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Old 15-03-2012, 05:14   #1
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Ditching Solar Panel Frame

Thinking of building a hard dodger (either GRP/FRP foam sandwich or Epoxy covered Ply) for Highland Fling and thinking that large part of the top surface could be Solar. So thinking can i remove the frames and insert the bare solar panels in a suitable sized recess in the top of the dodger bedded on some silicone or other sealant - maybe with a small bead (Wood/GRP/Alloy) also retaining them....what thinks you?
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Old 15-03-2012, 05:19   #2
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

keep the frames !
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Old 15-03-2012, 05:38   #3
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

From what I understand, air circulation under the cells is good for helping to keep them cool..I looked into laminating cells on my dodger some years back and the general concensis then was that the heat would be a problem.
Until now I have no PV on my boat, so take it for what its worth.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:36   #4
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

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From what I understand, air circulation under the cells is good for helping to keep them cool..I looked into laminating cells on my dodger some years back and the general concensis then was that the heat would be a problem.
Until now I have no PV on my boat, so take it for what its worth.

Understanding air circulation vis a vis solar panels I was going to have the bottom of the cells open being part of the roof not encapsulate them into the top of the dodger. It seems lots of cats now have them integrated into their biminis.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:37   #5
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

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keep the frames !

WHY what benefit will i get and what do you see as the downside of removing the frames?
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:48   #6
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

If you don't plan on stepping on it, why not.
May get some heat radiation from the bottom.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:49   #7
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

Corrosion will happen unless it's COMPLETELY sealed.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:55   #8
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

I'm not sure the frame actually seals it...I think the cells are already sealed before the assembly of the glass and frame...otherwise they would look more like a thermal pain window with nitrogen of argon inside wouldn't they?
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:57   #9
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

Why not, buy a cheap panel and take it apart to be sure this will work
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:00   #10
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

Why not contact the solar panel manufacturer and see what they think.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:12   #11
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

I don't have panels yet, but I've heard any shading of the panel (the boom) greatly reduces the out put. That's why you see most panels hung over the side, back or an arch.

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/30.htm
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:35   #12
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

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I don't have panels yet, but I've heard any shading of the panel (the boom) greatly reduces the out put. That's why you see most panels hung over the side, back or an arch.

Installing a Solar Panel to Maintain Batteries by Don Casey

We have two swivelling mounted100W panels on a dedicated solar panel frame at the aft end of the boat and will be putting two more on top of the bimini.......either 135W or 185W Kyocera panels. I was thinking maybe replace the two 100W with three 135W ones then I was thinking there might be room for the two 100W panels integrated into a hard dodger.

Going sailing soon so less time to think about these things
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:10   #13
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

We've got two on the dodger, useless sailing closehauled. At anchor, with the boom off to the side....wonderful.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:23   #14
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

I was thinking of replacing my soft bimini with solar panels but keepiing them in their frames and simply suspending them with their top surface flush with the current bimini frame. I would then frame around the panels to make it watertight with a thin marine ply or fiberglass.

I currently (pun) have 770 watts but could increase this to around 2 Kilowatts.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:34   #15
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Re: Ditching Solar Panel Frame

2KW?

Are you going to start smelting aluminum?
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