It’s alive…or….. is 7 am and where is your elektrikitie?

well it really means..the boat is self sufficient with no shore power.   This morning I disconnected shore power, so we are solely running on solar now. And ate 6 am the sun peeked around and started providing free energy.   Now does this make the sun a socialist, or just a nice entity?   I wil post usage screen shots on this page over the coming weeks.    Jan-Kees was on shore power, just as extra precaution, since there was a period last year where there was not enough energy to keep up with standby demand.   the inverter uses 25 watts for standby, plus the batteries always consume some trickle charge.  The batteries always discharge a bit, and need to be charged to full at least once a month.

Since we arrived we have been floating all by ourselves. Not connected to the atom eating nuclear energy creators, or the coal from Limburg eating fossil fuel plants.  Mr or is it Mrs Sun ( because she is so fierce?) has been filling the batteries of Jan-kees with her cheerful bright energy.  At 7 am the batteries were ‘down’ to 97%.  We consumed 2.2 Kwh yesterday and the sun refilled it .

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Wen I looked at the Venus this morning at 7:20 the sun peeking from just above the horizon and was providing more than we are using.  showing a small charge current of 3.7 A.   This reminds me that I need more coffee and I need to clean the panels today.  Btw today will be a ‘scorcher’ 28C . (which is 83F for the non-metic people) . After this 2 days 25 and then back to the 21 -19C . (71-68F)
For energy use we use about 5 hours/day for generation from about 10:00 – 15:00

 

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And they keep ticking and running, ran the wetvac a few times,  did some power sanding.

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Nearly 18:00 and the solar still keeps the batteries up and fills al our other energy needs, like Coffee, vacuuming the top deck after part of it was sanded

So today it started with an overcast sky.   We are still on mainly battery at 07:45.  As you see the sun is providing some free energy, but the darn clouds act as a border wall patrol.  Yesterday, about the same time we had about 150 Watts of solar already.  BUT it is still early.

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now more drizzle @lunch time

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But charging a little

Friday 8th, an overcast morning

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The Sun is peeking around the corner

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Lost of sun energy and dinner with Astrid and Marjan

Friday August 4

During the day the solar panel reached a new record…

800pluswatts

As you can see from the Victron Venus readout we are getting 823 Watts ..free sun energy !!!!!

Late afternoon Astrid and Marjan came for tea and dinner, which was lovely.  One point which was brought up was the egg scare in Holland.  We found out that each egg had their unique code, showing what kind of egg is, and which company it comes from

eggs

 

1 means free range chickens

eggs
0 .                                      1                                     2                                 3

here is the article on egg codes in europe

 

Sun & Solar

Daniel, the ‘ultimate scrounger’ was able to find a pallet load of 145W solar panels @ E75/ panel.  This is about 1/2 the normal price for solar panels.  I know I would have preferred 300 Watt panels, but we will just offerup some more deck space for future energy needs.

The Voc is pretty high 87 V, so we need to make sure the MPPT has a high enough voltage.

145W_solar_panel

Since the Voc is so high if we put them im series we would need for just 2 an max voltage of 174V, or with 3 of 261V.   Victrons MPPT start at 75,  100, 150 and 250.  But with 3 in series we go over the 250V, so easiest all panels parallel, which will result in 87V max and  with 24 V as  battery, a Imax of 36.25 Amps  (6 * 145 W panels gives  870 watt > 870/24=36.25 )  Realistically it will be below the 36 Amps.  So that leaves us with the Victron MPPT 100/30 (max 880 W ) or 100/50 (max 1440W) .  The 100/30 is about $202   the 100/50 is about $300.   So we will go with the  mppt_100_30

The Mppt will be connected to the batteries directly, and connected to the VenusGX. (Once it comes …it was supposed to arrive Q4 2016, not it is slated Q2 2017, until that time we can grab the CCGX from Serenity, with the GP and use that)

So we got to the point of putting the 6 panels on.  In the mean time Daniel found 4 solar_panel_yingli_panda_yl260c-30b Watt panels, who could be fitted easier.   Because of  the low Vmp (30.8 V) we placed two in series and these two in parallel.  To mount them we added a 20 mm  thick neoprene cell rubber adhesive strip to the long sides of the panels.    We made some aluminum strips to mount them all together.

Marc cutting strips picture

On the boat in the US I had bought the special attachment clamps, but here we opted for some self made aluminum strips, to mount two panels together.  After mounting the strips on the long sides of the panels, we added the foam strip. and just laid the panels on the pilot house roof.  ON a later date we will mount the outside strips through the roof
solar_strips_cleaning

 

 

Marc making aluminum strips to keep them into place

 

 

 

Here Daniel is adding some extra caulk to the cable passthrough

The panels are connected to a Victron MPPT 100/30 and then directly to the batteries.
Here is a view from the Victron CCGX showing the solar power on a sunny day 720 Watts

With the 4 panels being flat 720 watt is a good efficiency for 1000 W solar panels.  If we have 4- 5 hrs we will get 3 KW/day, which is more than sufficient to be self sustainable.