Marine batteries serve best when it is paired with a solar panel. Find More...
Using a marine battery can be a real hassle unless you manage to charge it via a DC power source on a daily basis; like a solar panel. Installing a solar panel primarily can seem expensive but in the long run, it will save you from power cut, voltage problem and transporting the heavy battery for charging from time to time. This also implies for other deep cycle batteries, RV batteries, trolling motor batteries and many more.
When you are living out of grid line for days and have to solely depend on an RV or marine battery, a solar panel is the only option that ensures continuous power supply conveniently. Camping, fishing, cruising, long term power cut, disaster, and many situations may demand to use such power options to maintain a civic life.
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 21:28 PST - Details
Basics of Solar Panel Installation
Solar panel installation is quite simple. All you need is a solar panel large enough to meet your demand, a charge controller and an inverter is compulsory if you are using AC devices.
The charge controller is a must to last the panel and the battery for longer. It prevents overcharging and prevents draining the battery in low light days.
Though the inverter is optional, you need to take into account that, it drains the battery at a significant rate. So, it is always good if you can live without it. The solar panel alone is okay to run all the DC devices you are going to use.
How to Select the Size of Panel
The size of the panel determines how long it will take to charge the marine battery. If the battery is a higher capacity then you will need a larger solar panel or a series of smaller ones. Generally, panels are available at the 12-volt size. Depending on your demand, you may need to install 2 or 3 panels in a row to get 24 or 36 volts.
Now, how do you know what is your daily requirements? Well, that depends on how many equipments you are using and their capacity. There are different solar calculator applications available that can help you to count the requirements easily. Mostly, it varies depending on the capacity of the inverter. For your requirements, using a 24 volts inverter will draw fewer amps compared to a 12 volts inverter.
Please note, your requirements of power may remain the same for years, but the power you will get from the solar panel will not be the same all year round. The reason is, the length of the day, direct sunlight, the intensity of sunlight, etc matters a lot in this case. So, it is always better to get a bigger panel to charge the marine or RV battery. So, you will never fall short in terms of power even in the short winter gloomy days.
Besides, it is important to place the panel on the best possible location, which will be exposed for the longest time under the sun without any interruption. It also needs to be closer to the battery as well. The roof is the best place for solar panel placement, this way you can minimize casting shadows.
Typically, solar panels are sturdy and waterproof. It is obvious because they are meant to stay at the outdoors. However, how long the panel will last depends on how good it is built and good it was taken care of. In terms of solar panels, you will get what you pay for. I recommend investing in a pricier option even if you use it hardly. Because, in time of emergencies, this thing will be by your side to accompany you.
As for maintenance, solar panels really don’t need any heavy maintenance. You will need to occasionally dust off the surface and check for the connections. The charge controller, battery you are using and the inverter may require some maintenance. I recommend not to use gadgets that overpowers your marine battery. In the long run, this habit may cause damage to your battery.
If you are installing a solar panel for your marine battery for the first time, and you are all alone, then solar calculation and all the other add ons may seem confusing at first. But don’t worry, it's okay if you miscalculate and bring a smaller panel for your requirements. Because you can always add up more panels if you need to.
On the other hand, if the panel is bigger than your need, then relax, it won’t cause any harm. In fact, you can make it useful in many ways. But one thing is obvious, whether the solar panel is big or small, the marine battery survives better with it.
Marine batteries serve best when it is paired with a solar panel. This way, uninterrupted charging is ensured. Hence, in return, the battery also serves continuously. Here you will get the idea about basic knowledge of solar panel installation and how to select the panel size.