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Old 22-05-2013, 15:46   #46
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Mike,
Very nice work, thanks for sharing.
I have enjoyed your blog in the past.
I often wonder why more cruisers aren't building ridgid solar biminis.
Westsail 32's have boomkins that are about 5 plus feet from the dodger frame.
I don't know the distance exactly as my boat has never had a dodger although one is high on my list to acquire. W32's often have a zippered flat panel from the dodger to the boomkin. I recently purchased 2 kyocera 140 watt panels (ups tomorrow) that are 59"x26" each. I am considering mounting them from my (future) dodger to the boomkin as the measurements are likely to be perfect.
I'm aware of shading from the boom but 280 watts greatly exceeds my power budget and I can have a 1 foot space in between the panels with aluminum or plexi as a filler to avoid rainwater. I have been watching (daily) the shading from the boom as the shade lands on the boomkin and a great amount of shade falls within this 1 foot space at center. Remember we gain a couple inches height using panels over using sunbrella.
I recently mentioned my interest in mounting my panels this way on another forum and got shot down.
Thanks
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Old 22-05-2013, 19:09   #47
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Mike,
Very nice work, thanks for sharing.
I have enjoyed your blog in the past.
I often wonder why more cruisers aren't building ridgid solar biminis.
Westsail 32's have boomkins that are about 5 plus feet from the dodger frame.
I don't know the distance exactly as my boat has never had a dodger although one is high on my list to acquire. W32's often have a zippered flat panel from the dodger to the boomkin. I recently purchased 2 kyocera 140 watt panels (ups tomorrow) that are 59"x26" each. I am considering mounting them from my (future) dodger to the boomkin as the measurements are likely to be perfect.
I'm aware of shading from the boom but 280 watts greatly exceeds my power budget and I can have a 1 foot space in between the panels with aluminum or plexi as a filler to avoid rainwater. I have been watching (daily) the shading from the boom as the shade lands on the boomkin and a great amount of shade falls within this 1 foot space at center. Remember we gain a couple inches height using panels over using sunbrella.
I recently mentioned my interest in mounting my panels this way on another forum and got shot down.
Thanks

I'm such an idiot......

I meant BOOM GALLOWS and not BOOMKIN.
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Old 23-05-2013, 04:15   #48
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

great thread, very nice ideas all the way! Thanks everyone for sharing...
Did anybody ever build the entire Bimini out of solar without even having canvas there?
Also had the idea of making a round frame side to side and run the panels on rails so you could point them at the sun at all times... just haeven't quite figured out how yet...
And where is everyone getting those nice brackets to fit new poles? Thanks again!
Cheers, Manuel
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:15   #49
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

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Originally Posted by RW Sailor View Post
...Did anybody ever build the entire Bimini out of solar without even having canvas there?...
Yup, mine has no canvas, but this means rain can come down the center and because the panels don't curve down the sides like canvas they probably aren't as effective in blocking sun and rain. This is a lot of PV - 390 Watts. They are just behind the boom, and extend aft over the transom.
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:29   #50
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Mike,
Very nice work, thanks for sharing.
I have enjoyed your blog in the past.
I often wonder why more cruisers aren't building ridgid solar biminis.
I don't know why either. Something I wondered after I needed to replace my vinyl dodger fabric. Made sense to me to use the panels for shade and power and ditch the fabric altogether but, use the dodger frame for the panels. Added the bimini several years later. Both survived Superstorm Sandy's 95 MPH winds last October with no problem.
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:52   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamonVT View Post

Yup, mine has no canvas, but this means rain can come down the center and because the panels don't curve down the sides like canvas they probably aren't as effective in blocking sun and rain. This is a lot of PV - 390 Watts. They are just behind the boom, and extend aft over the transom.
Very nice installation.

Wonder if you could shorten the outermost braces about an inch thereby getting an ever so slight tilt to the panels and dump rain. Even a 1 degree tilt would be helpful and not lose too much sun angle.

Great job,

Don
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Old 23-05-2013, 09:08   #52
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

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Yup, mine has no canvas, but this means rain can come down the center and because the panels don't curve down the sides like canvas they probably aren't as effective in blocking sun and rain. This is a lot of PV - 390 Watts. They are just behind the boom, and extend aft over the transom.
Screw and caulk a strip of plexiglass in the center.

If I install mine up there I may space my 2 panels 1 foot apart at center as it would catch much less shade from the boom in the crutch in the gallows at center. I may use smoke plexiglass. My panels will likely mount from the dodger to the boom gallows (5' dinstance) which will eliminate a bimini frame to step around at the cockpit.

Anyway nice install.
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Old 23-05-2013, 10:19   #53
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

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Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
Very nice installation.

Wonder if you could shorten the outermost braces about an inch thereby getting an ever so slight tilt to the panels and dump rain. Even a 1 degree tilt would be helpful and not lose too much sun angle.

Great job,

Don
That's true, they do get pools of rain on them, which then allows the water to evaporate instead of drain, leaving any contaminants on the panels. Happily there is often wave action in the mooring field to drain them. A very slight angle might work, but these two panels are in series (because they charge a 48v propulsion bank; lower voltage systems should have them in parallel) and connected to a MPPT controller. If they are at different angles, they will feel different solar input and the controller will never find a good solution and I think I've heard it can go to the lowest common denominator adjusting things for the panel aimed more away from the sun.

Quote:
Screw and caulk a strip of plexiglass in the center.
I've thought about something like that, and have to consider the backstay that moves a bit in there. Probably the next time I'm motoring in the rain, I'll be motivated to close that small gap.

Thanks Don and endoftheroad.
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Old 01-07-2013, 22:58   #54
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Re: Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Chevy is putting these panels over their car charging stations. They're pretty cool looking and don't allow water between the panels. There was a great demo setup at last years International Solar Energy Conf in Orlando.


http://www.dailyenergyreport.com/wp-...ng-station.jpg
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