The notion that wind
generators, (like the most noisy brands from SWWP), are necessary to fill in for when it is cloudy, and solar
doesn't work, is an often repeated myth. It is simply not true...
If this has been the case for you, you don't have a proper solar
array and battery
capacity. We have had all solar for 15 years, and get all of our energy back to 100% charged, about 350 days a year. On the 16 remaining days, we crank the engine
for 45 minutes or so.
The key is to have a solar array that produces bit over TWICE your normal daily consumption
. If you start out with a super efficient boat, and minimize your consumption
, this is entirely within reason.
don't drop to near "0" output on extremely overcast days, they drop no more than 50%!
With our daily need in the range of 45 Ah, our 340 Ah Trojan L-14s can cover us for several REALLY overcast days if necessary, and by cycling them very shallow 90% of the time, we can easily get > 10 years out of the batteries with a VERY high reliability
generators often create extra shade on your best solar panels
, which negates their supposed advantage, they only last 1/3rd to 1/4th as long, and like any other form of 24/7 noise
brought into an otherwise bucolic anchorage, they are very inconsiderate to those of us who went cruising to avoid this very sort of thing.
We used to supplement with a wind generator
on our last two boats, but after switching to all solar, we never looked back. Our neighbors in the anchorage appreciate it too.