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Old 25-03-2018, 09:58   #181
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

DONE!!
Finished the last two panel hold downs yesterday. Gave up on perfect symetry, plumb, level, square etc.
Now if the clouds would stay away I could really see some power.
And the last two photos will NOT post with the correct orientation not matter what I do.
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Old 25-03-2018, 10:04   #182
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
DONE!!
Finished the last two panel hold downs yesterday. Gave up on perfect symetry, plumb, level, square etc.
Now if the clouds would stay away I could really see some power.
And the last two photos will NOT post with the correct orientation not matter what I do.
Nice job! How many watts are the panels? I'd love to see a profile photo of the boat from a distance. I'm just about to install a whopping 265w panel over my bimini on a similarly-sized boat. I still wonder what it's going to do to the lines of my boat, visually speaking.
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:26   #183
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

really nice solutions!
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Old 26-03-2018, 10:53   #184
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Heres my O'day 40 with davits and tilting solar panels. I went with the kato marine tilting mounts. I spent alot of time thinking about the solar install as I am a full time liveaboard.

I first had my panels flat on deck, on each side of boom and one in front of mast. I get at least 2x as much from the panels now.

I have 3 100 watt panels
A 20 amp mptt controller
315 amp hr agm battery bank
Panels are in parallel

I never need to charge batteries with motor if there is sun. I use 12v refrigeration, led lights, minor electronics,computer charging. If I needed more power, I think I would add battery before adding solar. I have seen up to 1300 watt hours go into batteries in one day.
I have never seen more than 17 amps coming into controller.

The tilting option is very effective, especially early in the day, late in the day, and when the sun is not so high due to season. I see some who dismiss the tilting option for their panels. I would encourage them to re think that if possible. It was expensive but worth it for me for sure.

The davits, panels, mounting parts, and controller about $2700.
Weight of everything is about 100lbs and I get alot of shade in cockpit and can carry my dinghy!

I cant understand when I see liveaboards near me still using their motorsregards and external generators for power. Solar on a sailboat is awesome.
I have not seen more than 40 or 45 kts yet but seems pretty sturdy. I can very quickly remove all three panels to prepare for a storm as well.

Regards, Rob
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Old 26-03-2018, 11:11   #185
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Very nice setup, Rob! A dual-axis tilting mount is on my dream list. Your 300Wp panels produce probably more than 500Wp sticked on the deck/bimini.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:33   #186
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Nice job! How many watts are the panels? I'd love to see a profile photo of the boat from a distance. I'm just about to install a whopping 265w panel over my bimini on a similarly-sized boat. I still wonder what it's going to do to the lines of my boat, visually speaking.
Here’s a sideways iPhone pic. Grrrrr! Stupid iPhone.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:35   #187
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
Here’s a sideways iPhone pic. Grrrrr! Stupid iPhone.
Thanks. Looks great! How many watts are each panel on the bimini?
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Old 27-03-2018, 10:31   #188
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
Here’s a sideways iPhone pic. Grrrrr! Stupid iPhone.
These tips may help you after the photo has been snapped.

How to rotate in Photos for iPhone and iPad
Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
Find the photo that you'd like to rotate and tap on it to open it.
Tap the hamburger menu along the bottom of your screen.
Tap on the crop button in the bottom menu.
Tap on the rotate button on the bottom left. ...
Tap the Done button.

__________

There are also videos on Youtube about doing this and fixing rotation lock on devices and how to rotate videos, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 28-03-2018, 08:18   #189
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

I have the same Bimini configuration. How did this affect the stability? I want to do this but am concerned with the weight.
Thanks
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Old 28-03-2018, 08:22   #190
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

I have the very same Kato set up. How is the stability of the solar on this bracket system and is it difficult to get up there to adjust to the sun angle. Also is it possible to simply unplug and remove the wing bolts to take the array down in the event of high wind event.
Thanks
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Old 28-03-2018, 12:25   #191
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

There are 4 - Renogy Poly 100w panels up there.
For full access i unzip the bimini cover and everything is right there. I can release all the clamps, disconnect the cables and stow everything in just a few minutes. The bimini cover is tight as a drum since we washed it , that takes the longest getting zipped back together.
The vertical pipes were 9” but the bimini cover rubbed the bar clamps so I raised it to 12”. This gave me 3”-4” clearance.
The fore and aft movement of the structure is nil. Side to side though is giving me some concern. We’ve been having gusts to 39kts lately and nothing moves but I’m going to remove the aft life line cables and replace them with hard pipe and then secure the frame to that.
We were going to that anyhow so I could move the bbq grill forward.
What would I do different ?
Get your pipes up there and measure everything for symetry. Then lay your panels up there and do the same. The center of the panels should align perfectly as you sight down the frame, backstay, mast and bow. Mine do not and it’s driving me nuts.
Lastly, put the rubbers in the clamps for your final alignment before marking and drilling the panels. That 1/16” makes a difference when you do the final mount.

The panels do not tilt unfortunately. When I first researched the project I had a great desire to have a tilting frame and found all the parts I needed. I just didn’t like the way it looked and it would have been even further aft which would squat the boat even more.The bimini frame was already there, so why drill more holes?
Every project is a learning experience on how to do it better next time.
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Old 28-03-2018, 12:29   #192
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

To SSGTPITT

Good post, good photos and text description.
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Old 28-03-2018, 12:37   #193
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
These tips may help you after the photo has been snapped.

How to rotate in Photos for iPhone and iPad
Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
Find the photo that you'd like to rotate and tap on it to open it.
Tap the hamburger menu along the bottom of your screen.
Tap on the crop button in the bottom menu.
Tap on the rotate button on the bottom left. ...
Tap the Done button.

__________

There are also videos on Youtube about doing this and fixing rotation lock on devices and how to rotate videos, etc.

Good luck!
It's often the viewing software that is the problem. Sometimes it doesn't read the orientation correctly from the meta. The phone/ipad itself will have all the gyo data available and will always display the photo correctly.
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Old 28-03-2018, 12:58   #194
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Oh yeah , the rubbers will stick to the clamps when you pull them up and then fall off, bounce once and go over board and sink like a rock.
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Old 28-03-2018, 13:32   #195
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Randy View Post
I have the very same Kato set up. How is the stability of the solar on this bracket system and is it difficult to get up there to adjust to the sun angle. Also is it possible to simply unplug and remove the wing bolts to take the array down in the event of high wind event.
Thanks
The stability has been fine so far. I was worried about noise but that is not an issue. It is easy to adjust the panels with a 1/4 turn on each wingnut from either cockpit coaming or swim platform. Plus the brace between davits that holds panels is a handy new handhold if ever standing on swim platform, entering dinghy... And yes removing the 2 wingnuts and unclipping the 12v leads I can take the whole frame down easily.

I hated the weight thing but it really is hardly noticeable, maybe 1/2 inch lower back there (without dinghy).
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