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Old 18-12-2009, 13:54   #1
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Solar Power

Hello All,

I know everyone has different power use, But is there a average watts people buy.

Yes I know it all matters where you plan to be and other facters but was thinking I could get some input from different people on how many watts they have.


Thank you,


Dutch
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Old 18-12-2009, 14:20   #2
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I don't believe that there is an average power. It depends on your needs, space, and funds. There are as many possible combo's depending on all of the above. At the time of purchase we bought the biggest panels we could afford that fit the space. At the time the only bigger that were avalaible were about 160watt, but a 3 times the price.

Makai carries 480 watts 4 X 120watt. Next time out my goal is 1000 watts. For us more is better allowing us to power more. Just our choice.
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Old 18-12-2009, 14:37   #3
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Yes I do understand, What I am doing right now is fix a budget. I came into a nice sum of money and starting to upgrade the boat to live on the hook and do some traveling.

Just thought some input on what others have would help me.

In my mind one could never buy all the solar to meet the needs alone the best they could do is buy them to cut the need to run a genset as much.


This may sound funny but I know the first place to start is lower your power needs but being married (have you ever told your wife no hair dryer) man did it hit the fan.

well thank you for your input,

Dutch
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Old 18-12-2009, 14:53   #4
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Thing to do is to lay out a power budget. Review everything on your boat determine how much power it use, the amount of time, etc. Starting with the daily power requirements will help determine how much solar and battery bank will be needed. Then add a large fudge factor. That will at least give you a base to start determining you needs. Think future as well. we added some power hungry items after the fact and it was just a matter of reorganizing usage.

To small of solar relative to the usage would still mean have to need other sources.

IMHO here is not enough solar panels. I like more power and we use the extra aftger the battery is charged to make water, etc.

Look around the board here this has been discussed and there many experinenced people here that may have already provided you with the knowledge.

My wife cut her hair but we added the cclothes washer in trade. Works for both of us.
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Old 18-12-2009, 15:31   #5
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I have 2 x 100W panels and these seems to perfectly match the fridge demand. Fridge is a danfoss 50 I believe. 3.5 amp draw at about a 30% duty cycle.
When we are away from the boat for a week, we leave the fridge on - when we return the battery panel always says 100%. When we are crusing the use of the engine for anchoring phases seems to cover and shortfall from the panels due lights at night and water pumps etc.
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:08   #6
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Magic carries 400 watts solar and a wind gen. They complement each other nicely.
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:09   #7
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Thank you all, this is the info i was looking for



Dutch
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:42   #8
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Power Budget

I agree that the first thing to do is make up a power budget, and go from there. I have 300 watts of solar, and I believe that I probably average roughly 50 to 75% of that on a long term basis. If you figure on getting the rating of the panel during all daylight hours, you will be dissapointed.
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:42   #9
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I carry two x 130 watt panels and a 200 watt wind generator. Plenty for us.
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:46   #10
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You CAN have enough solar to be energy independent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnar View Post
In my mind one could never buy all the solar to meet the needs alone the best they could do is buy them to cut the need to run a genset as much.
Dutch,
I actually disagree with you on this.....
You can buy and install enough solar to cover your energy demands (able to charge your batteyr bank, during your average mostly/partly sunny day).....if you have the $$$$ and the space available......

I understand that you're looking for what others have done......
So, have a look at photos and article of my 520 watt (4 x 130 watt panels) array on board my 47' sloop......
Solar Panels


At anchor in remote areas, as long as the sun shines every 3 days, I'm completely energy independent......including big frig and freezer (w/ ice cream), watermaker, lights, radios, stereo, computer, etc.....no need to burn a drop of fuel....
(And, when on a long passage with 24/7 autopilot, etc. I have a towed-water-generator, to suppliment energy when cloudy days persist....
Towed-Water-Generator )

Sunny Skies!

John
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:51   #11
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As Captain Bill says, to do this properly you need to review your power requirements. If you have a good battery monitor, the simplest way is live on it for a week (with no other power sources) and see how much power you use - and then add a bit.

Lots of power is good, especially if the power source looks after its self and does it quietly. Everyone percieved needs will vary - some will go for the minimum they can get away with, some will take the view that lots of power increases the comfort and ease of living on a boat - you can bet Bill's wife is using the hairdryer.

250W seems to work for me (I live in the tropics) - it runs the fridge 24/7 and as long as I "switch off when not in use" I never seem to have a power problem. The genset is redundant for me and I have removed it.
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Old 18-12-2009, 18:56   #12
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We use about 30Ah per day. More when anchored.

We generate from 1x75 solar and the engine (65A alt) about half an hour every second or third day.

I believe we will be upgrading to about 60Ah per day. This means another solar panel. And a good regulator for the alternator.

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Old 26-12-2009, 20:54   #13
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I have two different solar panel systems on my boat a 12 volt for the house bank and 48 volt for the electric propulsion battery bank. Usually I had two 75 watt 12 volt Seimans solar panels that are a few years old. But, this past season I only installed one of them because I was testing out the 48 volt panel and needed the room for it's installation. Surprisingly the one 75 watt panel was able to keep the 12 house bank charged up even though I was using a medium sized Engel refridgerator 24/7 all season. Your results may vary. I also have converted some of the cabin lights to LEDS. I should also note there is no TV on board on purpose. Sunset and stars are the evenings entertainment most nights.

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