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Old 20-02-2018, 09:13   #166
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Plenty of semi-flexible or semi-rigid (however you choose to word it) in this thread. I've not seen many that have decent ventilations though, which can be tough to do when mounted on a deck or a bimini. Trying to solve that problem (on deck mounting) myself.
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Old 20-02-2018, 20:38   #167
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Plenty of semi-flexible or semi-rigid (however you choose to word it) in this thread. I've not seen many that have decent ventilations though, which can be tough to do when mounted on a deck or a bimini. Trying to solve that problem (on deck mounting) myself.
Install flexible panels over plastic sign board, forget what it is called, but it is smooth on both sides and has lengthwise air gaps throughout.
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Old 20-02-2018, 23:12   #168
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
Just made my last connection yesterday. Unfortunately the weather sucks; cloudy, cold, raining and windy.

Type and model and size of boat.
1982 Cape Dory 36
Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
2 panels installed at 100w each. 2 more 100 w panels in process for a total of 400w.
Panel Size: How big are the panels? Individual? Total area required?
Each panel is 39.7x26.7. When all 4 panels are installed well have a space 80x54.

Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
November 2017.

Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there? Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing? Does it cause windage problems? Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging or equipment?
Panels are on the bimini. The bimini frame has been re-enforced to support the extra weight. The boom shades the panels but when at anchor we can move the boom. Currently no windage problems as the bimini creates a bigger footprint for the wind.

Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it? Marine or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?
Renogy 100w Polycrystalline


Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?
Each panel was just over $125 and they had a discount going so the total order was $399.96. Wiring and branch connectors $53. Tracer 40a MPPT controller and MT50 remote controller was $176.69 combined. All the bimini stainless steel fittings were $275.88 and 2 - 8 x 1 stainlees steel tubes were $65 ea.
Add another $200 for fuses, misc stuff and beer. So right around $1100.

Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.
This is the largest and flattest area I have. The boat is narrow and I searched long and hard on CF and other sites to confirm this design and its WAY cheaper tha having an arch built.

Damage? Has the installation been damaged by wind or corrosion or breakage?
No damage yet.
What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?
Id raise the frame a littler higher off the bimini as the cover is rubbing on the brackets and wearing holes in the cover. Itll get raised in the next few months.
Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Disatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system?
The install went amazingly easy, if you dont count dropping stuff into the water. Surprises, I hooked everything up and it came on...WhooHoo!! Then the sun disappeared.....Grrrrrr.
Weaknesses, the bimini frame is sturdy fore and aft but moves side to side. I need to add some support to stop this.

How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?

Unknown at this time but research says 400w of solar amd 480ah of batteries should make us self sufficient in the power arena, time will tell.

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Do you have more info about your installation on a blog?

If you have a blog post that shows more details of your installation, post a link to that post. But, please post some photos and answers here, not just a link.
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Why this thread?

There are many previous threads on CF that discuss various aspects of Solar power on boats. But, most do not include any or many photos that illustrate how those panels are installed and how that may affect the panel efficiency or the ease of use of the boat. Or how the boat looks after installing a lot of solar panels.

Here is a link to some of the many previous threads which discuss "Solar" on CF:
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...lar&gsc.page=1

My hope is that this thread will be populated by many photos (and text answering the questions up above) from many different boats.

I believe that "Pictures tell a story" and they can be informative and inspirational and helpful.
[/QUOTE]

Great write-up (I need to pull my finger out and document ours).
I am sure many found this of interest

Thanks,

David
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Old 21-02-2018, 03:54   #169
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Install flexible panels over plastic sign board, forget what it is called, but it is smooth on both sides and has lengthwise air gaps throughout.
I suspect you mean "Coroplast" which is commonly called sign board. It has hollow structure or air channels.

"A similar product is marketed in Australia under the brand name Corflute."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coroplast
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Old 21-02-2018, 05:13   #170
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

The perforated stuff doesn't seem to exist in Europe. So you can get sign board correx or foamex with channels, but without little pin holes (that I've seen on some boards online)

Anyway, I suppose this is detracting from the thread. Hopefully I'll have a new installation to show soon
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Old 28-02-2018, 09:32   #171
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Saw this today.
Hunter 37 Cherubini. Unknown year, but probably about 1980.

I have no other info on the solar installation, but I am sharing this photo here to show the location and size of the panels in relation to the boat's stern.
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Old 28-02-2018, 09:40   #172
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Saw this on a custom (probably Roberts 46 Spray) metal boat with center cockpit. The solar panels are installed on top of the aluminum hard dodger, which has a long overhang.

This boat has a stackpack canvas sleeve on the main boom. One can see the shadow that (or any boom) causes across the solar panels.

Posted simply to illustrate a common problem (shading of the solar panels).
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Old 28-02-2018, 09:43   #173
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
Saw this today.
Hunter 37 Cherubini. Unknown year, but probably about 1980.

I have no other info on the solar installation, but I am sharing this photo here to show the location and size of the panels in relation to the boat's stern.
I'am afraid I'll face similar problems when I start building my solar set: most solar shops don't offer anything below 200W, which means at least 1.6x1m (5.3x3.3') panels. Not much chance to fit them elsewhere...

Nice non-shaded area unless the sun is in front of the mast.
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Old 28-02-2018, 14:57   #174
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

People often get too caught up and worried about shading. It's impossible to eliminate on a boat at all points of sun, so you just accept it, try to minimise it, and have a large enough array that it doesn't matter.
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Old 28-02-2018, 16:10   #175
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
People often get too caught up and worried about shading. It's impossible to eliminate on a boat at all points of sun, so you just accept it, try to minimise it, and have a large enough array that it doesn't matter.
Yes! There are videos showing how shading affects a panel's output that have captured the attention of many. I challenge those so called shading videos.

For example, shading is NOT placing a rag the top of a panel! There is illuminance present all around us even on shady days.......and a lot of it. Shade does not cause night time conditions. Sure, I have found some degradation with my panels when shaded (4 each 295W mono cells) but nowhere near what the videos present with rags placed on top of a panel. Fear not, panels work even in shade.
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Old 13-03-2018, 06:06   #176
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

I am thinking on multiple options to cover my intended 3-400W panelage. Most recently thought about getting one huge panel (330W nowadays, ~1680*1000mm, 18kg/40lbs), and put it on a strong adjustable pole mount on the stern. Haven't seen many examples though... In understand windage can be a problem. If it is, I'd just stabilize the panel flat. Otherwise 18kg/40lbs won't just fly away unless in a hurricane.
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Old 13-03-2018, 06:10   #177
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
I am thinking on multiple options to cover my intended 3-400W panelage. Most recently thought about getting one huge panel (330W nowadays, ~1680*1000mm, 18kg/40lbs), and put it on a strong adjustable pole mount on the stern. Haven't seen many examples though... In understand windage can be a problem. If it is, I'd just stabilize the panel flat. Otherwise 18kg/40lbs won't just fly away unless in a hurricane.
One downside which a just the one big panel is that it's all the eggs in one basket, a wayward shackle or whatever cause of some damage and you've lost all your solar charging capability.
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Old 13-03-2018, 06:25   #178
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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One downside which a just the one big panel is that it's all the eggs in one basket, a wayward shackle or whatever cause of some damage and you've lost all your solar charging capability.
Valid point, but I think when I get offshore in 4-5+ years, I'll get a second one. Other than real estate problems, these household panels seem to have the best Wp/$, Wp/weight and Wp/size(!) ratios, unfortunately no one makes (affordable) 150-200W panels with 20%+ efficiency.

Thought about flex panels - these actually do provide nice efficiency figures but even the premium ones (3+$/Wp) have limited lifetime and much more vulnerable than rigid ones. They're not completely off the table, 2*200w el-cheapo PET panel in frames, treated as consumables (probably carry a spare on board) is also an interesting idea.
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Old 24-03-2018, 16:36   #179
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Solar panels installed on various Niagara 35 boats.
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Old 24-03-2018, 19:40   #180
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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I just bought some LG 350 watt panels last week from E Marine Systems in Fort Lauderdale - no tariff, no sales tax, and no shipping since I could pick them up in person. Price was around $550/panel. I have yet to install them, stay tuned...



-David


I ended up buying these LG 365W units from Platt Electric. No shipping if you have them dropped shipped to one of their stores.

https://m.platt.com/Products.aspx?pid=261325

Kind of speedy but should be very efficient and will fill my available space very well.
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