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Old 03-09-2015, 18:46   #91
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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Originally Posted by DtM View Post
Thanks Catherine.


Are you independent of running motors/generator with 345 watts?

No, unfortunately not with just the solar. The 345 keeps up pretty much during the day but loses too much ground overnight, and especially if we have our freezer running. Since adding the solar, we have also added a D400 wind gen and between the two of them we are good for power unless we have a full day of calm & cloud - then we need about an hour of generator.
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:49   #92
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

We basically never turn the freezer (or the two frig's) off and we're substantially OK on solar only (2 x 327W panels) when on anchor and even when underway with the autopilot and chartplotter(s), altho underway the sails often shade the panels enough so that some generator supplement is needed. Of course if it's heavy overcast -- light cloud only slightly inhibits the panels, but they'll still cope with our demands -- then we need the generator. We can even sail overnight without the generator if the batteries are full approaching sunset.

In practice, we use the generator not so much for the batteries (although that obviously assists when appropriate) but rather for hot water and the toaster...

Pics of our panels follow, but if anyone's considering the rigid panels, it would be better to orient them north/south, rather than east/west as we did. The north/south orientation provides more shade below and (most importantly!) more 'footprint' that allows more panels.

...and now a word from the sponsor...
For Australian mariners, we supply (and of course use ourselves, both on our vessel and at home) SunPower panels, the best available in both lab conditions (officially rated efficiency) and all 'real world' applications, e.g. overcast, high temperatures, low sun angles. Several of our customers are CF members and there are posts with pics of their vessel installations (all north/south...and all with more panels!) available on CF.

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Old 06-09-2015, 15:27   #93
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

The PO of our Mahe had 3x 80w installed on the davits.
This winter i replaced the canvas bimini with a hardtop and added some more solar on top. I added 4x 80w with a separate controller for a grand total of 560w.
We rarely see over 15-18A charging current because in the early morning the panels just don't produce more and around noon the batteries are aready full and the controllers are in float mode (we typically use around 35-45Ah per night at anchor). Only if we use some heavy domestic appliance via the inverter around noon we see higher charging currents afterwards.

On a sunny day we run the watermaker all day long (katadyn 40e consuming 4-5A). Haven't taken any shore power or water this year. so far we also haven't used the engines to recharge, but our night passages all included some motoring due to lack of wind.

Next thing to try out on a sunny day is our new bread maker, consumes up to 800w for heating up. But for the next few days we will face clouds and rain.
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Old 30-09-2015, 06:35   #94
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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Next thing to try out on a sunny day is our new bread maker, consumes up to 800w for heating up. But for the next few days we will face clouds and rain.
Follow up: the bread maker works better than expected! Baking bread is a 5 minutes job now. Pour the ingrdients and water into the machine, press a button and 3hrs later a fresh bread is waiting. And most important its automatic so we are free to do what we want.

The machine uses 5A when mixing the ingredients and up to 75A when heating up. Once hot the heating element goes on and off every few seconds.

In total it eats about 35Ah for a bread cycle, most of it during the last hour.
Because the peak consumption is above our solar panels supply we program it to start around noon so the batteries have to supply only about 15-20Ah. Two hours later the batteries are full again.

Nice addition to the equipment list aboard.
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Old 30-09-2015, 16:21   #95
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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Nice addition to the equipment list aboard.
Indeed!

Details (brand, model) of the breadmaker?
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:20   #96
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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Indeed!

Details (brand, model) of the breadmaker?
Its a cheap one i picked up at a local 'Lidl' supermarket for 50 euro.
But i can't recommend that particular model, its cheapest chinese stuff with poor quality. I had to resolder parts of the circuit board after the 3rd bread
But it was the only bread maket i ran into here in Italy.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:43   #97
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

We have:

Zojirushi

4 years and hundreds of loaves, still looks and works like new.

The small loaves work great for 2 of us.

Only 450watts, easy to use on the boat.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:39   #98
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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Its a cheap one i picked up at a local 'Lidl' supermarket for 50 euro.
But i can't recommend that particular model, its cheapest chinese stuff with poor quality. I had to resolder parts of the circuit board after the 3rd bread
But it was the only bread maket i ran into here in Italy.
A good friend of mine bakes her own bread with a breadmaker, but with a slight twist. She uses it to mix and knead the dough, then she removes it and covers it. Does another loaf then puts both into the oven to bake in regular loaf pans. This way she gets 2 loaves per baking cycle in her gas powered oven and she doesn't have the mixer imprint in the end of the loaf.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:11   #99
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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A good friend of mine bakes her own bread with a breadmaker, but with a slight twist. She uses it to mix and knead the dough, then she removes it and covers it. Does another loaf then puts both into the oven to bake in regular loaf pans. This way she gets 2 loaves per baking cycle in her gas powered oven and she doesn't have the mixer imprint in the end of the loaf.
We don't eat enough bread to go to that extreme. Occasionally the 1lb loaves go stale on us. Fresh bread certainly doesn't have the shelf life that boughten bread does.

Mixer imprint is a problem? Is so, I'll bet you don't eat donuts because of the hole?
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Old 01-10-2015, 16:58   #100
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

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We don't eat enough bread to go to that extreme. Occasionally the 1lb loaves go stale on us. Fresh bread certainly doesn't have the shelf life that boughten bread does.

Mixer imprint is a problem? Is so, I'll bet you don't eat donuts because of the hole?
Reading comprehension problem? My friend is the one who doesn't like the mixer imprint. Why have a big gash in your last slice of bread if you don't need to?

I prefer donut holes.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:00   #101
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Re: Solar Panels and Associated Systems

For us the main reason for a breadmaker is that its fully automatic. We can leave the boat for the day instead of looking after the bread and the oven.

A nice plus is that it doesn't use any gas but only the sun and a little bit of battery.

Holes in the loaf? No problem for us.
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