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Old 30-06-2017, 06:39   #1
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Good Solar setups

What are some of your solar setups for generating power while out at sea? Im looking for some ideas.
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Old 30-06-2017, 06:42   #2
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Re: Good Solar setups

How much electricity do you want to generate, calculated from your daily requirements?

What is your budget?

How big is the boat, so we know what sort of space you have?

Pete
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Old 30-06-2017, 06:44   #3
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Re: Good Solar setups

Solbian 450w high efficiency flex panels on five separate controllers. Shading is reduced while at anchorages by pulling the boom to the side and using it to support a Magma Rock n Roll flopper stopper.
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Old 30-06-2017, 06:49   #4
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Re: Good Solar setups

Maybe this will help.

Solar Panels on a boat.....

https://www.google.com/search?q=sola...w=1538&bih=716
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Old 30-06-2017, 07:24   #5
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Re: Good Solar setups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
How much electricity do you want to generate, calculated from your daily requirements?



What is your budget?



How big is the boat, so we know what sort of space you have?



Pete


The boat is a 35 ft Hunter. Im looking for something decent enough to most likely charge up a powe pack or something so when I wanted to charge some electronics or run a few fans down in the cabin I would not have a problem. Possibly recharge a battery to run the lights as well when needed.
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Old 30-06-2017, 07:24   #6
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Re: Good Solar setups

Here:

The panels:

2x75W, both with adjustable tilt, one on our double backstay, one on the rail.

The regulator:

PWM

The batteries:

100Ah, lead-acid car grade (2x50Ah)

The monitor:

Bogart

---

The boat: all LED nav and interior lights, vhf+ais combo, gps. No plotter, no fridge, no AP. 'Unlimited' use of tablets and wifi underway.

---

The above set-up is 100% sustainable underway from Europe to Caribbean and back. A third 75W panel deployed at anchor allows for a piezoelectric beer cooler.

The above set up is 15 years old. Can be upgraded in the same footprint, by about 25% (new panels, mppt driver, better batteries, etc.) Can be deployed with one panel dead or with one battery dead or with the regulator dead.

The boat is 26', two onboard. Sailing or living aboard full time.

Tip of the day: A Victron MPPT driver with a BT dongle allows you to monitor your energy balance over time. This is better than a plain monitor that gives you only point/accumulated data.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 30-06-2017, 07:47   #7
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Re: Good Solar setups

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwrsailing View Post
The boat is a 35 ft Hunter. Im looking for something decent enough to most likely charge up a powe pack or something so when I wanted to charge some electronics or run a few fans down in the cabin I would not have a problem. Possibly recharge a battery to run the lights as well when needed.
I have a 100 watt panel ($76.00)

WindyNations 20 amp Controller ($35.00)

Charging two deep cycle 12 volt batteries in parallel

These run my ac inverter for the fan and charging my phone, laptop, and Verizon Jetpack for internet

The lights (interior and exterior)

GPS, Depth, Autopilot .................

I installed it all in about 20 minutes..............
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Old 30-06-2017, 09:56   #8
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Re: Good Solar setups

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Originally Posted by jwrsailing View Post
The boat is a 35 ft Hunter. Im looking for something decent enough to most likely charge up a powe pack or something so when I wanted to charge some electronics or run a few fans down in the cabin I would not have a problem. Possibly recharge a battery to run the lights as well when needed.
Sounds like sailorboy1 has a similar boat, similar situation. He installed 290w of solar on his bimini and it seems to take care of most of his needs. You might wanna contact him for details.

Before you do anything, switch out all your lighting to LED bulbs.
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Old 30-06-2017, 11:32   #9
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Re: Good Solar setups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
How much electricity do you want to generate, calculated from your daily requirements?



Pete


Two schools of thought, the usual and likely best answer is what Pete said above, once you have your daily consumption down, then you can determine how much Solar you need.
I went the other school of thought as I was not cruising yet and did not know what our daily consumption would be. I simply stuffed as much Solar as I could fit under the belief that like money and water, you can't have too much, only too little.
I ended up with 1 KW and we can easily stay within its limitations now that we are out cruising, however we can splurge on the ice maker etc., and easily exceed it too.
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Old 30-06-2017, 12:22   #10
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Re: Good Solar setups

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Two schools of thought, the usual and likely best answer is what Pete said above, once you have your daily consumption down, then you can determine how much Solar you need.
I went the other school of thought as I was not cruising yet and did not know what our daily consumption would be. I simply stuffed as much Solar as I could fit under the belief that like money and water, you can't have too much, only too little.
I ended up with 1 KW and we can easily stay within its limitations now that we are out cruising, however we can splurge on the ice maker etc., and easily exceed it too.
Where did you put 1000w of solar on a 38ft boat? Pictures?
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Old 30-06-2017, 13:12   #11
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Good Solar setups

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Where did you put 1000w of solar on a 38ft boat? Pictures?


Three 250W panels on top of the davits, form sort of a garage for the dinghy, and the fourth on top of the Bimini between the rear stays.
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Old 30-06-2017, 13:45   #12
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Re: Good Solar setups

Impressive
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Old 30-06-2017, 13:58   #13
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Re: Good Solar setups

My 400 watts of solar (300 of that in the form of a bimini), along with our 400 watt windmill has made us pretty well self-sufficient without the need of diesel or generator support. If it were completely overcast for three days I'd have to resort to fossil fuel help, but I'm amazed how little light it takes to get charging amps out of these panels now.

The change this season has been the victron mppt. Single controller four four panels, but man has it made a huge difference. Last year with a crappy controller I couldn't last the night. Now we're golden.
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Old 30-06-2017, 17:22   #14
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Re: Good Solar setups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Solbian 450w high efficiency flex panels on five separate controllers. Shading is reduced while at anchorages by pulling the boom to the side and using it to support a Magma Rock n Roll flopper stopper.
Those are nice units! You use 450 watts total to take care of what kind of use?
Thank you.
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Old 30-06-2017, 19:01   #15
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Re: Good Solar setups

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Impressive


It is admittedly ugly as original sin, but functional.
I can see someone who had a classic boat with beautiful lines would see it as an abomination, however I'm going for function here.
It's not as bad as you might think as the dinghy tucks right under it and the dink is slightly longer
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