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View Poll Results: What is the size in Watts of your solar array?
<100 Watts 6 4.92%
100-250 watts 31 25.41%
250-500 watts 46 37.70%
500-1000 watts 33 27.05%
> than 1000 watts 6 4.92%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-07-2017, 11:04   #16
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I have two 20 year old 75W panels hanging off the aft railing that I can orient nearly any which way. However I find it a PITA to keep moving them around to follow the sun, wind, current, etc. If I don't, I get shading from the mizzen mast. Lowering the mizzen boom also helps, another PITA. For all this work I get only 8A, so maybe 50 AH per day. The freezer alone requires 100AH at least. OK, so I turn off the freezer, but then how can I have my gin and tonic?

I would love to be environmentally correct, but it just doesn't add up. They really do make a lot of sense on a catamaran where there is plenty of horizontal room and the weight of a generator is a big negative.

BTW I would guess that this kind of poll attracts proportionally more truthful answers from those with larger than average solar arrays. Similar to what would happen if you asked how large is your (pick any body part).

Its funny, when I was cruising Mexico last winter, where we get sun all day every day, I did not notice many boats with the kind of large solar arrays I read about in these posts.
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Old 07-07-2017, 13:20   #17
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Peak output is between 11am till 2pm

Any flat panel is at a disadvantage

My funky thin Gioco panels works at 50% efficiency at best
(Dispirited)

I don't buy into the Ah figures that many report, sorry.
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Old 07-07-2017, 13:34   #18
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
I have two 20 year old 75W panels hanging off the aft railing that I can orient nearly any which way. However I find it a PITA to keep moving them around to follow the sun, wind, current, etc. If I don't, I get shading from the mizzen mast. Lowering the mizzen boom also helps, another PITA. For all this work I get only 8A, so maybe 50 AH per day. The freezer alone requires 100AH at least. OK, so I turn off the freezer, but then how can I have my gin and tonic?

I would love to be environmentally correct, but it just doesn't add up. They really do make a lot of sense on a catamaran where there is plenty of horizontal room and the weight of a generator is a big negative.

BTW I would guess that this kind of poll attracts proportionally more truthful answers from those with larger than average solar arrays. Similar to what would happen if you asked how large is your (pick any body part).

Its funny, when I was cruising Mexico last winter, where we get sun all day every day, I did not notice many boats with the kind of large solar arrays I read about in these posts.
How much time do you spend running your generator? How much are you spending in fuel?

It's very possible to build a simple solar array with quality parts that produce enough power for your needs. Probably the bigger component, though, is having enough battery capacity to get you through the dark hours.
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Old 07-07-2017, 15:53   #19
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Four by 90 watt and six by 80 watt panels = 840 watts via three regulators into 10 by 100 a/h VRLA batteries. Plus 300 watt wind generator. Happier when the wind generator isn't working
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Old 07-07-2017, 16:18   #20
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

On my islander bahama 24 i have a 100 watt renogy mono panel mounted on the pushpit running thru a p30l programable pwm controller. On my columbia 29 defender I run the same controller with 200 watts same panel. Never had a problem reaching full battery by noon from mid april thru mid october. Run my 800 watt harbor freight generator for a couple hours a week in the winter. Im all led lighting.
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Old 07-07-2017, 17:19   #21
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

210watts into 900 amp bank. Marine Kenetics wind generator. I intend to add 500 watts more before heading south for the winter.


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Old 07-07-2017, 18:12   #22
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

2-335, 2-135 panels into 420 24volt system, I make water every afternoon in summer......
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Old 07-07-2017, 19:28   #23
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

540w solar panels with Morningstar MPPT regulator
4 lifeline 90ah AGM house batteries.
1 wind generator (KISS) Hardly Used
Usual 70a alternator with smart reg
All LED lighting
Engine driven water maker
Hydrovane self steeering
Large Danfoss BD50 spillover box refrigeration

Most days the batteries are back at 95% charge by midday!

500w is plenty for tropics and mid latitudes.


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Old 07-07-2017, 20:49   #24
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

600 watts solar and a Silentwind wind generator.
600 amp hour Lifelines.
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Old 08-07-2017, 00:51   #25
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I couldn't vote, but we started off with just under 300 watts, raised it to just under 600, and now we have 1000.

Maje
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:42   #26
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

4 x90 watt panels on the stern liferails- easily removed and stowed below or folded flat, 2x 140 watt and 2x 50 watt on the bimini, 2x140 watt on the arch also a d400 on aft arch all solar coupled into an outback flexmax 80 controller. i get about 40 amps into the batteries at peak hours- i dont mess with tilting the panels etc - dont want the hassle d400 has its own controller and dump load. Batteries are 4 large AGMs 980 AH total for the house and 2 for start 240AH and 1 AGM 245AH for winch.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:12   #27
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

24 x 260 watt panels, 12 victron mppt 100/50 controllers, 24 x 1500aH 2 volt gel cells making a 3000 aH 24v housebank
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:53   #28
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

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Originally Posted by lifemiles View Post
24 x 260 watt panels, 12 victron mppt 100/50 controllers, 24 x 1500aH 2 volt gel cells making a 3000 aH 24v housebank
Whoa...that takes the cake. Haha I have a foldable 60W panel and 220AH AGM. Keeps fridge running and beers cold through weekend.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:27   #29
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

4 x 270 Watt panels feeding 400AH LifePo4 through a Victron 150/85 MPPT.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:34   #30
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

400 watts solar with a 400 watt wind gen on a 320 ah battery bank. Solar brings the overnight usage right up usually in a few hours if sunny. Pretty sure I could manage a bigger battery bank (440) with this charging capacity.
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