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outbackbill



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 33
City/Region: Jacksonville
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Blue Days
Photos: Blue Days
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We strap our 100 watt flexible panel to the Bimini top using nylon straps attached to the corner grommets. When trailering we have found that it fits well in the head standing vertically against the back window. We unsnap one side of the privacy curtain, slide it in place and snap it back.
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kaelc



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 152
City/Region: Saanich
State or Province: BC
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Island Magic
Photos: Stil-Afloat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
That is why I mounted it on a thin aluminum sheet and bracket that can be added or removed easily extended back off the radar arch.
When we did our shakedown last April on lake Shasta we found that the 2 110 panels kept the fridge and electronics up but was borderline with the little freezer turned on during cloudy days.
Our last two solar supplied boat worked out so well that I am really excited to see how this one will work out down in Baja on our winter cruise.


Would love to see pictures of the mounting? Also the placement of the everything from Fridge to Controller to extra Batteries....etc.

Would love details on the Baja winter cruise...maybe not in 2019/2020 for us but some day Smile
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 148
City/Region: Big Sur
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sierra
Photos: Sierra
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am only using my phone to post, and apparently it can't post photos here but if you click on our "Sierra" album photos those will come up. I have an overall photo but next time down at the Marina I will take a up close photo of the extended panel. It is almost embarrassingly simple with no welding needed just some sheet, angle, u bolts and pop rivets. I upgraded from 1 group 27 house battery to 2 31's side by side up against the port transom, our boat is a 03 so it does not have the molded deck but an open gap above the deck all the way accross the back. My next project is to install a remote watering system as with Suzukis I can't use 0 maintenance glass mat batterys. I will put up a photo of that soon. On the fridge it is under the helm seat in the same place, I did have to enlarge the opening just a bit. The Isotherm cruise fridge is more efficient and slightly larger than the previous rv one. We bought one of the small Engel portable fridge/freezers that just fits into the portside cabinet inside the door, it is so small it is only really useful as a freezer. (2.5 amps per hour) we have had 2 larger ones on previous boats over the years and they have been exelent. Again I will add photos.
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Micah Curtis and Dana, RN
2003 C-dory 25 Sierra, 200, 9.9 and 2.5 Suzukis
2012 R25 SC Sequoia (2015-2018)
1978 Folkes 38 SV Audacious (2006-2015)
+ many more going back to my first boat a little trailerable Piver trimaran in 1969.
Micah, KJ6GUF, Dana, KJ6GXG
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17007
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A word of caution: Reading on another forum about fires started by bendable solar panels on top of Bimini fabric tops. Most were limited to only the Bimini and extinguished before fully involved. However there have been some where the fire was out of control and the boat lost.

Several factors:
1. Allowing the panels to flex/bend, eventually causes breakdown of the matrix which the solar cell and the wiring connecting each cell to the other causes increased internal resistance. This causes more heat, and eventually to the point of combustion initially of the matrix, and extends to the fabric below.

2. Lack of ventilation accelerates the heat process.

Rigid frame also have had breakdown--especially in cheaper systems where aluminum wiring is used.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
KA6PKB
Home port: Pensacola FL
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pcg



Joined: 31 Aug 2018
Posts: 140
City/Region: Sherwood
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 1999
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Photos: pcg
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
... with Suzukis I can't use 0 maintenance glass mat batterys...

I'm curious. Why is that so?

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17007
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pcg wrote:
Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
... with Suzukis I can't use 0 maintenance glass mat batterys...

I'm curious. Why is that so?


Suzuki 150 to 250 hp require : 12 Volt 100 AH or over; CCA/SAE670 Amperes or over, RC/SAE 190 mins or over.

Also on the web site state: "Caution: Avoid using deep cycle battery, maintenance-free battery, lithium battery or gel cell battery." (Some manuals say "not compatible with charging systems".

Bahama has the same "restriction".

On the other hand, I have used AGM and I know a number of others who have used AGM (of the appropriate specs) on Suzuki and Yamaha.

If you have an electrical warrantee issue, then Suzuki or Yamaha might deny the claim.

Yes, I know that the quote does not specifically say "AGM"--but an AGM is under the category of "Maintenance free" batteries.

I personally don't have a problem running AGM on my Suzuki outboard. Deka puts their AGM in the recommended column for Suzuki, but not for Yamaha.l.
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 148
City/Region: Big Sur
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sierra
Photos: Sierra
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always used AGM's on my previous boats, after reading that my Suzuki puts out up to 15 volts and should not use maintenance free or AGM's I looked at a lot of forums and decided not to take a chance though others have. If I am in the middle of nowhere in Mexico I can't afford a failure. Same with putting the semi-rigid panel on the bimini I decided it would be safer to mount it on an aluminum sheet extended back from the arch above the bimini. And then space the panel above the aluminum sheet to prevent overheating.
I am used to diesel boats, I may be a bit paranoid of gas power, so I do my mods in the safest way I know possible. I rarely have rarely experienced systems failure over the years and so far being over cautious has paid off.
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 148
City/Region: Big Sur
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sierra
Photos: Sierra
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always used AGM's on my previous boats, after reading that my Suzuki puts out up to 15 volts and should not use maintenance free or AGM's I looked at a lot of forums and decided not to take a chance though others have. If I am in the middle of nowhere in Mexico I can't afford a failure. Same with putting the semi-rigid panel on the bimini I decided it would be safer to mount it on an aluminum sheet extended back from the arch above the bimini. And then space the panel above the aluminum sheet to prevent overheating.
I am used to diesel boats, I may be a bit paranoid of gas power, so I do my mods in the safest way I know possible. I rarely have rarely experienced systems failure over the years and so far being over cautious has paid off.
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4194
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Analysis of the system after one trip:

1. If the sun is full, like Sunday, yesterday & today, the system will not only maintain the batteries with the fridge on, it will charge both batteries too! We had about 80% SOC per our Balmar Smartgauge when we awoke on Sunday. Panel was on top of the dinghy, which was on the roof. Panel output in the 15-18 v range with +/- 5 amps nearly all day (after 1000 hours and until about 1800). By mid-afternoon the batteries were at 100%! Amperage dropped down to under 1 amp then. We also used it to charge cell phones, Ipad, Kindles etc. The controller has a USB port.

Conversely, if it's not totally sunny the system just maintained the SOC. We awoke one day with 73% SOC and clouds and intermittent sun. The system maintained the 73% all day, again with the fridge on all day. Still charged the electronic hand-held devices too.

2.The idea of holding the panel on the Bimini via strong magnets was an utter failure. Too much flapping is possible. I ended up either putting it on the roof or on the dinghy on the roof, and securing it via small bungee cords. We motored with it up there, but our top speed was ~12 knots.

3. The idea of storing it under the V-berth was also a failure. It is just tool long to fit, due to the curves. I ended up standing it up in the head, under the rear curtain panel when not in use; thanks to whomever mentioned that earlier in the thread. Works fine and shower water is not going to hurt it. Easier than putting it under the V berth foam too!

4. The controller also draws power from the batteries when there is no sun, like at night. Make sense, although it's yet another overnight power draw I had not considered. I simply pulled the fuse at the battery after dark and put it back in after sun up. I am going to add an "on/off" switch next to the unit to make is easier and less of a PIA.

So, my UN-scientfic, anecdotal analysis: for longer trips or longer stays between travel, I am happy with the system. It either maintains or charges with our fridge (the pig) on. I'm still kicking around better ways/locations to mount it. Ideally, some way to put it up on day one of a trip and take it down on the last day. We had to move it every time we wanted to put the dinghy in the water. Again, not the end of the world, but just another step and another chance for something no bueno to occur.

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Wife to her husband pointing @ us...from the bow of their 50-footer; Prideaux Haven 2013
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DayBreak



Joined: 16 Jul 2017
Posts: 174
City/Region: Monmouth, Or.
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 2018
C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: DayBreak
Photos: DayBreak
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

localboy, glad to hear that your 100 watt flexible panel is working out. We haven't tried ours yet but will do so next month in the Princess Louisa Inlet BC. Our fridge is also the main draw that we contend with while on the hook. Nice to know what to expect! We will also attach it via a thin line to the top of the roof or dinghy. We installed a controller as you suggested just to be safe. Thanks. Gary and Colleen.
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 148
City/Region: Big Sur
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sierra
Photos: Sierra
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that the panel worked for you. As for a better place to locate it, I see you have an arch, it is very easy to add an aluminum angle, removable extension out back over your bimmini from it. Check out the photos of ours in our photo album.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17007
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like some good numbers. One factor different from the experience of Pat Anderson (and others) at Lake Powell, is that the ambient temperature is considerably higher (maybe almost twice? Smile )

I am surprised that there is not a diode in your controller which prevents back feed during the evening. The controller I had on my RV had such a diode and there was no back feed.

Thanks
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



Joined: 27 May 2019
Posts: 148
City/Region: Big Sur
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sierra
Photos: Sierra
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe they all have the anti backfeed diode, any draw must be coming from the display and or indicator lights which should be minimal.
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4194
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One factor different from the experience of Pat Anderson (and others) at Lake Powell, is that the ambient temperature is considerably higher...


I would agree. The temps the entire trip were never above the mid-70s; some days cooler. Fridge was set on either 1, 2 or 3 (out of 5) depending on daytime temps. Enough to keep the food cold but not frozen.

Quote:
I am surprised that there is not a diode in your controller which prevents back feed during the evening. The controller I had on my RV had such a diode and there was no back feed...I believe they all have the anti back-feed diode, any draw must be coming from the display and or indicator lights which should be minimal


I suspect you both are correct. I have sent Renogy an email inquiring about this and the power draw to maintain the controller when no power is available from the panel(s). I will post their response.
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