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Old 09-10-2015, 08:02   #1
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SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

I am thinking about installing Solar panels on my yacht and wondered what forumites views were on how their panels have stood up to the hardships of marine life, in particular the rigid panel type, usually housed in an anodized aluminium frame.
Clearly flexible panels, or semi flexible, can 'bend' to some extent going up and down over waves, but how do the rigid panels stand up to this, does the glass crack and break ?

One often sees the panels bolted onto the 'A' frame at the stern of the boat. How have these panels withstood high winds ?

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:08   #2
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Last cat had 2O year old panels still worked great

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Old 09-10-2015, 08:22   #3
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

I'd say that there has been a complete lack of complaints about failing panels on here, so they must be well sealed, how well they hold up to high winds is I believe a factor on how well they are installed, on mine the panels are inside of a frame I fabricated, the panels are not the major load bearing structure although they do contribute to it's rigidity. I think it common for most to build a frame that the panels reside in and to not use the panel as load bearing structure?
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:32   #4
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

No complaints on our rigid panels. Solid mounted on hard dodger. Never had a customer complain there was an issue with panel failure issue. Properly installed and sealed have never even heard of an issue with cracking or corrosion.
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Old 09-10-2015, 13:37   #5
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

My Kyocera panels are doing just fine. No really rough weather though have done a TransPac. Panels are mounted on the stern pulpit, swivel up supported by a wood strut in use and pivot down vertical when not in use. No corrosion problems with the panel frames.
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Old 09-10-2015, 13:50   #6
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Framed panels are not build to bend. Do not fit them to surfaces that do without introducing a proper buffer (e.g. mounting on foam pads, similar to soft engine mounts).

Anodized or painted frames last ok in marine environment. I have seen panels older than 20 years looking like new.

Cheap new China made panels seem to suffer more than high quality ones made in countries with high quality standards.

b.
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Old 09-10-2015, 14:10   #7
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Re: SOLAR PANELS IN MARINE ENVIRONMENT

... think about solar panels for instance installed on high mountains (e.g. The Zugspitze) and the corresponding snow load, variation in temperature and wind speeds these modules see.

Mounting them on a sailboat will put much less stress on the modules (if mounted properly / not too flimsy) ...

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