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Old 11-04-2013, 13:36   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril
Here's how I look at the math:

Solar panels are about $1/Watt. With batteries and installation about $2/Watt (and that's pretty low, assumes self install, etc.).

Typical solar production is around 5x nameplate (with considerable variation). So 1W solar will produce about 5 Wh/day and costs about $2 installed = $0.40/Wh/day.

A 15W running light/anchor light for 10 hours/day takes 150 Wh/day, which equates to about $60 in solar installation costs ($30 just for the panels). If you can replace that 15W with a 1W LED (10 Wh/day, $4 solar installation cost) for less than $56 ($28 if you only count the panel costs) then it makes sense to install the LED. If the LED is more than $56 then it makes more sense to install the solar to feed the incandescent (providing you have the room to install the panels).
All very true. For the simplified case of 1 light, with panel capacity that is ONLY used for that one light.

Now repeat the exercise for 10 lights and assume that a maximum of three lights will be working at any one time. This better reflects the reality on a cruising boat and the result will be of great benefit to all those analyzing where to best spend their $$.
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Old 11-04-2013, 14:00   #32
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

If you have the room for all solar, go for it. We don't have room for all solar, so a combination works for us.
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Old 11-04-2013, 20:34   #33
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

I really appreciate everyone's responses. I have a couple more questions.

I am having an arch designed and I have an option for a mount to be installed now so a wind generator could easily be installed at a later date. The arch gives me about 11' of width to mount solar panels. I don't have much experience with solar yet, but looking at a site for a sample panel, I should be able to mount 6 panels for a total of 4 to 500 watts. Does that seem accurate? What sites would you recommend for solar panels? I will be doing the installation myself.

As far as the wind generator, I'll get the mounting plate installed so I'll have that option available if the solar is coming up short.

Thanks,
George
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Old 11-04-2013, 21:49   #34
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgec View Post
I am looking for advice on which to use, solar panels or a wind generator or both for extended cruising in the Caribbean. I have a 49' Beneteau with an arch so I'll have room for both, but which is most cost effective to purchase and maintain for that style of cruising?
Cost effective? Solar beats wind.

Maintenance? Solar = zero. Wind = some. Blades get bird-struck; bearings wear out, etc.

Practical applications? Depends on the wxr and vessel location. (High seas or anchored within the high walls of a dead volcano... etc.)

Clouds/shadows hurt solar; wind comes and goes. Having both helps.

We installed solar then added wind turbine about a year later for the added pwr when overcast or at night. We haven't used shore power or a genset since March 2009, and don't run the main motor for charging purposes. If the solar/wind setup gets to limping along in cloudy windless times, then it's best to fire up the oil lamps and maybe turn to a bit of romance...
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Old 11-04-2013, 23:02   #35
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don L View Post
I agree, but turns out the cost of the panel isn't the main cost. This is the cost the past 2 months to install a 290W panel on my boat (yes I could have spent 4 times the cost of the 290W panel on 2 140W panels and used a cheaper PWM controller, but ...)

solar project 290W panel $ 279.99 electrical $ 907.97 mountings $ 392.93 finishing $ 31.00 $1,611.89

But I think wind would cost at least as much total project
Yes, you have to mount and hook up the wind gen as well. Wondering if you might have been better off buying more panels and spending less on the controller...
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Old 12-04-2013, 00:43   #36
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
I understand the comforts of home, but this would be like taking a Winebago camping and expecting the camping experience.

Honestly, to begin with a person needs a 35-40 boat to approach the comforts of home.

Keep it as simple as possible, while still being, at least somewhat comfortable.

Part of the experience is the "hardship"(if I can really use that word), of the sojourn. The metal in one's heart and soul . . . even just a little bit.

For the others I say buy a floating house and have towed.

I have never heard fond memories of excursions that were perfect and un-eventful, but virtually everyone remembers, with heartfelt fondness, the excursions where they endured some degree of hardship.

Forget the electric stove, get a simple cooler, get oil lamps, change out to LED's, keep simple and get to know yourself.
SURV69 You are not answering the OP's question.

He has a 49ft Beni and genset/1000ah batteries and is seeking advise on relative merits of solar vs Wind gen.

Georgec, I would fit as much solar as possible 500/750 ah first and then consider if Wind gen is necessary.
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Old 12-04-2013, 00:55   #37
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgec View Post
I really appreciate everyone's responses. I have a couple more questions.

I am having an arch designed and I have an option for a mount to be installed now so a wind generator could easily be installed at a later date. The arch gives me about 11' of width to mount solar panels. I don't have much experience with solar yet, but looking at a site for a sample panel, I should be able to mount 6 panels for a total of 4 to 500 watts. Does that seem accurate? What sites would you recommend for solar panels? I will be doing the installation myself.

As far as the wind generator, I'll get the mounting plate installed so I'll have that option available if the solar is coming up short.

Thanks,
George
Perhaps get your solar panels first and build the arch to suit maximing ah.
I would be looking at larger panels. say 3x250ah or 2x340ah.

Check out this link for a good adjustable install. Although a catamaran install the principle could be adapted for a Ben 49.

Our Solution To Mounting 750-Watts Of Solar
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:12   #38
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

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Originally Posted by georgec View Post
....I am having an arch designed and I have an option for a mount to be installed now so a wind generator could easily be installed at a later date....
Don't put the wind generator on the arch anywhere need the solar panels because that will cause shade and reduce their output.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:29   #39
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Jimbo485:

I don't shop West Marine for LED lights, but at $1k for led lights it sounds like you may have.

Switching out to led's for me amounted to $50 for enough high powered led's for inside and another $50 to go led's for nav lights.

Of course I actually make my own Nav lights and all . . . I like the more personal touch.

As everything goes, buying ready to go kits from a marine outfitter costs a lot more and very often, the systems aren't even salt-water resistant.

I'm in fresh water(Lake Erie), and that alone opens up all kinds of opportunity to me that a saltee can't chance.

As I said, I like making my own stuff . . . building it . . . molding it . . . whatever and I'm the quality control on my equipment . . . 1:1 quality control.

If I ever make it to the salt for a winter, you guys can hear my sad tale of how my equipment succumbed to the salt or how my equipment was adequately protected from the salt.

In any case, with a little enginuity(sp), all the components can be had much cheaper and most of it can be made much less prone to the hardships of the marine environment.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:36   #40
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Re: Solar Panels or a Wind Generator

Downunder:

Well, I'll be.....

Somehow I got this thread mixed up with the Bristol 24 thread.

Heart meds sometimes gets me a little lost . . . anyway, it's my excuse.

AS Lilly Thomlin always said.....................Nevermind.............
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