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Old 17-03-2010, 13:21   #1
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Durable Solar Panels (for a Deck)

I read about semiflexible panels, and I am wondering if it would be possible to make the deck of the boat out of solar panels. It would be great to have this as it would be possible to move at 1-2knots with solar power only.

The ones I am seeing cost something like $10 per watt (much higher than my current $2 per watt panels) but would they be durable enough to walk on? Anyone have experience on this?

Does anyone know of a type of panel which could be used for a deck? Would it be slippery? Could you put a very think layer of glass cloth over it to give better traction and protection (and slightly reduce power output) ?
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Old 17-03-2010, 14:15   #2
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I don't have personal experience with these, Aurinco solar panels, but from what I read, I think they might be what you are looking for.
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Old 17-03-2010, 14:19   #3
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The semi-rigid ones are great, a friend of mine has them glued to his deck in places, the deck is even sloped in those places. They produced their fair share of wattage and I wasn't afraid to step on them. They do look like they still break if you drop a winch handle on them though.

NB the ones in skylarks link dont look semi-flexible at all
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Old 21-03-2010, 15:55   #4
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Maybe these roof panels would work?

Don't know if you can walk on them, but they're flexible. Came across them while looking for something to put on my Island Packet 27, most likely on the bimini (where there's not enough clearance under the boom for thick, rigid panels).
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Old 21-03-2010, 18:07   #5
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SunWare and Solara to name but two. But you cannot glass them over. (Why should you?)

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Old 22-03-2010, 10:15   #6
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Big question. ARE THEY SLIPPERY WHEN WET??
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Old 23-03-2010, 19:17   #7
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They have a pattern that makes them less slippery that plain acrylic surface, but nothing beats good TBS.

Wear good sailing shoes. It helps.

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