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Old 22-09-2016, 11:15   #1
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Solar panel on lifelines

Anybody has got the same setup? Does it hold alright?
The alloy tube was just laying around and i wanted to see how it would be open I need to work on this tomorow.
Im thinking of reinforcing the corners too.

Any thoughts?
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Old 22-09-2016, 11:21   #2
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Close up on the hinges
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Old 22-09-2016, 11:52   #3
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

We have two panels on our aft rails. Mounted using 1" T's on the rails. We lower them while underway. After 4 years, still going strong. See photos below.


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Old 22-09-2016, 11:57   #4
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Nice set up!
Did you add the ss tube instead of the cable lifeline or was it like this originally?
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Old 22-09-2016, 12:12   #5
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Our boat came with SS rail around the entire cockpit. Turns to cable lifelines from cockpit to bow pulpit.

Mounting on the stern rails was the only option we could find. We have a ketch rig and did not want to mount the panels on top of the Bimini.

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Old 22-09-2016, 12:33   #6
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

I would not trust the webbing to hold the solar panels...

The webbing will chafe and eventually break, especially since it is exposed to sun and sea water.

I used solid rails and plastic rail clamps.

The clamps were bolted to the solar panels and clamped to the rails.
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Old 23-09-2016, 09:11   #7
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Yes, a friend with a Nonsuch 30, worked fine until an errant line caught under one and flipped it into the deep blue.
Try to put a line deflector under it.
Bill

]Anybody has got the same setup? Does it hold alright?
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Old 23-09-2016, 09:50   #8
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Had a welder extend the stern pulpit rails so I could mount the solar panels with similar plastic clamps like Jeremiason. Has worked fine including a sail to Hawaii though just noticed one of the clamps has cracked probably because of UV deterioration.

Putting a stainless tube over a wire life line would probably work but it will be a stress point loading on the wire at the end of the ss tube. You might want to beef up the wire size a bit and routinely inspect for broken wire strands.
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Old 23-09-2016, 10:26   #9
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Kato Marine and I'm sure others manufacture SS tubes to replace lifelines, just send them the measurments
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Old 23-09-2016, 11:02   #10
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

We had a similar setup on our Taswell 43, with a panel mounted on each side. It worked great, and was easy to adjust for a changing sun angle, too. But there was one problem. We were in the Medd, and after sailing all day we usually did not remember they were there and sticking out....until we were almost backed in to the crowded town Caye. Having a boat that backs like a ..."drunken sailor"..., we were often the "entertainment" for the afternoon as we had to go forward, store the panels, and then try it again. We now mount our panels (4-80watt panels) on top of the radar arch, where they are completely a non-issue.
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Old 23-09-2016, 14:22   #11
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Fai Tira,

I have seen quite a few installations in my time, I think this is great. There are adjustable panel supports available if you would like, I'm sure you will find something that works for you. My only concern is how much it makes that life line move when the boat is bouncing around. If the life line brakes, well you have no life line and that may be bad. I would recommend having a rail installed and mounting to that using the above listed clamps. Although if this works, do it.! Great Job!

Mike
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Old 23-09-2016, 14:46   #12
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Thanks for all your comments.

Im rethinking the hinges arrangement, I need something stronger.
Im heading home in a few days and the boat will stay at the yard all winter.
For now I will keep it that way, folded down and plugged to top up the batteries.
When I'll come back I will replace the lifeline by a ss tube instead.
I ve got a tig welder onboard I just need to find some argon.
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Old 23-09-2016, 18:29   #13
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Kato Marine and I'm sure others manufacture SS tubes to replace lifelines, just send them the measurments
I installed Kato Marine davits and had them adapted to house a solar tray about 200mm above the davits on the main cross bar. The tray tilts using the same plastic fittings. Works fine. Have 2x100 watts but going to adapt the tray to take 400watts. The panels are out of the shade of the boom/mast rigging etc. most of the time.
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Old 24-09-2016, 02:48   #14
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

I d like to have the panel mounted on davits but I already have a windvane (you can see it in the photo). I was also thinking to mount it on the bimini frames but the backstay passes thru them.

I made a solar tracker similar to atomsvoyage.com for my previous boat and was very pleased with it but it was only a 50W panel.
Here I will need about 2x100W.
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Old 24-09-2016, 09:38   #15
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Re: Solar panel on lifelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fai Tira View Post
Anybody has got the same setup? Does it hold alright?
The alloy tube was just laying around and i wanted to see how it would be open I need to work on this tomorow.
Im thinking of reinforcing the corners too.

Any thoughts?
Usually not the best solution. Solar panel output is severely diminished by just a little shading. In that configuration, it will be common for at least one panel to be partially shaded. Best spot for solar charging performance is often up high aft of the boom over the cockpit.
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