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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 08-07-2017, 08:35   #31
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

150 W.

Tropics. Boat 26ft. Ussed in only two alternate modes: ocean passages / liveaboard (anchored or in a marina).

Nice thread, thanks.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:37   #32
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

2 x Sunpower 335 watt panels. 6 x 100AH AGM batteries, Outback 60/80 MPPT controller
Runs entire boat. Have been on shore power in over 1 year. We run the hot water heater off it also.

If there are several days of clouds or fog (tried that in Scotland) we run teh engine for an hour or so to help out

Bright sunny day - middle of day -the array puts out around 38-40 AH
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:33   #33
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I always wonder what the 1000W people are powering. The past 10 months of cruising has proven to me that if I don't do any motoring (or run the generator) that my 290W isn't enough. But it also has pretty much proven that if I doubled the solar to about 600W that it would be fine. Unless of course it gets all cloudy for 3-4 days then I would need to run the engine/generator. Are the 1000W people spending $$$$ and turning their boats into solar farms just so they don't have run their engine/generator those few times a year?
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Old 10-07-2017, 15:56   #34
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Coffeemakers, TV running all day, large fridge compressors, microwaves, watermakers, washer machines. You know, the "cruising life!".
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Old 10-07-2017, 16:36   #35
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I think the 1000+ is not an overkill. Think of all the fridges, freezers, icemakers, nav equipment, etc. Some boats have electric cooking plates too.

Not sure on how many boats solar substitutes gensets but it takes a major amt of solar area to do so.

I'm surprised the average came up at ONLY 250-500 Watts. Clearly, we are all limited by space, except for a few lucky cat owners. This also clearly indicates most boats still rely on diesel/gensets to a large extent.

I was musing here with a friend who has a realistic motor-sailor and we came with 1500 W as our starting point. His boat is about 60ft long and has a nice large coach roof.

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Old 10-07-2017, 17:41   #36
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I've got 400 watts, but if I could reasonably mount more, I would. When they perfect solar cell sail cloth, I'll be in!
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Old 10-07-2017, 17:47   #37
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

I think the arrays look stupid... I am waiting for a non skld deck solar panel. Or maybe solar fabric that can be applied to the main... perhaps like wide draft stripes...

Or much higher output panels of the same size I already have. I am only trickle charging my batts... biggest user are pumps... LEDs don't use much power... Radar is a hog.... and the plotters gobble amps as well. AP is not too bad. Refer is engine drive and works a charm. Yea... I run the engine at least an hr and a half a day with a high output alternator which also produces our hot water. Don't need more power... have no place to put it.
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Old 10-07-2017, 18:52   #38
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Just picked up my 4 each 295W Canadian mono panels for my array that will sit on my hard tops. It will not look stupid. And if you want to look at them, get a tall ladder.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:32   #39
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
HI All, I would like to get a feel for the size of solar arrays people are installing on their boats. So, please take the survey, and feel free to give a description of your setup in a post!

Thanks,
Chris
Three narrow 40W, semi-flexible panels for us. Aesthetically, they work very well, and functionally they provide sufficient to look after the ten batteries on board when we are not there, and that was the main reason for installing them.

Interesting survey.

Thanks,

David
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Old 11-07-2017, 19:34   #40
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

so my 1000 watts was mainly because i had the space, i got a great deal on the panels and i didnt know for sure what my future needs would be-- also i promised my wife that we would not have to worry about power- so i decided to go big on it-- if it proves too much i can always undo a few bolts and sell a couple of panels. i also had a strong hunch that our power needs would grow so i decided to be ready on the front side.
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Old 12-07-2017, 17:55   #41
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

Just upgraded yesterday. Originally the boat had 2x85 and 2x75 when we bought her. But the 2x75 are on the aft deck, didn't work well and are dangerous (have to walk on them to get aft and they're slippery). Added 2x100 yesterday and disconnected the useless 2x75. Added them as "bat-wings". The 2x85 are on the arch. Went from average of 4-5 hours of 5a above my normal usage to 6-8 hours of 15-20a on a normal sunny/cloudy day! Very happy.
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Old 12-07-2017, 18:05   #42
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

3 panels on arch over cockpit, acting as a bimini. 435 watts. 330 ah batteries. Panels supply all the power I need including fridge. But all my devices advertise themselves as being very energy efficient. And they are. I don't have to worry about the angle of the sun.
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Old 12-07-2017, 20:17   #43
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

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Originally Posted by macman4190 View Post
3 panels on arch over cockpit, acting as a bimini. 435 watts. 330 ah batteries. Panels supply all the power I need including fridge. But all my devices advertise themselves as being very energy efficient. And they are. I don't have to worry about the angle of the sun.
And what do you do on a cloudy day?
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Old 12-07-2017, 20:42   #44
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

230 watt panel (30v)
420 amp hour main (6v GC2x4, 5+ years old)
90 amp hour reserve/backup (group27)
Morningstar Sunsaver MPPT (15 amp)

The boat is on a mooring 24/7 with the fridge running. Batteries are pretty much always ready to go.
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Old 13-07-2017, 07:06   #45
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Re: Poll: What is the size of your solar array

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
And what do you do on a cloudy day?
My panels always provided some charge on cloudy days just not as much as in bright sun.
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