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Old 05-05-2012, 21:48   #76
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

Since we're on the topic, I just finished the install on my hard dodger I built with my design of array adjusters.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:01   #77
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Mine are installed above my davits and if you are able to do the same, IMO it is the best option:

1. you will definitely get less shading - especially with the mainsail up, but also under anchor.
2. it tends to be a sturdier mounting location than a soft bimini.
3. it does not interfere with the function of the bimini, or the ability to take it down in storm conditions.
4. it permits easier adjustment, at least for and aft.
5. the solar panels also provide something of a 'roof' for the inflatable, reducing the amount of rain water that can get into the inflatable and also the exposure of the fabric to UV rays.

Brad

...and back briefly () to the OP...

What Brad says above applies here too. Pics attached of our 2 x 327W Sunpower panels above our davits. We never dreamed we would see our 840Ah house battery bank fully charged after days of running two frig's and a freezer in warm weather, all on solar power, but there it is!

We also noted an earlier post suggesting moving panels forward to save wire length helped efficiency. Our view (FWIW!) is that wire gauge is the most important factor. Saving money on small(er) wiring is a common error...and a very false economy indeed with solar panels. Our wiring is heavy gauge to match the panels' heavy output...and the whole system is incredibly efficient.

Our frame is strong but not very heavy... ~40-50Kg including the panels. The 306SS tubing is only 2mm thick, enough to enclose and protect the panels while still keeping weight and windage to a minimum.

Cruisers in OZ interested in adding the efficiency of Sunpower to their vessels should contact us.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:06   #78
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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Originally Posted by D&D View Post
...and back briefly () to the OP...

What Brad says above applies here too. Pics attached of our 2 x 327W Sunpower panels above our davits. We never dreamed we would see our 840Ah house battery bank fully charged after days of running two frig's and a freezer in warm weather, all on solar power, but there it is!

We also noted an earlier post suggesting moving panels forward to save wire length helped efficiency. Our view (FWIW!) is that wire gauge is the most important factor. Saving money on small(er) wiring is a common error...and a very false economy indeed with solar panels. Our wiring is heavy gauge to match the panels' heavy output...and the whole system is incredibly efficient.

Our frame is strong but not very heavy... ~40-50Kg including the panels. The 306SS tubing is only 2mm thick, enough to enclose and protect the panels while still keeping weight and windage to a minimum.

Cruisers in OZ interested in adding the efficiency of Sunpower to their vessels should contact us.
Nice! Are you able to ajust the panels to follow the sun at all?
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:07   #79
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

I think the ability to follow the sun at least a bit greatly improves the amout of amps you get through the course of a day.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:30   #80
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

The only downside to davit installation is in a narrow following sea of size they can be a bit of a problem. Would you want a paddlewheel stuck out behind your boat?

A third option is to mount them on the outside of the boat, starboard and port, attached to the aluminum stantions or lifeline.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:24   #81
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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The only downside to davit installation is in a narrow following sea of size they can be a bit of a problem. Would you want a paddlewheel stuck out behind your boat?

A third option is to mount them on the outside of the boat, starboard and port, attached to the aluminum stantions or lifeline.
i dont think a following sea will make much difference on most boats as the davits/arch is as high as the boom- in my cast 10 feet off the water - and when a wave comes from behind the boat lifts up- lots of times im in 15 foot seas and never had anything come close --Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 15:59   #82
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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i dont think a following sea will make much difference on most boats as the davits/arch is as high as the boom- in my cast 10 feet off the water - and when a wave comes from behind the boat lifts up- lots of times im in 15 foot seas and never had anything come close --Welcome to the forum!!
What Ram said...

In our case, the panels are not as high as the boom, but they would be ~10' above the water. We have been in large (6m...20') following seas without issues of concern. We were pooped (once) but that also was handled fine.

As for being able to angle the panels, we considered that, but opted for the rigid platform instead. It probably would increase output to be able to angle the panels, BUT (1) true efficiency in that respect would require a complex angling mechanism -- Straight angles (ignoring the sun's exact position) would help a bit but (2) the angling hardware that we found seems prone to awkward access and (3) the angling hardware seemed (to us) to be inherently weaker than the rigid frame. So we went for simplicity and strength...and accepted it may be less-than-optimal output.
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Old 10-05-2012, 21:40   #83
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

Bimini
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Old 15-05-2012, 03:09   #84
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

My 320 Wp Solar Panel videos on YouTube..

They deliver max. 17 Amps charge current @12V. No shading..

Is the construction looks good ? Any suggestions ?



GunesPanelleriKoyda.wmv - YouTube
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Old 15-05-2012, 09:51   #85
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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I think they used Genasun GV-10's.
Yes used seperate Genasun Gv-10 controllers to avoid voltage variation and size/output issues. Controllers were routed through existing Link Monitor on 1989 Island Packet 35. More pictures and the customer review can be seen by following this link. Installs and Reviews
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Old 16-05-2012, 00:07   #86
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

has anyone experience of rail mounted panels? I have the same concern as voiced by others about Bimini mounting. no davits, but seriously considering putting my 2 panels on the rail.
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Old 16-05-2012, 00:24   #87
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

A lot of people do it. They are generally mounted outside they rail. Therefore the actual cells point outward when stowed. there is no perfect way to mount panels.
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Old 16-05-2012, 00:42   #88
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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has anyone experience of rail mounted panels? I have the same concern as voiced by others about Bimini mounting. no davits, but seriously considering putting my 2 panels on the rail.
Ours are rail mounted, work brilliantly here in the Med, providing all the power we need and tuck away flat if we're tying up somewhere.
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Old 16-05-2012, 01:04   #89
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

Just mounting another panel on the stern rail so it hangs out over the stern. The stainless steel fitting cost as much as the panel did

Pete
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:24   #90
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Re: Solar Panels - Bimini or Davits - Pros and Cons of Both

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Just mounting another panel on the stern rail so it hangs out over the stern. The stainless steel fitting cost as much as the panel did

Pete
We fitted ours to the existing guard rail (stainless wire) with a length of stainless angle iron, exhaust bolts and extending hatch legs. All in the cost was approx 100 to fit two panels.
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