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Old 11-12-2012, 19:29   #31
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
These days you can easily spend more on the mounts and copper than on the panels. Price out 10 or 8 awg wire, rail mounts or arches. Plus the controller. They can easily add up to more than the panels.
Yep I did the work and still figure that....



...the mounts, wiring and controller will be over 1/2 the cost of the install ...

Endeavour 37 Electrical Mods Index

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Old 11-12-2012, 19:54   #32
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
I wonder why most boats even need big batteries.
I'm not convinced that they do. Once you get past 400 Ah in a battery bank, I think that money spend on solar and wind is far more productive than money spend on additional storage.

A small array isn't going to keep a large bank healthy. A large array is going to keep a small bank happy.
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Old 11-12-2012, 20:18   #33
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

It depends on nighttime usage and how often you run into bad weather for days at a time, and have to keep your devices powered.

A large battery bank, and a large array would make me happy.

Hot water is one thing that I haven't really considered. Does everyone have a hot water tank, or is it more of an instant type of water heater using gas or electric? I haven't heard of too many people having solar thermal hot water.
Heliatos Solar Water Heater for Home, RV, or Boat - YouTube
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Old 11-12-2012, 21:15   #34
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

What is going on with all the resurrected topics?? This was originally posted 3 months ago without a single response, now 3 pages of responses in one day. I've been seeing this the last couple of days.

All I can think is people are getting bored with the slow season and dredging up old posts to respond to.

Anyway to throw in my response, this OP has a 28' boat and is identifying his location as Akron, OH. I'm not sure why he posted about solar power. Is he a liveaboard or cruiser? Or a weekend sailor? On a 28' boat, he couldn't install most of that equipment even if he had all the solar power in the world!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:41   #35
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
Is that .098 or .98?

Don

that's 98 cents/watt

but the .098 would be pretty impressive!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:10   #36
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Another vote here for 2. If you have got the room don't even think about only 1. There is no such thing as too much solar.
So now I've gone from 2-smaller panels or 1-larger panel, to 2-larger panels.

This just gets out of control.

I have room for the 2 larger panels, but that is a lot of space and is so much more power than I currently need. But the question is whether later would an extra 285W panel be better than a wind generator as far as space goes (making more at once than I can store in my 460AH batteries is a waste of money). I of course could do both, but don't really want to turn the aft section of my boat into a power plant.

I wish for once a boat upgrade issue was clear as to the best choice!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:18   #37
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

Don unless you have a burning desire to listen to an airplane propeller all day, skip on the wind generator. go solar only

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:55   #38
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Don unless you have a burning desire to listen to an airplane propeller all day, skip on the wind generator. go solar only

I've done past research on this; CF threads and driving around in the marina to listen to others wind generators.

If you make the right choice the noise isn't a problem.

In my mooring field I would say there are 3 times more wind generators than solar panels. I've only been able to notice the sound on end and that is only because I was trying to hear it. Sometimes I wish the buzz sound of wind generators could overcome people's freaking slapping halyards and mast wiring!

Besides for the most part if I have 285W solar and a wind generator the wind generator would only be needed when underway. When in port I could turn it off and use the engine/ Honda to make-up any net power loss when making hot water etc.

But I of course could be wrong!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:20   #39
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I wish for once a boat upgrade issue was clear as to the best choice!
The big advantage of a wind generator is it helps even out production. Sunny days and /or places tend not to have much wind and vice versa. The drawbacks are
Noise ( but the good ones are quiet)
Unreliability ( they are not as trouble free as solar, bearing wear out etc)
It's hard to find a spot where they don't shade the solar panels meaning on many days you will get less power)

285w of solar is not a lot of power on its own. Generators are a pain. if you can engineer your system so you don't need this you will be thankful.

500w+ of Solar is great. It gives you reserves that even on bad days you are making 40AHRs + minimising the need for large batteries, generators and even wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
(making more at once than I can store in my 460AH batteries is a waste of money).
I am not sure what you mean by this. Even with 500+ watts there will be many days when your production will not keep up with demand.
If your batteries are down to 50 % they will accept 230 AHrs. You will also use another probably 70Ahrs during the day. You won't get many 300+ AHr days

My advice if you are planning on cruising areas with moderate insolation values fit both solar panels, forget the wind. Take the generator for emergency, but I bet it will not get much use.
Just my 2c
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:22   #40
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Re: Minimal electrical needs and solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I've done past research on this; CF threads and driving around in the marina to listen to others wind generators.

If you make the right choice the noise isn't a problem...
I agree as we were within 20 feet of a wind generator on another boat at the boat yard for 3 months and it didn't really bother us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
...In my mooring field I would say there are 3 times more wind generators than solar panels....
The difference in numbers might of been due to the previous high cost of solar, people/installers being unfamiliar with sizing and installing it and possibly where the boats had been used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
....Besides for the most part if I have 285W solar and a wind generator the wind generator would only be needed when underway. When in port I could turn it off and use the engine/ Honda to make-up any net power loss when making hot water etc.

But I of course could be wrong!
We considered adding wind to our solar on the Endeavour, but for where we will usually have the boat it didn't make that much sense considering the low cost of solar now compared to wind power and the high amount of sunshine in the area.

The other consideration is will you have the wind speeds available to produce with a wind generator. The average wind speeds for the months we are in Florida are not good enough and probably not that good any time of the year. I just did a quick search and found average wind speed near where I think you are...



Out on the water they are probably somewhat higher,but still let's look at outputs from one wind generator, the Air Breeze, from this link....

http://www.windenergy.com/sites/webt...reeze_spec.pdf

.... that sells for close to $1200. From the chart above from May to Oct. the average wind speeds are very close to 6 mph and the max's are less than 18 mph.

Look at the specs on wind generators very carefully. The tend to put the maximum outputs in large lettering and fail to point out that it takes quite a bit of wind to make significant amperage (wattage).

The wind generator above doesn't start producing till 6 mph and only makes about 13 watts (1.1 amp) at 8 mph, 28 watts (2.3 amps) at 10 mph and even at 12 mph is only making 53 watts (4.4 amps). Of course if you can count on 12 mph winds for an entire 24 hours it would be equivalent to about a 200 watt panel. The question is can you count on those kind of wind speeds considering the local averages. $1200 would buy a fair amount of solar, probably about 400-500 watts if you add in the expense of a controller and wiring and some mounting.

The solar isn't going to do you a lot of good if you also don't have sunshine so there is no perfect answer. One needs to figure what is best for where one is going to use the boat the most.

If you tend to go out when the weather is nicer, read sunnier, then I'd go solar. If you plan on sailing only on really windy days (above 12-15 knots) or plan on sailing around the world on the trades I'd probably do both,

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