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Old 19-05-2014, 14:00   #1
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Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

Hello everyone

I am looking into the possibility of mounting a solar panel in a crossbar (say 1" stainless tube) that hangs from the two backstays...

This would be something similar to those biminis that have a rectangular frame with the aft end of the frame hanging from the dual backstays in some Moorings boats.

Has anyone in here done that?

If so I would appreciate any advice, in particular what fittings/parts to use to a simply/neatly/safely a) attach the crossbar to the backstays; b) attach panel to the crossbar an c) prevent the panel and crossbar from rotation around the axis of the crossbar.

The panel with be a 215W Kyocera, which measures 1 meter by 1.5 meters. The cross bar would go below the panel along the long axis of the panel.

The boat is in a remote place so I need to carry all the parts with me, hence the need to plan in advance....Thanks in advance.

Charlie
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Old 19-05-2014, 16:10   #2
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Re: Anyone hung a solar panel between dual backstays?

A neighbor did this. The long edge of the panel was mounted to the horizontal tube, and he had a vertical tube coming up from below to hold the panel flat. So the horizontal tube between the backstays did not keep the panel from rotating by itself. The boat nerd side of me noticed this because he was able to rotate the panels to follow the sun by adjusting the vertical pole, and the panels were mostly out of the shadow of the split backstays (I don't know how much that matters).

I'm not sure how he attached it to the backstay. Maybe bring a pair of bulldogs, crush the ends of the pole in a vice, and drill the new flat part of the tube for the bulldog studs to poke through?

Some sizes of stainless tubing slip inside each other nicely. So you could make a mount by getting two compatible sizes, then drilling and tapping the larger size for the holes in the panel. If you want a hinge type system.

A long time ago I had solar panels mounted to solid lifelines with little white plastic mounts. Sold at West Marine. They were nice since they split apart and made it easy to remove the panels. I mounted them near the center of the panels, and friction kept the panels mostly where I put them.
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Old 19-05-2014, 17:20   #3
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

The thing I picture with this type of mount is a strong wind just ripping the panel from the mounts. it would be a great deal of drag.
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Old 19-05-2014, 18:30   #4
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

[QUOTE=DDabs;154501 it would be a great deal of drag.[/QUOTE]

Down wind it will shield your sails and into wind the drag would make sailing backwards faster.
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Old 20-05-2014, 02:42   #5
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Hello everyone

I am looking into the possibility of mounting a solar panel in a crossbar (say 1" stainless tube) that hangs from the two backstays...

This would be something similar to those biminis that have a rectangular frame with the aft end of the frame hanging from the dual backstays in some Moorings boats.

Has anyone in here done that?

If so I would appreciate any advice, in particular what fittings/parts to use to a simply/neatly/safely a) attach the crossbar to the backstays; b) attach panel to the crossbar an c) prevent the panel and crossbar from rotation around the axis of the crossbar.

The panel with be a 215W Kyocera, which measures 1 meter by 1.5 meters. The cross bar would go below the panel along the long axis of the panel.

The boat is in a remote place so I need to carry all the parts with me, hence the need to plan in advance....Thanks in advance.

Charlie
As with any fabrication on a boat, it needs to be designed to withstand marginal conditions.

I have a 135w panel on a 49ft boat and I would imagine that 215w is too big.

I would suggest getting a smaller width panel for safety.

Anyway, this is how I did it...

I have rod rigging which makes the panel mount stiffer, however it should work with stranded rigging but it possibly will move slightly more.

The mounting height is just reachable by me on tiptoes and misses the running backstays by about 0.5 meter.

You need a bar running between the backstays and mount this with a fabricated clamp on the ends of the bar (the clamp should have 2 screws that screw the clamp into the end of the bar)

Then mount the panel longways between the backstays with the NOAA solar panel system. This will enable you to tilt the panel to spill wind when sailing and catch sun when anchoring. You will need 3 NOAA clamps.

The NOAA system adds safety as in an emergency you can remove the panel in under 30 seconds with no tools.

I have seen other installations and often they are under engineered.
Perhaps thats what the other replies are about.

Hard to judge, but drag is probably no more than the practice of strapping things to the lifelines.
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Old 20-05-2014, 15:49   #6
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

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Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
The thing I picture with this type of mount is a strong wind just ripping the panel from the mounts. it would be a great deal of drag.
No worries. The panel would be horizontal at all times except while someone is onboard in the afternoon at anchor (stern towards the West as in the Caribbean) with wind that is OK (say usual 10-12 knots in a Caribbean anchorage) and we want to increase the efficiency. Even then, half of the panel would be below the height of the bimini, hence shielded from the wind by it.

Cheers

C
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Old 20-05-2014, 15:51   #7
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

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(snip)
Then mount the panel longways between the backstays with the NOAA solar panel system. This will enable you to tilt the panel to spill wind when sailing and catch sun when anchoring. You will need 3 NOAA clamps.

The NOAA system adds safety as in an emergency you can remove the panel in under 30 seconds with no tools.
Many thanks for this. I am afraid I cannot find these NOOA clamps in Google. Can you please give me a hint to help me find info about those?

Thanks

C
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Old 21-05-2014, 15:44   #8
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Re: Anyone Hung a Solar Panel Between Dual Backstays?

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Many thanks for this. I am afraid I cannot find these NOOA clamps in Google. Can you please give me a hint to help me find info about those?



Thanks



C

Sorry I misspelt.....
Take a look at www.noa.se
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Old 24-05-2014, 06:15   #9
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Originally Posted by Fuss View Post

Take a look at www.noa.se
Thank you very much!
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