Nope I'm not a vendor, although I can see that someone may draw that conclusion. I was unaware of these products until other sailors offering assistance passed along the information and their experience with these systems. For that I indebted and very appreciative as they are not easily found let alone obtaining reviews
by actual users.
I'm currently in the process of purchasing
an Island Packet
445 and plan to equip it with both solar and wind
to provide daily replenishment of approximately 450 amp hours to several battery banks and prior to purchasing
have conducted extensive research
I'm looking for a solar panel solution that is reliable, produces the largest amount of energy possible within a very limited space, and what will fulfill our boat's needs on a daily amp hour basis. Not really interested in turning my sailboat into a solar panel array field, so trying to avoid hanging panels on the stanchions, arches, bimini
top and anywhere else there is a spec of "free" space. Our goal is not to use the engine
nor genset for power generation - we prefer the being self-sustaining, meaning reducing our need for fossil fuel
and avoiding the expense , weight and maintenance
of fossil fuel
systems. This approach allows us to deploy a smaller genset than otherwise required. This cost reduction more than offsets the cost of two panels.
I totally agree that there are less "up-front" expensive panels and these panels which I encourage folks to investigate for themselves may not be well suited to ever cruiser's need or budget
. However, up-front cost do not always equate to "lower" total operating cost per amp hr for the life of the system.
Part of the reason I thought folks might like learn of these solar panels - which technology has just enable them to become available February of 2015 - is that I see a large number of yachts typically carryng 120 KW or !40 KW panels which seems to have been the best available solution over the past decade.
Now for the same amount of space of 120/140 KW panels - and space is usually at a premium on a sailboat especially when factoring in placement out of shade - one can nearly triple energy output. Dollars is less of an issue than space, for some - and with increasing electrical
loads being desired/required by cruisers this offers a viable option.