Yachties need hybrid
It is a complete mystery to us that the sailing fraternity has not reacted more positively to the appearance of the latest hybrid MPPT controller inverter products that are now commonplace on dry land. The unit in the image above is a 50A 3KW unit that can handle up to 600w from the solar panels and provide 3Kw of 220v power to your onboard mains circuit. It will automatically choose the optimum power source for charging the batteries.
Most cruising yachts can accommodate 400w easily enough, and many can fit 600w. You can now buy good quality 400w rigid solar panels for under €200, and €300 will get you 2 x 300w so 600w. There is however little point in having all that power unless you can store it. As a rough guide we like the idea that with 400w of solar you need 400Ah of battery and so on. It follows therefore that if you up your solar panel capacity, you will also have to increase your battery storage capacity.
We are lithium fans and think that the fire risk talk is greatly exaggerated even for lithium-ion. Almost every device that we all own has lithium-ion, and stories of lithium-ion powered EVs like the Renault Zoe catching fire are not exactly 10 a penny. We are planning on installing 500Ah of 48v lithium on our yacht and 400w of solar. Adding more would force us to buy an expensive gantry that we cannot afford. For those hooked on AGM, technically both are fine.
We offer 500Ah of lithium power in a stainless steel case for just €1499 - less than AGM!
Our 220v water heating system can also then be connected to the yacht mains and will then make sure that your water is hot without overly discharging your batteries. It has sensors for water temperature and battery charge level. AGM only for the moment, but digital lithium compatible version available in 4 weeks.
We do not claim to be complete systems specialists, but we have a lot of acquired experience and know which suppliers to trust to match solar panels to hybrid controller. This is trickier than it sounds.