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Old 14-11-2017, 08:23   #16
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

There has to be some allowance for solar regarding placement if you truly want it. You canít just say you want solar and then not want to put it anywhere.
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Old 14-11-2017, 09:01   #17
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

I have seen a number on cabin tops. Not ideal for shading but it still gives you something. As mentioned another Idea is a few removable panels that could be quickly attached to rails etc. Most of the ones I have seen on the cabin top tend to be small and more for light charging while unattended which is less of an issue with lithium.
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Old 14-11-2017, 09:14   #18
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Originally Posted by CatNewBee View Post
strange verdict. Where you've got this information?

Solar and LiFePO4 go together like nothing else, the low resistance of the cells allows fast charging and will get anything a solar panel can deliver and store it - unlike the lead acid, they reduce charging current when voltage goes up. Lithium does not need an absorption / float phase, they charge bulk to full state at 14.4V. There is nothing better and more efficient out there than solar panels with a right configured controller and LiFeYPO4.
Well, I didn't say they are BAD with LifePO, just that they aren't so ESSENTIAL like they are with lead-acid. The same qualities you mention make using a generator far more effective, than using a generator with lead-acid. Or a big alternator.

If I can figure out some way to get a decent amount of solar on -- and thanks to everyone for the excellent suggestions -- then conceivably I could even do without a generator altogether, and rely on a big second alternator on the main. That would simplify and lighten the boat -- desirable goals.
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Old 14-11-2017, 10:03   #19
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

Like everything else, it'll be a compromise. A solar installation that doesn't increase windage would pretty much dictate a horizontal mounting against an existing hard surface. But in order to keep the panels off of the working parts of the deck where they can present a safety hazard or be exposed to damage, they would need to be mounted vertically and deployed to a horizontal position when needed. The only way to do that without increasing windage would be to hinge the mounting to the toerail and stow them against the topsides - a poor solution for obvious reasons.

There's a reason most of the solar installations you see are where they are - on bimini, davits, or lifelines - because that's where people have found the best compromise between solar capacity, low risk of damage or to safety, and increased windage. I would suggest getting a rough idea of how much square footage the panels you want to install will cover and then staring at your boat for awhile. You'll work it out.
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Old 14-11-2017, 10:23   #20
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
There has to be some allowance for solar regarding placement if you truly want it. You canít just say you want solar and then not want to put it anywhere.
Why not? That's in fact what I want. Might not be possible, but there's no law against wanting, is there?
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Old 14-11-2017, 10:25   #21
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

Hi! First post in this forum! Dockhead, Iíve been following your threats for a long long time and I canít wait to see your dream boat. Somehow all the boxes you want to tick in Ďtheí boat are pretty much the same priorities as in my Ďdreamí boat.

Regarding solar, Iíve been looking at this teak-looking solar panels by solbian but I havenít found pictures of them in real use. They may be a good option to put around the deck. Maybe if the pattern can match that of real/synthetic teak on the deck you get the benefits of the solar energy without affecting windage and looks.

PS: Somehow, the Solbian website does not work for me today. https://www.solbian.eu/en/31-isp-series
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Old 14-11-2017, 10:25   #22
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Like everything else, it'll be a compromise. A solar installation that doesn't increase windage would pretty much dictate a horizontal mounting against an existing hard surface. But in order to keep the panels off of the working parts of the deck where they can present a safety hazard or be exposed to damage, they would need to be mounted vertically and deployed to a horizontal position when needed. The only way to do that without increasing windage would be to hinge the mounting to the toerail and stow them against the topsides - a poor solution for obvious reasons.

There's a reason most of the solar installations you see are where they are - on bimini, davits, or lifelines - because that's where people have found the best compromise between solar capacity, low risk of damage or to safety, and increased windage. I would suggest getting a rough idea of how much square footage the panels you want to install will cover and then staring at your boat for awhile. You'll work it out.
Ok, thanks.

The next boat will have a pilot house, so maybe possible to design into the pilothouse roof?
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Old 14-11-2017, 11:39   #23
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Old 14-11-2017, 11:52   #24
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Old 14-11-2017, 12:23   #25
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Attachment 159183

Attachment 159184

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P.S. I always get a kick out of the captains chair instrument panel.

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The Bestavaer Helicopter Boat! That's it! Who says I can't have solar without windage?

Just, what kind of panels are those?
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Old 14-11-2017, 12:51   #26
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

this is what I came up with, they can tilt in or out and with two bolts removed they can be tied down on the deck in heavy weather.
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Old 14-11-2017, 12:56   #27
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

Cancelled by author.
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Old 14-11-2017, 12:58   #28
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

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Why not? That's in fact what I want. Might not be possible, but there's no law against wanting, is there?

May I humbly suggest a kite with solar panels ? Extra sail area, no shade, can be retrieved when not in use. Who says it isn't possible

Oh, bonus is instant charging of batteries during lightning .... but only works with lithium since they can accept any kind of charge!
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Old 14-11-2017, 13:16   #29
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations



I was looking for the same thing since my boat goes thousands of miles to windward at 70MPH each year what with it being trailerable and all.

I stuck flexible panels all about the coach roof both on the front and aft cabin of my boat totaling up to about 280 watts which of course is not much to a lot of you guys but I only have a 26 foot boat so I don't have a huge amount of need.

Shading basically kills about 1/2 the panels at any given time but there is generally at least one out in full sun doing some work. It will keep up with the electronics and the autopilot as long as it's not constantly working itself to death but little else.

In all reality, I will likely still end up building a low arch and going back to the 2 rigid 100 watt panels I originally had since having them in full sun really did do a lot better.
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Old 14-11-2017, 13:32   #30
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Re: Low Windage Solar Installations

Mine are mounted on the coach roof. But if you've not got a cat there is always the dodger/spray hood/bimini.

Seem a fair few monos mount panels on the rails. These can be rotated to reduce windage and easily removed in heavy storms.
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