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Old 01-11-2009, 21:03   #16
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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I built a hard bimini out of solar panels, all of which are horizontal all of the time. While I realize they are not at peak efficiency other than at noon, I have enough wattage up there to do the job except in serious fog. Nice thing is that I never have to worry about swiveling the panels when the tide turns.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:28   #17
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what about some sort of auto sun tracker type device?
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:03   #18
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The answer is of course the angle matters. But I asked a question 1-2 years ago about "solar s..." when I really was asking how many people who have adjustable mounts acturally adjust them during the day to get the best angle. Turns out hardly anyone adjusted their panels. So it seems people mount them based on available locations and setup as best as possible to just go with the "law of averages".
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:43   #19
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I have two 50 watt panels mounted on a mast that rotates and fully articulates to point the panels at the sun. I have a Blue Sky controller/monitor.
When I point the panels directly at the sun I see a jump in panel output of 2-3 amps. By rotating the panels tree times a day I can get a full 7 amps for most of 10 hours a day.
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:48   #20
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My solar panels are attached flat above the bimini. It is not the most efficent, but is a good comprimise. Before 7am I start charging and hit the max of 30 amps between 10 and 2. From there it declines to zero at about 6pm. This is presuming no clouds and is at 12 degrees latitude.

If you have the time to aim them right at the sun, you will increase the charge significantly. However, if you forget to reaim you will not get any better than my static array. Personally I have better things to do then try to find the optimal angle, especially when on the hook.
We did the same thing while cruising. We made a flat fixed bimini over the cockpit out of solar panels. 8x53 watts of ARCO solar panels. We got about 32 amps most of the day (before the advent of MPPT controllers).

Other boats fiddled all day with aiming panels and if they didn't look outside in time, they were facing backwards to the sun. We knew ours weren't always at the perfect angle, but we had all the juice we needed with no fussing. We could go to shore or visiting without electrical guilt.

Steve B.
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Old 03-11-2009, 13:33   #21
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Just keep it as square to the sun as you can and then pray.

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Old 11-02-2015, 07:11   #22
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Re: Solar Panel Question: Angle of Sunlight

Solar Angle Calculator | Go Green !
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