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Old 04-01-2016, 07:49   #1
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750 W Solar on a mono

I've had a few people ask me how I got 750 W on my 38' mono, so I thought I would post how I did it as opposed to sending PM's.
I don't pretend to say this is a pro install or is the best way, but it was easy and seems to work.
It's just off the shelf Kato davits, with stock off the shelf Kato Solar mounts.
I fabbed the mounting frame out of about 3" 2024 aluminum angle extrusions and everything is bolted, nothing is welded, it's just three 250 W panels mounted side by side. The way it's done gives plenty of height so you can stand while boarding from the dinghy so you don't hit your head.




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Old 04-01-2016, 07:55   #2
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Super neat!

And +the dinghy in shade. Excellent.

How much energy do you get from this set up in your location?

b.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:04   #3
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Super neat!

And +the dinghy in shade. Excellent.

How much energy do you get from this set up in your location?

b.

I haven't even finished the install, nothing is wired up yet. I'm currently still a weekend warrior, not yet cruising, so other projects have taken priority so far. I plan on them being in parallel and going through a single Outback 80
The Radar pole and associated "stuff" could well be a real significant source of shading, but if there were no pole, I don't think shading would be as much as an issue.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:22   #4
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I have a similar setup - not as much power (280)... but the wind generator results in significant shading. What kind of solar panels did you use?
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:06   #5
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I think they are Canadian Solar?
I ran into a deal, a company in Pensacola does Residential and Commercial building installs, they sold me 5 left over 250 W panels for .50c a Watt. I think they order by the pallet and people don't want panels that may appear slightly different?
I wanted Kyocera panels as I have heard great things, but shipping costs were very high, and I called around and found panels for .50c a Watt and couldn't pass that up.

I still have two left, and if three isn't enough, I can mount the other two on top of my Bimini if I have to, but won't if I can get by with 750 W.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:42   #6
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Looks great. I had 500w and was able to run my DC water maker and charge my batteries when at anchor.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:42   #7
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

nice we have ATM 470W with two 100W tillable to maximise output

I am thinking of adding one 140W Kyocera to my two KY 135W panels or two 155W SOLARA panels for less boat dollars than the one KY panel .

So I would have 610W or 780W with as just now my two Blue Sky Solar Boost controllers tweaked to cut out before the batteries hit the BMS HVC voltage.

460W is nice, just enough on a really sunny day to put 70/80A back in the batteries by lunch time even with the F/F cycling every hour......and even on a cloudy day by 16:00 things are back at 100% charged with all the used AH back in the batteries.......

But then we can go past that used figure and charge until the BSSB controllers say stop, which is my max charged voltage.

This is still way under the charged voltage that the LIFePO4 batteries are able to take without hitting the high voltage 'knee'

So 600/770W would be nice to have.....I just cant get my head round the CBA figures, doubly so with KY140W costing more than 310W.

Then there are the mounting issues.

ATM we have two on top of the bimini and two tilable ones on a simple arch over and connected to the pushpit. And yes tilting them makes a big difference to their performance. I have room for one more KY140W on top of the bimini but it may get shaded by the boom unless I move the boom way off the centerline.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:34   #8
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Your installation looks great, A64.

I've been planning to do something similar on our davits. I haven't yet gotten around to measuring and planning. I need to allow for a couple of existing 'topping lifts' from the aft point of each davit arm to the mizzen mast top. [There for back-up reinforcement in case of an unusual, unplanned load on the davits...]

I'm hoping to approach the wattage you were able to achieve, but may be limited to 2 panels due to space constraints.

I will follow your progress with interest.

Well done.

Bill
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:40   #9
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

How do u like the B.G radar...a64pilot
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:51   #10
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

I have a similar setup with the Kato arch on a Beneteau Oceanis 45. I have two Kyocera 320W panels and still have room for more. Mr. Fegley at YES in Annapolis told me I should have more power than I need. Can't wait to try it out in the coming year. Excelent shade as well. Since we are wintering aboard in MD this winter, I'm hoping it will keep some snow out as well. I have a pole for wind but plan on taking it down for now to see how the solar handles my needs. I'll add next year if I find it necessary.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:13   #11
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I haven't even finished the install, nothing is wired up yet. I'm currently still a weekend warrior, not yet cruising, so other projects have taken priority so far. I plan on them being in parallel and going through a single Outback 80
The Radar pole and associated "stuff" could well be a real significant source of shading, but if there were no pole, I don't think shading would be as much as an issue.
Any shading will kill your output. It's no easy feat getting more than 300W of solar on most monos to be effective.

Interested in some data from your install. We're planning to increase from 280 to 700W this year. We're putting more panels on our transom arch. The solar on the dodger is almost useless through shading.

2024 angle seems an odd spec. 2000 series aluminum has very poor corrosion resistance. Probably not an issue on your davits though.

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Old 04-01-2016, 11:26   #12
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

2024 is very common aircraft stuff, Alclad will help with corrosion. We had it laying around, it was free. I have no idea what the panel is made from, aluminum of course, but which? The panel framework sits on top of two aluminum I beam extrusions, also had laying around. More salt water gets up there than you would think, although not all that often.


On the B&G, Jury is still out on that. I was expecting great performance increases from my Garmin HD, and I'm just not seeing that, but it may well be that it's harder to "tweak" than the Garmin was. I think a lot of the performance of modern Radar's is actually in the software, maybe Garmin's processing was just good?
One thing that really intrigues me is the B&G's claim of lower RF output than a cell phone, call me silly but I have never liked having an RF emitter anywhere close to my body, but if the power output is really that low, then I am way less bothered.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:04   #13
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

The radar dome you can have elsewhere (eg ahead of the mast).

Perhaps there will be smaller and easier to re-locate tracvision units too before your departure.

Our panels have, at times, some shading from our backstays. I have failed to notice any serious output variation. But a big object like a dome or two sure will affect the set-up in a more definitive way.

The good news is with the mast on the port, the West Indies shade will stay away from your panels most of the high sun.

b.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:13   #14
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
On the B&G, Jury is still out on that. I was expecting great performance increases from my Garmin HD, and I'm just not seeing that, but it may well be that it's harder to "tweak" than the Garmin was. I think a lot of the performance of modern Radar's is actually in the software, maybe Garmin's processing was just good?
One thing that really intrigues me is the B&G's claim of lower RF output than a cell phone, call me silly but I have never liked having an RF emitter anywhere close to my body, but if the power output is really that low, then I am way less bothered.
Your concerns about RF exposure are well founded, especially given your earlier career. I'm the same way.

And the comments about RADAR software are intriguing. I sure do wish that I could compare an old school unit from a Warship's bridge, to a modern, small vessel one. That, & do some side by side testing of some of the other units out there.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:18   #15
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Re: 750 W Solar on a mono

The saying "its a small world" is real. I think you bought them from my company! Who would have thought I'd see you here? I think one of the guys loaded them or I would have said hello if I would have known you were installing these on your sailboat.

Good looking install BTW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think they are Canadian Solar?
I ran into a deal, a company in Pensacola does Residential and Commercial building installs, they sold me 5 left over 250 W panels for .50c a Watt. I think they order by the pallet and people don't want panels that may appear slightly different?
I wanted Kyocera panels as I have heard great things, but shipping costs were very high, and I called around and found panels for .50c a Watt and couldn't pass that up.

I still have two left, and if three isn't enough, I can mount the other two on top of my Bimini if I have to, but won't if I can get by with 750 W.
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