More (solar?) power!

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More (solar?) power!

Postby spork » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:35 pm

My new sounder with 7" screen, chartplotter, wifi, bluetooth and coffee machine (ok, there is no coffee machine) needs "typical draw" 0.9amps to run.
I figured a pair of 9ah SLA batteries should get 10 hours @ 50% discharge.
They struggled to get 6.

Now, I didn't have them wired correctly, was using pretty light gauge wire to put them in parallel, and they were brand new.
I have since seen that SLA need a few cycles before they will accept a 100% charge, so those factors should help.

Today I did a better job of wiring them (it might look messy, but "technically" it is correct).

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I added a lightweight 20w solar panel and 10a waterproof (I hope!) controller.

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And tested.
Connected to home network via WiFi, and running the chartplotter and sidescan my sounder told me I had 12.6v @ 12:30.

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At 5:00pm it still showed 12.3v
The day had periods of full sun, periods of full cloud cover, and periods of somewhere in-between the two. A typical day.
At 5:00pm I turned the sounder off and left the solar panel out from under the kayak cover, and still connected.
My hope is that the batteries will be back up to 12.6v by lunchtime tomorrow, which will mean I can get a full weekend's social fishing out of one charge, or a full on weekend fishing flat out, or prefish + 2 day comp with a second set of cheap batteries.

Hoping to go away this weekend to "field test". :wink:
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby Tarpon5000 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:45 pm

Nice set up mate, i have a 7in screen low power consumption dragonfly atm but shortly ill be get a 9in with 3d, side and downvision so ill have to do something very similar as it will draw alot more power than my current simple sounder. Thanks for your post as it will help me out deciding how to power the thing over a weekend away.

Dre
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby Snow » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:22 pm

Hey Spork.
Love ya set up mate.
Just curious, did you look at Lithium's as an option?
This one - http://ev-power.com.au/webstore/evh12v20ah.html
weighs 2.6kg and can be discharge 80% (20% capacity left) without harm to the cell.
Just a thought that it might end up cheaper overall in cost?
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby arpie » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:53 pm

That is looking good, Gard - I hope it does what you want of it!! :gu:

Good luck

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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby spork » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:32 pm

I did consider LiPo Snow - that ones a good price compared to others I saw.
Might still go that way if I can't make 2 x 9ah last a long day on the water.
Shame the one you linked won't fit the Hiobie battery holders - will have a look through that store's catalog.
Can always use the SLAs for lighting in my camper etc.
Would need a new charger too if I do go Lithium...
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby Snow » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:10 pm

Good point Spork. I forgot about the chargers. The LiPo charger I have was 399 bucks so economically it may not be a viable option :smart:
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby pavo » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:15 pm

Very nice setup but I'd be sealing the connections with something to prevent corrosion.
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby Jamie D » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:35 pm

If your on the water , in a kayak for longer than 6 hours , your a genuine badass and I take my hat off to you sir
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby spork » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:59 pm

Jamie D wrote:If your on the water , in a kayak for longer than 6 hours , your a genuine badass and I take my hat off to you sir


Haha. It's a PA. I can stand up and stretch my legs whenever I need to, and the seat is as comfy as.
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby fishing addict » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:03 pm

where did you get the solar panel from?
To see the difference between having input and being committed look no further than bacon and eggs. The chook has input but the pig is committed.

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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby spork » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:21 pm

Snow wrote:Good point Spork. I forgot about the chargers. The LiPo charger I have was 399 bucks so economically it may not be a viable option :smart:


The solar doesn't seem to do much at all.
I put the DMM on the plug and it is putting out close to 20w, so noy sure if I have the controller set wrong or if it is losing most of those w's in the 3ish m of wiring between it and the batteries.

I decided to pull the trigger on a decent LiPo battery and charger.
34 AH should do for a weekend away, and can still take some SLA's as backup for an extra day.

pavo wrote:Very nice setup but I'd be sealing the connections with something to prevent corrosion.


The only exposed connections are the battery terminals. They will get a good coating of dielectric grease when I'm happy with setup.
The connectors are all Deutsch connectors, which I have found to be about as waterproof as you can get.


fishing addict wrote:where did you get the solar panel from?


From the Bay of E.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/262522888495 ... EBIDX%3AIT
:wink:
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby fishing addict » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:03 am

going of the stats of the panel and the gear your gear you have a higher current draw than the panel can put out on a good day with no clouds. At most buying yourself an additional hour. It suck but it looks like you would need at least 40watts to make an effective difference. I might be more viable on a smaller fish finder without gps.
To see the difference between having input and being committed look no further than bacon and eggs. The chook has input but the pig is committed.

PB Bass 51cm, Taylor 53cm, bream 51cm, Jewfish 83cm, Flathead 72cm
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby spork » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:04 pm

fishing addict wrote:going of the stats of the panel and the gear your gear you have a higher current draw than the panel can put out on a good day with no clouds. At most buying yourself an additional hour. It suck but it looks like you would need at least 40watts to make an effective difference. I might be more viable on a smaller fish finder without gps.


Was using the solar for sounder batteries only.
Lowrance documentation says sounder draws on average 0.9a, (= 10.8w @ 12v.)
Other advice is that it will draw more like 1.5a (full brightness, side scan, charts...)
That's still (only) 18w @ 12v.
In that case, in full sun, the panel should extend runtime considerably.
What current would you be expecting for the sounder?

I have also ordered a small load meter, so I will be able to find both peak and average current.
With a 35ah LiPo I hope to be able to run everything off one battery, or on extended trips keep a SLA for Power Pole (and pump on the rare occasions I use it) and keep the big LiPo for the sounder exclusively.

I should be able to report back here with accurate numbers for the sounder power usage, which I hope will help others.
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Re: More (solar?) power!

Postby fishing addict » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:38 pm

Keep in mind that the solar panel's max possible output on a perfect day with no water on the panel is 1.1ah. As this unlikely it will more likely charge at around .5ah on most days for no more than 8hrs of optimum sunlight. This on a good day of 8hrs on the water with good sunlight and weather is 4ah (this dosent even take into account times where the kayak is orientated so something like yourself casts a shadow over the panel or the kayak tiliting away from the sun due to something like chop) greatly reducing effectiveness again. During that same period of time your sounder using lets say 1ah will have used double that at least. I love the Idea of using solar to extend life but am having a hard time finding a large enough panel and a suitable location to mount.
To see the difference between having input and being committed look no further than bacon and eggs. The chook has input but the pig is committed.

PB Bass 51cm, Taylor 53cm, bream 51cm, Jewfish 83cm, Flathead 72cm
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