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Old 29-01-2012, 14:01   #16
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Nicholson,

Here are two different ways of tilting the panels... We have two tubes fore-aft mounted on the bimini. Two of our solar panels panels are attached with nylon clamps to a single tube, and they can pivot port-starboard. The other panel sits astride the two tubes, so in order to tilt it you need to release the clamps on one side and prop it up with a strut. Here's a pic, though I'm sorry to say you can't see the tubes:

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Old 29-01-2012, 14:31   #17
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

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Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
Nicholson,

Here are two different ways of tilting the panels... We have two tubes fore-aft mounted on the bimini. Two of our solar panels panels are attached with nylon clamps to a single tube, and they can pivot port-starboard. The other panel sits astride the two tubes, so in order to tilt it you need to release the clamps on one side and prop it up with a strut. Here's a pic, though I'm sorry to say you can't see the tubes:

Cruisers & Sailing Forums - cfarrar's Album: Mufasa - Picture

Thanks,

If you have a chance to get up close with the camera it would be nice to see. DO you take it all down for storms? I hear a lot of hurricane prep includes removing rigid mount panels for many cruisers.

Here is a view of our current set-up. Not much space with the boom in the gallows. I will elevate the gallows a bit or at least prevent the boom from resting fully at the bottom of the rest stops. At anchor we can set the boom port, starboard or center. Mizzen pretty well wipes out the aft end.
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Old 29-01-2012, 14:37   #18
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Too late for the OP...

But why not make the solar panel(s) part of the bimini? You would gain a couple of inches in height underneath. And it will not fade, rot, loose it's water repellent surface treatment, etc
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Old 29-01-2012, 14:59   #19
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

The three panels we put up will pretty well cover the bimini from fore to just ahead of the window and port to starboard.

If I can make it happen, I will make the mounting brackets such that one side can be released. I would like to flip a side panel over its neighbor so we can see stars. For the bimini to be removable/foldable the solar panel frame needs to be seperate. I think that is just as well since the bimini frame is just about right for the canvas but a bit wimpy for the panels. We will use the boom gallows at the aft end and add an arch over the forward end.
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Old 31-01-2012, 17:34   #20
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Probably too late for the OP, however folks looking for ways to put panels on dodgers/biminis should check out the new Solbian Flex lightweight panels.

Here is a recent installation of an SP100L (100W) on a dodger. The panels are available with a zipper that your canvas/sail maker can sew directly into the canvas.
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Old 31-01-2012, 17:36   #21
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Here's another installation of three SP100L's, and of the output on a partly cloudy day (using 3 x Genasun GV-10 MPPT controllers)
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Old 31-01-2012, 20:59   #22
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

The flexible panels are quite cool-- do you have to worry about wind flogging them to death? Do folks add battens or something to keep them from flexing back and forth too much?
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Old 31-01-2012, 21:06   #23
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Not a problem so far, although these have been going into fairly strong/tight canvas. If it was floppy/loose canvas and the panel had to flex over a SS tube, then I'd worry. They are pretty flexible overall, but wouldn't want to kink or bend over something hard.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:37   #24
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

a thought on articulating panels. I originally made mine (2 80 watt panels mounted on the davits) so they would tilt on the davits and I could track the sun with them. Quickly discovered two things

1. They werent solid enough to take the pounding they got in the ocean

2. I usually am not on the boat all day and even if I am, who wants to go and reposition solar panels every hour or so?

Much better to just solidly mount them in a horizontal position that makes the most of the midday sun. Then never have to do anything to them ever except occasionally wipe the salt off if it hasn't rained recently. Usually, I dont even have to do that. I just watch the amps go into my batteries on the meter.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:40   #25
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Nicholson, it's easy enough to take the rigid panels down: about 10 minutes to disconnect the wiring, then the panels simply unclamp from the tubes and store below on the aft bunk.

I've been waiting for flexible panels with the efficiency of the rigid ones. I could eliminate about 55# and a lot of windage from the bimini. Could Sobian Flex be the ones? They're not cheap.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:51   #26
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Here is my friends mono bimini set up
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:56   #27
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Here's some posts of my solar dodger/bimini mounts using the exisisting dodger frame and my addition of a solar bimini. It has evolved over the years but, the final design seems to work well even through two Cat one hurricanes:

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI: PART ONE: Plan A!
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI: PART TWO: Plan B!
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART THREE: A plan comes together!
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART FOUR: Locating and trimming the rear frame
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART FIVE: Useful stuff: Filament Tape
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART SIX: DECK WORK
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART SEVEN: PANELS INSTALLED
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:57   #28
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

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Here is my friends mono bimini set up
Thank you for posting that-- do you know if he had those panel-stud connectors made or are they mass produced?

I am pretty conservative about how the boat is setup, I hesitate to add panels to the top of the bimini without an easy system to remove them. That system looks good.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:07   #29
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

msponer,

He used all standard hardware.
Those are called "Split Type Side Mount" $20 each

You can get them from Defender

Gemini Split Type Side Mount
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Old 01-02-2012, 15:57   #30
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

I,need a new Bimini,but WOW what a Neat Job.Congratulations
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