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Old 07-07-2011, 10:10   #1
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Photos of Bimini Solar Panel Mounts

Hey all, we just got a shiny new bimini with rails to mount solar panels. I'm not seeing the best way to mount panels on the bowed rails so the panels are flat instead of following the curve.

I've been looking through older threads on this but haven't found any photos of setups that is close to ours. Anyone have any photos of solar panel setups that would work on these bowed rails?



Thanks!

Jason
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:29   #2
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Somewhere on the web, there's a good series of pictures of mounting solar panels on a soft bimini frame on a Alberg 37. He did it with an over-sized bimini frame and protect holes through the bimini to mount the solar panel clips to the frame. Looked easy. I found it by searching for bimini solar panel mounts ,add in Alberg 37 and it should pop right up.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:35   #3
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This post shows a mount to a curved deck with point mounts.

The approach for rails would not be much different.

Sail Delmarva: Solar Panels

Good start!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:39   #4
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

on a dodger instead of a bimini and flexible instead of fixed but I was impressed:
Flexible Solar Panels on my Dodger
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:07   #5
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

WOW!!





excellent post
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:13   #6
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

WEST MARINE Lifesling Mounting Kits at West Marine
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:15   #7
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjand View Post
on a dodger instead of a bimini and flexible instead of fixed but I was impressed:
Flexible Solar Panels on my Dodger
well damn... That's pretty nifty...
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:39   #8
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Jason.
One problem I see is that your back-stays may cast a shadow on the panels if mounted on the bimini frame. That could reduce your panel's output substantially. However, if you choose to go that route I suggest using clamp-on rail mounts on the frame, which should give you enough clearance over the arch.

I also see you have davits, which may be an alternative mounting location. I mounted two 90 watt panels on my davits with an articulating frame for sun tracking. It was simple and if you are interested PM me and I'll send you some photos.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:42   #9
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Bash has a pretty slick setup for the panels on his boat... might check with him if he doesn't see this thread and jump in on his own ; -)
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:45   #10
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

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Originally Posted by rover88 View Post
Jason.
One problem I see is that your back-stays may cast a shadow on the panels if mounted on the bimini frame. That could reduce your panel's output substantially. However, if you choose to go that route I suggest using clamp-on rail mounts on the frame, which should give you enough clearance over the arch.

I also see you have davits, which may be an alternative mounting location. I mounted two 90 watt panels on my davits with an articulating frame for sun tracking. It was simple and if you are interested PM me and I'll send you some photos.
These are good points. I've got a couple 120W panels that we want to put on the bimini while we're stuck in a marina because we then we can fold the davits in and legally fit in our slip when the marina jackboots come around with a tape measure.

When we take off for cruising we'll either move these panels back to the davits where they get a lot less shade OR add another array of 2 135W panels onto the davits. Much of that will depend on how much juice our soon-to-be fridge takes up (that's a whole other post...).
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Old 07-07-2011, 13:16   #11
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Sea dog has railmounts that work. You can add 2 more rails running with the length of the boat. Then bolt them right on to the 4 rails.I bought longer bolts for the mount to the panel, and flat washers......i2f

Sea-Dog Rail Mount Bracket
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Old 16-07-2011, 21:55   #12
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

very easy to establish solar panel
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:00   #13
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

How did it turn out Jason?

Just a note to planners of PV systems, if your panels are wired in series, and especially if you use a MPPT charger, the panels should all be getting the same sunlight all the time as much as possible. This is because there's a lowest common denominator effect and any shade, either a shadow, or because one panel is tilted away from the sun, will dramatically cut output from the whole series string.

I'm planning an ugly horizontal mount for my 2x195W panels that will be right over the helm.

Damon
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:45   #14
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

We too are planning installation over the helm. Three 225 watt Sanyo HIT panels in parrallel. These are high voltage and high efficeincy (18%). This makes them about 31 X 61. Blue Sky MPPT 3048 charge controller. I will try to build an independant frame just above the bimini frame and below the boom. Panels will be long-wise parallel to the boat center. I want to incorporate struts to be able to tilt panels left or right.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:52   #15
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Re: photos of bimini solar panel mounts

Here is a place you might find mounting stuff. Look at Bimini stuff. Lots of cool SS boat toys here.

marinepartdepot.com Index
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