating system.

    I did get a seal lead acid battery https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042QGWSC/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A33OOXQLQV58WQ&psc=1 for a canoe setup with that 12v 46 lb thrust brush less trolling motor... but I haven't tried it enough to compare with regular lead acid.  Have you folks had good luck them and that supplier?  Can a SLA battery be mixed into a system with FLA batteries, if it's the same amperage?

    Wayne
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not generally a good idea to mix AGM and flooded, as they tend to require different charging voltages.  AGM can be damaged if charged at too high voltage, and a flooded may be undercharged at AGM voltage.

    Lithiums tend to be okay for discharging in freezing temps (though with reduced capacity), but can be damaged if charged at less than 32°f.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thank you Estragon,
    Sounds like on a clear sunny freezing cold day outdoors, with solar panels in a boat, might not work too well?   I guess one could try to warm the battery or cover the panel.  Could one put the battery in a heated "Ice chest" situation... at least to warm it up for a while?

    Wayne
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think that's basically what EVs do.  If the battery is too cold when the charger is plugged in, it uses the power first to run a heater, and only starts charging after it's been warmed.  Presumably they imbed sensors in the core of the pack to make sure the whole thing is warmed though.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    I don't have any experience with vendors--So I cannot really help you there.

    Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are the "safer" chemistry and pretty popular with Off Grid and RV folks.

    Some folks are OK with running without a BMS system... But if you are trying to get the "average person" to have a reliable system, BMS is pretty much needed to keep cells "balanced" and to disconnect the battery bank if over or under voltage (the loads taking the battery towards dead or battery charger is taking over 100% State of Charge).

    In general, you want "identical" batteries in parallel or series strings. Mixing batteries is generally not a good thing. Flooded Cell Lead Acid batteries tend to have higher self discharge and accept overcharging (by changing water in to Hydrogen+Oxygen gasses--Which you can replace with distilled water). FLA batteries use controlled over charging (Equalizing Charging) to balance cells and mix the electrolyte (important in taller batteries).

    AGM batteries have lower self discharge and can take very limited over charging (they typically use a catalyst to convert Hydrogen and Oxygen gasses back into water). Catalysts have a limited life (i.e., XXX AH of gassing, and the catalyst wears out).

    Li Ion batteries have very low self discharge and no tolerance for over charging (you cannot do EQ to balance cells, you need a BMS system to "leak" current around full cells to charge less than full cells). Many BMS can use a contactor (or MOFETS) to turn off current flow if the battery is near being damaged.

    Some battery banks use "round" Li Ion cells stacked into massive series/parallel batteries (like Tesla cars). Others use "prismatic" shaped cells to make up series/parallel battery packs. The round cells tend to be made into packs by resellers/major assembliers. Prismatic cells can be made into packs by end users.

    If you need lighter weight or smaller battery banks, Li Ion is great.

    If you need low maintenance, AGM and Li Ion are nice.

    High cycle life (and potentially lower overall costs), Li Ion.

    A "clean battery" AGM and Li Ion. FLA batteries gas and mist electrolyte.

    Want to recharge a battery bank quickly---Deep discharge and recharging from solar for next day's use (Solar generally can charge a FLA battery bank by 25% state of charge per day--Take hours to get the "last" 80-90%+ state of charge)... Then Li Ion is first choice, AGM a second choice.

    AGM batteries tend to last a year or two less than similar quality FLA batteries (catalyst wearout, venting and unable to add water back).

    GEL type batteries... Similar discharge characteristics to AGM during storage and discharge. However, most GEL batteries support low charging current--Takes much longer to recharge (great for UPS systems that are in standby for months/years--Then hit with heavy load until power restored/backup genset takes load).

    FLA batteries do not freeze in any normal climate if reasonably charged (50% to 100%). And can be charged if not frozen. Run risk of cracking case/breaking plates if frozen when discharged.

    Li Ion batteries can be stored sub freezing, but to be charged/discharged, they should be at or above 0C/32F.

    Cheap battery bank. Flooded Cell Lead Acid. Overturned boats, failed charging, taken dead, theft, etc... Much cheaper to replace. Most people "murder" their first set of batteries.

    We are on the cusp where LiFePO4 batteries may take over--But for the moment, the 100+ year old FLA is still giving everyone a run for their money.

    http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm
    http://www.batteryfaq.org/
    http://batteryuniversity.com/

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Wow, Bill, what a great summation!

    Sounds like maybe it's best for a newbie like me to stay with lead acid, but switch to the lead acid 6v golf cart batteries and just plan for the added weight for now.  But keep watching the Li Ion batteries as they get the bugs worked out and I learn more about the solar systems.

    I really like the lighter weight and quicker charging idea, so I'll be watching closely:-)
    For now I'll continue to place the heavy lead acid batteries in the most stable place possible.... and strap them down.

    So now, I see getting a larger array of solar panels, with a quick charging Li Ion battery pack can get you the power into your batteries while you have a chance to get it.  All the more reason to continue with the lazy susan and hinged panel set up... so I can always turn and adjust angle for the most straight on shot at the sun... great this will be fun!  got get my tools so I can start measuring the results as I make changes.  

    Wayne

  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Can I use this charger to charge my batteries at night while at home... and still keep the solar system hooked up as normal?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0797XMSDL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Wayne
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    Don't get ahead of yourself picking hardware... Without knowing battery size and usage (400 AH battery bank at 10 hours and 50% discharge would take >20 hours to recharge: 200 AH to replace / 10 amps = 20 hours + 2-6 hours for "absorb" charging).

    Also, you do not want to go with alligator clips for high current/reliable connections. You want crimped (to cables) and bolt-up connections. A typical high current connector are the Anderson Connector family:

    https://www.solar-electric.com/search/?q=anderson+connectors (high current type)
    https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power-powerpole-sb-connectors ("Power Pole" are smaller connectors used for DC/HAM/etc. connections).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12 #19
    Definitely agree with Bill on not getting ahead of yourself picking hardware before the application is fully defined, and that clips aren't ideal.  That said, having multiple charging sources on a single bank of batteries is fine, and often essential.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thanks again guys,
    I really appreciate the help!
    So, I'm getting that I should start by projecting the appliances and electric motors and the hours of usage per day?

    Something like this wish list for a houseboat planned..

    two of these motors to power the boat.  Let's assume they get used 3 hours per day on med. power.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DLSRG7C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This fridge will probably run 12 hours a day (50%) 
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CG4Q1YJ/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Plan on charging two phones and one computer laptop used about 8 hours a day

    Lighting 5 hours a day ( only half of the lights would be use at one time)
     6 of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BSL962Z/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    4 of these  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017I6C2YU/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    vent fan @ 3 hours a day ( the vent fan would mostly be used in long days of summer more or less than 3 and not used much in winter at all)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050EEO94/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    CB Radio 1/2 hour per day
    https://www.amazon.com/Midland-5001Z-40-Channel-Mobile-Switchable/dp/B000P0RPVW?ascsubtag=db4c534c-2c21-4aff-85cb-147f3eb48cc7&creativeASIN=B000P0RPVW&crid=1BN6GVDY4UJ2V&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osp.db4c534c-2c21-4aff-85cb-147f3eb48cc7&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-search&keywords=cb+radio&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B000P0RPVW&pd_rd_r=91004370-5b2a-4ac3-b748-023ad49f7a7e&pd_rd_w=kMBjx&pd_rd_wg=bM7Vh&pf_rd_p=c05c9ec7-026d-485f-8181-5df2563220c6&pf_rd_r=HCD318NJ2E4K58VXCJKH&qid=1547308115&sprefix=cb+radio,aps,211&tag=bestcont06-20&ref=sxin_2_osp20-db4c534c_cov

    TV  Two hours per day
    https://www.amazon.com/Axess-15-6-Inch-Player-Inputs-TVD1801-15/dp/B00BCRZN6G?crid=KYY0WLMR1MGH&keywords=12v+tv+for+rv&qid=1547308226&sprefix=12v+tv,aps,209&sr=8-6&ref=sr_1_6 

    Personally, I wouldn't want the TV, but I want to plan for it.

    I think that's all the basics, I'd want to offer in this house boat.  What do you think?

    Wayne
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,471 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's a great start to the power budget,  now to collect the wattage used by each, in the manner you plan to use them, and total up the:
    Daily wattage
    Peak Wattage    (both motors at full and the microwave gets turned on) or Both motors at full, and all deck lighting on while docking in a storm at night.   

    Then we can start planning what's going to need to happen.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    I took out my solar powered drift boat on the Rogue river by Graves creek to see how well it could go up stream with the 24v 86 lb thrust electric motor.... and how fast it would charge back up after a run upstream. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Grave+Creek+Boat+Ramp/@42.6504019,-123.5882843,755m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x54c5092cebc5e82d:0xcf610cc24e3be605!8m2!3d42.650398!4d-123.5860956?hl=en

    It amazed me at how well it could go against the current.  I was able to go up to the next set of rapids... water I would never be able to row up stream in.
    The charge controller said the batteries had discharged down to 60% after that 1/4 mile run up stream, but I doubt that reading because with the sun out on the two 100 watt panels, the two 100 amp lead acid batteries came back up to 100% in about 20 minutes.  Is my charge controller giving me bad readings?
    Wayne
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Charge controllers usually base the state of charge on voltage, this can be misleading because whilst charging the voltage will be higher than it would be at rest without loads or charging input. As the voltage approaches ~14V under charge it may display 100% however this is usually when the beginning of absorption occurs, the long,slow and most critical stage of charging. Measuring the current flow will determine wether it is still charging,  the current should taper down as it approaches full charge. During discharge the charge % displayed may actually indicate lower than actual SOC, once the load of removed the battery voltage should rise slightly thus indicating a higher SOC.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    McGivor,

    Thanks for your response... that makes total sense.  The charge controller is a Renogy MPPT 20.  I was using medium power with a little burst of full power to see what it would do on the journey up stream.  I think the 86lb thrust, 24v trolling motor draws about 50 amps on high.

    But whatever the case, I'm happy with the results.  If I have sunshine on my fishing day, it looks like 10 mins of motor use and 20 mins of fishing while it charges back up, is the formula that works for me:-) It only takes 5 or 10 mins of motoring to get to the next fishing spot.

    While on the lake, with panels in the sunshine, trolling on lowest power, the batteries were gaining while I was trolling... so that seems the ideal situation.

    Thanks again..
    Wayne
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Here is a new idea I had recently....

    There are always shallow rocky spots that outboard motors can't go thru on most North West rivers.  I've been thinking about using something like this 1000 watt power bike wheel  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011PVV0XS/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_5?smid=A3CWXJIRU8MLG&psc=1 mounted by hanging them over the sides of the boat on an adjustable shock absorbing frame... maybe three, but most likely four of them.

    I'd attach small foam or rubber paddles to the tires/wheels.  I should be able to crawl over the rocky areas, and travel up stream with ease, possibly making rooster tails along the way:-)  

    For sure that sounds like a lot of batteries and recharging power needs... but wouldn't it be fun!


    What do ya think?

    Wayne
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Kinda sounds like you're looking to make a variation on this:

    https://www.argoadventure.com/2019-ARGO-FRONTIER-600-6X6_p_14917.html
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,726 admin
    I would look and see if any electric jet drive would work for you.


    Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thanks Bill and Estragon,

    Estragon, I wonder how well that amphibian vehicle works on up stream currents.  That is the idea, but I want more room in the boat, and I'm more about water than land, which that item is about.  When on water, I want to move efficiently.. on gravel bars, I want to crawl over slowly. 
    Bill,
    I have explored DC powered pumps for propulsion .... but have not found that one as yet... thanks, I'll explore it.  I wonder if one could use their surfboards as pontoons for a larger craft... but the starting price point is not too attractive... and crawling over long gravel bars might not work as well:-)

    From my point of view so far... the bike power wheel kits seem like a "more power and more versatility of movement per dollar spent" way to go.

    Thanks and Blessings
    Wayne
      
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    So, if one had four of the 1000 watt 48v  bike wheels that were used on med. power for 10 mins at a time... and one allowed 30 mins to recharge batteries to 100%, how many amps of batteries at 24v and watts of panels at 24v would be needed?


    Thanks in advance:-)

    Wayne
  • WayneCedarBoatsWayneCedarBoats Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭
    oops:-)

    ok I'm new:-)
    it has to be a 48 v system..
    still the size of the battery pack and solar panel system please:-)

    Wayne
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Argo is meant mostly for smallish flatwater lakes.  I guess it would depend on how fast the flow was, but without traction on the bottom or an outboard/trolling motor  assist I doubt it would make much headway against a current.  I was thinking about one, but parts of the lake I'm on can get rough in wind so I ruled it out. 

    Still thinking about something that could be used on thin ice but isn't an air driven iceboat, maybe along the lines of your wheels over the sides of a boat thought.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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