Updated departure estimate

I’m working all day everyday on the boat. I should have the engine ready to start by the end of the day. I’m trying to figure out an issue with my house battery. It’s either the battery or solar panel. The issue is the solar panel has 100% charged my starter battery and both are connected with an ACR. When I put my multimeter onto my house battery when the panel is charging it, I can get 14+ volts. But when I disconnect the panel I get around 12.0v which is almost totally discharged. The starter reads 13v when not charging. I bought them both at the same time and the water levels are good. The house battery has held a charge for a long time previously. Also my inverter charger is hooked up to my house battery and it says the state of charge is around 75%, which conflicts with my multimeter reading.

Today I’m gonna charge both batteries with shore power and see if the house battery holds a charge. I will probably either have to buy a new house battery or add another 50w of solar power.

I have to finish buying food for the trip and I have to clean up. I have to finish wiring my mast lights, stern light, and nav lights. Right now I’m expecting to leave on Monday morning.

3 thoughts on “Updated departure estimate

  1. A marine house battery is quite large, mine is 110 amp hours. A 50w panel can do like 3.5 amps max per hour (50w/12v * like 0.85 efficiency). You’re talking over 30 hours of direct sunlight to charge it… It’s probably charging fine. Just slowly. You can put your multimeter on amps and put the probes in between the positive leads to measure the incoming current. Sounds like it is charging at 14v. Even a shore plug can take a long time depending on the voltage and charging current.

    Another panel would help, especially around Vancouver Island where it won’t be super sunny all the time. Expect only 20% out of the panel on heavily cloudy days. Would help too if you can rotate the panel towards the sun.. Details..

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You would connect one multimeter lead to the positive battery post and the other multimeter lead to the wire that you disconnected from the positive battery post. Ie, you’re disconnecting the circuit and then inserting the multimeter into the circuit. If you do this you could have sparking when disconnecting/reconnecting, so it’d be a good idea to cover the solar panel first. And make sure your multimeter can handle the max amperage of the solar panel.

        However it’d be better to have a battery monitor. Sounds like you might have some kind of monitor with the “inverter charger”?

        Liked by 1 person

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