Monday, May 7, 2018
__________________ A SMALL BUT USEFUL BIT OF KIT __________________
The leads from the solar panel plug into a 12 volt socket that I installed next to the boats battery isolation switches. The positive and negative wires bypass these switches and attach directly to the battery terminals. Because there is no chance of the battery being recharged there is no need for a battery charge controller - the battery being charged in the usual manner by the diesel engines generator. Shipmates; it's a small but useful bit of kit.
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They sure are.. I used two of those in the old boat - mounted one on each side inside the cabin windows... used to keep me going all summer....
With your boat moving around on a swing mooring, having two of these either side of the boat is a sensible idea. My boat is moored on piles with the stern always pointing towards the sun.
I have one even though I have no engine. I run LED compass lighting, a Garmin handheld satnav and its cockpit repeater dial from a compact motorcycle battery. The consumption is very light and the little pv panel can produce enough to top the battery up when the boat and its instruments are not in use. The tiny battery - I think it is 7amp hr - has lasted me nearly 6 years now.
Thanks for your comment Patrick. The compact motorcycle battery has lasted a very long time!! - it's probably due to the fact that you are keeping the battery topped up constantly with the pv panel and that the devices you have attached to it never run the battery down too much. I read somewhere (not being an expert myself in this area) that if you run a battery down well below 50% they never fully recharge again and constant draining of the battery in this way shortens the battery life.
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