Daisypath - Vacation

Monday, 22 April 2013

Immersion Heaters and Solar Panels

We're now at the right time of year whereby the batteries are being charged completely on their own by the solar panels - no engine power needed!





However, the last couple of days I've noticed that our batteries are nearly fully charged by lunch time. I can tell this as on our Outback MPPT controller it tells you when the panels go into "float" mode, which means the batteries are nearly at capacity and the absorption from the sun is 'slowing down' - so not to over charge the batteries.

Anyway, it seems a waste to have all these solar panels and not have them being utilised during the best hours of the day.

Basically, you see, after the batteries are fully charged, the solar panels effectively 'switch off'.

So I'm thinking I could either get more batteries which I don't want to do (as they need replacing every couple of years) or I could divert some of the energy to something like the immersion heater which would then give us hot water.

I've seen this online:


It's a 12v element which basically replaces the 240v element in the calorifier that we have now. However, I'm still trying to find out how it would be connected to the MPPT controller or if it is directly connected to the solar panels.

I need to do some research but this would be incredibly economical and means we really wouldn't have to run our engine at all during summer months. (we still have to at the moment as our engine heats up our hot water!)

What's a little bit annoying is the fact that we had a wind turbine which can also be rigged up to heat a 12v immersion heater - and we got rid of it. If I'd have known I'd have kept on to it, purely to heat water!

4 comments:

  1. The firm that fitted the solar panels on our house offered us something similar to make use of excess solar power -- but we don't have an immersion heater. It was called an Immersun and the details are at Immersun.co.uk It's an interesting idea.

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  2. Cheers Adam. I did look at something similar but not sure how they would work on boat installations - not sure if its different in a house with the supply also being connected to the 'grid'?

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  3. If you have a 240v immersion heater, put a timer into the circuit and let the inverter use the power via the batteries or if you are on board you can manually switch on the immersion heater

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  4. Hi there Gary here, im too thinking down the same path, daves idea sounds good i would like too run the immersion with the excess power but wonder would it be possible to do it direct somehow, without having to run it through the batteries, it mite add a couple more years life to the batteries if an immersion was not run off them all summer?

    ReplyDelete

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