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Old 16-06-2013, 07:08   #1
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What Solar System is Best for Us?

Hi, we have just purchased a lagoon 380 in the BVI's and want to install a solar system and water-maker. Any advice on which panels / batteries and water-maker would be great. We wont be drawing all that much but would be a nice luxury to have more backup power than we draw. Any set up ideas would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
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Old 16-06-2013, 07:18   #2
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

The one that the earth is in is kinda cool.
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Old 16-06-2013, 07:39   #3
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

If you are installing a DC powered watermaker, you will be using a lot of amps, so your power draw will be more than you think.

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Old 16-06-2013, 07:41   #4
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

Hi! I suggest: 1) Sunforce 80 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel with Regulator and Sharp Module; 2) KATADYN PowerSurvivor 40E Watermaker. Sail away!

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Old 16-06-2013, 07:53   #5
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

That is a VERY limited system. You should undertake an understanding of your water and power needs before heeding Teknav's advice.

That watermaker is going to provide you less than 1.5gph while drawing 4 amps. That solar panel will provide 3-4 amps. So you will end up on a bright sunny day making 5-6 gallons of water with no extra charging power from the panel for your regular loads.

Again, do your own analysis of your needs, but I think that advice is not good unless you are very water frugal and have much limited power needs. My experience is that power and water needs are almost always under-appreciated and under-estimated.

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Old 16-06-2013, 07:55   #6
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

As to your actual questions, it is almost impossible for anyone to make those recommendations without an understanding of your power and water needs, the space available for mounting solar and your budget.

Without those variables, the answers you receive will be all over the place.

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Old 16-06-2013, 08:08   #7
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

Hi Mark! He can install multiple solar panels to accommodate his power consumption; I personally prefer a Honda generator for ALL my power needs. As for the fresh water generator, it was just a suggestion to give him an idea of a reliable Brand name. Why don't you suggest a few brands and help him decide?

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Old 16-06-2013, 08:12   #8
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

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Why don't you suggest a few brands and help him decide?
I just stated why I haven't.

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Old 16-06-2013, 08:27   #9
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

Making a new installation bottom up I would opt for small print mono-crystalines (some 15% more juice per area, available from SVB and other sources), hinged (if possible), preferably 7-9 (space no issue on a Lagoon) panels, then a regulator (possibly a MPPT), AGM batteries, DC watermaker.

Why do you want a water maker on a Lagoon? Water tanks were huge last time I visited.

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Old 16-06-2013, 09:34   #10
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

You might want to consult professionals...

SALT Service Inc - Marine, residential and motor coach alternative energy systems
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Old 16-06-2013, 09:59   #11
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

congrats on your new boat!
"best" requires a lot of inputs to asses, but in general having too much solar power isn't a problem, so put as much as can fit. "fit" then becomes a 'best' issue, having a lot of weight is not ideal, and windage if set up on an arch is also an issue.
I suggest using multiple panels with a MPPT controller for each one.
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Old 16-06-2013, 10:39   #12
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Re: What Solar System is Best for Us?

There is no such the as too much energy onboard, so that as much as you can. 3 x 120 watt should fit easily on an adjustable frame on the davits.
Cheap Chinese is OK, most expensive brands are Chinese anyway. Just make sure replacing a panel isn't a problem, so go for standard dimensions. Do not mix panels with different voltages.

The controller is a different issue, 25 amps can do a lot of damage. So go for a well known brand. We used Steca.
Mppt is nice but if you have the space one additional panel beats it in terms of bang for the buck.

There are good books on the subject. Better than paying professionals...
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Old 16-06-2013, 10:46   #13
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Hi! I suggest: 1) Sunforce 80 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel with Regulator and Sharp Module; 2) KATADYN PowerSurvivor 40E Watermaker. Sail away!
80 watts isn't going to do it. You'll probably need at least three 80-watt panels, if you're thinking small.

I get by on 260 watts, but I have a 200-watt wind generator to back it up. If I were going with pure photovoltaic power, I'd want closer to 400 watts.

The OP states they won't be drawing that much. No fridge? If you have a fridge, you may want to consider your power budget more realistically.
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Old 16-06-2013, 10:55   #14
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Re: What solar system is best for us?

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The one that the earth is in is kinda cool.
I've always thought it funny that our solar system has no name beyond "The Solar System." Not very romantic for one of the million solar systems in a galaxy named "Milky Way."

A shame we can't come up with a way to sell the naming rights. I'd be down for living in the "AT&T Solar System" for a 10% commission on the sale.
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Old 16-06-2013, 11:09   #15
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Re: What Solar System is Best for Us?

as others have commented you just don't install solar panels on a boat you first need some idea of how much power you're using and then decide how much of it you want to be generated by a solar array.

you should also get weather reports for the areas and time of year you'll be staying there. that way you'll have some idea how much sun you'll have and if also using a wind generator might be a good idea.

look into an mppt controller and marine grade solar panels.

be sure to fuse everything.

don't forget that mounting them can be a problem so take measurements to be sure everything will fit. you can use cardboard for making fake panels of different sizes.

good luck.
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