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Old 02-04-2010, 08:31   #31
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It may be simpler to do adjustable mounts so the panels can point to the sun. This makes a huge difference - with horizontal panels, if the sun is 30 degrees off vertical, you are down to half power.

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:55   #32
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Solar coffee?

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Originally Posted by Ram View Post
IM still not clear on how to cool the solar panel with water in a way that will work onboard-
Im going to be setting up 2 or 3, large panels on my arch , how would I cool them with water and be able to recover the water and still use it to drink??
Do you mean you are thinking of using the water to make coffee or tea? If this is the case you may be somewhat disappointed.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:58   #33
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I'm not certain that approach is "simpler"

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Originally Posted by ctsbillc View Post
It may be simpler to do adjustable mounts so the panels can point to the sun. This makes a huge difference - with horizontal panels, if the sun is 30 degrees off vertical, you are down to half power.
I built a solar bimini of large panels in a permanently horizontal position. They are not adjustable in any way. I compensated for the fact that they are not always at at optimal angle by putting up more panels, enough so that I can adequately charge my banks with the sunlight that will hit the solar bimini between 1000h and 1400h, at least during the summer months, at least at my current latitude.

downside: more money invested in panels
upside #1: more shade
upside #2: system works when I'm not aboard to adjust panels
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:03   #34
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That brings us back to dropping prices again :-)

There are auto trackers, but that's getting complicated again. For a new installation, the ability to point may be good, depending on where the panels are. This would be a case by case basis I think, and good mechanical design skills and a metal shop nearby would help.

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:07   #35
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There are auto trackers, but that's getting complicated again. For a new installation, the ability to point may be good, depending on where the panels are.
What about some sort of hinge so that you could lift one side up to face in a more sunward direction? Edge clamps could be used for locking down for transit or rough weather.

There is an awful lot of 12V kit for caravans/RVs including 12V fridges and kettles

Maplin> 12v kettle

I have read that non-marine invertors are best avoided - something to do with ground wires and galvanic problems, but there does seem to be a lot of "domestic" kit design for 12V. Getting those batteries charged up fully seems to be a high priority!

I presume that a small wind turbine could also be added and run at the same time as the solar panels.

Mid Range Marine Wind Turbine Kit - WAS £850.00 NOW £799.99

I'm adding all this to the "boat project file"....
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:16   #36
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Hinges, support rods, wing nuts, should be good. Watch for corrosion of course. RV stuff would be worth looking at. A regular dousing with silicon grease should help keep corrosion at bay. Rv's don't usually have to contend with waves breaking over of course.

Looks like a nice wind kit. That's a Rutland, which is not the highest rated generator, apparently.

Bill
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:34   #37
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Looks like a nice wind kit. That's a Rutland, which is not the highest rated generator, apparently.
Bill
I'll keep an eye out for better ones

I'm building an "inventory" of bits'n'pieces so that I can cost the refit and the energy budget. We are not going for a while yet but it gives me some figures to work with that should be in the right ball-park.

The spreadsheet is getting bigger every day.
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