C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photo-voltaic System Install Complete - C'est la Vie's gone solar

Once the two #10 wires from each panel fed through the decks (see... Running Wires for Solar and Wifi Antenna), I wired the two 80W panels in series via a new wiring bus located on C'est la Vie's aft bulkhead.  Running downstream of the bus, a pair of 8 gauge wires carry the current on to the charge controller at the electrical panel. 

The new bus handles the Solar & Wifi Antenna power.  It is accessed via the starboard cockpit locker

Once in the electrical panel the wires from the solar panels are lead directly to the charge controller.

The back end of the BlueSky2000E Solar Charge Controller

Also wired into the charge controller are:
  •  #8 negative wire goes directly to the primary ground terminal in the electrical panel.  
  • #8 positive line out that leads to a 30amp breaker and then directly to the primary positive in the electrical panel. 
  • A pair of small wires that lead to a thermo-couple on a battery terminal in C'est la Vie's house bank.  This allows the charge controller to monitor the battery temp and modulate current prevent overcharging and damaging the batteries.  
This brings us up to the current state (pun intended) of C'est la Vie's electrical panel.

C'est la Vie's electrical panel after installation of PV system.  Charge controller is bottom right
I felt like DR Frankenstein standing before his monster as my fingers flipped the breaker bringing the PV system to life.  Alive, Alive, Alive. 

Electrical Panel sealed up and the red led on the charge controller stating all is well.
Much more life than I anticipated.  Under the midday sun the system churned out 10.4 amps at 14 volts.  To say I am pleased with that performance would be an understatement. 

Here is a link to our photo album documenting the entire installation... Solar Power Install - Spring 2013.

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