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Old 11-01-2016, 15:34   #46
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

Chala,

agree with you most manufacturers consider a decent solar array an afterthought.

I do believe however with seawind you are offered some good options and i expect there will be some other manufacturers who will build in good arrays about to be announced.

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Old 11-01-2016, 15:34   #47
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
At last someone who gets it. Bravo. I've been looking at the top 4 cat manufacturers and yes two if them are now offering solar as a factory option. Early models they didn't. Of these none are positioning the panels in any place that makes sense. Extreme shading. Under booms. It's as if they are trying to meet customer demand but are doing it is an uneducated afterthought. Basically they have no idea what they are doing. Anyone that puts solar panels under their boom has just shot at least half of the panels power.

And yes I am after an aesthetically pleasing solution. Call me crazy buy I don't think it's too much to ask if I'm spending up to $2 million new that I should expect a factory solution for a "nice" looking arch and not have to put up scaffolding on my stern.

Thanks.
Under the boom is not nearly as bad as you think. Yes, part is shaded while underway (heck, with sails up even an arch can be in the shade), but at anchor or motoring you simple swing the boom to the side with the preventer. I do this all the time. Easy.
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:06   #48
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Chala,

agree with you most manufacturers consider a decent solar array an afterthought.

I do believe however with seawind you are offered some good options and i expect there will be some other manufacturers who will build in good arrays about to be announced.

cheers
Hi Downunder,

I checked out Seawind out of Australia and they are certainly moving in the right direction with their fibreglass panel arch. Problem is the position of the boom vis a vis shadowing over the panels.

I don't mean to sound like a stuck broken record but shading is the enemy of solar power.

This video is very instructive on this issue.

https://youtu.be/UNPJapaZlCU



Cheers,
Chaya
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:12   #49
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Under the boom is not nearly as bad as you think. Yes, part is shaded while underway (heck, with sails up even an arch can be in the shade), but at anchor or motoring you simple swing the boom to the side with the preventer. I do this all the time. Easy.
You are right about being able to move the boom to one side while at anchor. You are still going to get shading as the sun moves higher towards noonday if the boom sticks over the panels.

I see an Australian cat manufacturer is designing for solar. Good for them.

Perhaps all of the manufacturers and boat buyers should see the following instructional video.

https://youtu.be/UNPJapaZlCU


https://youtu.be/-WGU5j7Rh1g



Regards,
Chaya
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:16   #50
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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This is a 2016 model with factory installed solar panels. Problem is these panels will operate probably at less than 30% to 40% of their rated power. Perfect example of a manufacturer not understanding the huge loss of power due to shading over solar panels. But does show the public must be wanting solar if they are coming out with new models with the panels installed.

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Actually Leopard uses SunWare panels as you have shown and shading is less an issue than standard panels because of their design. But you will pay a heavy premium for these panels.
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:32   #51
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

The original question is a good one but the answer is more simple. Boat builders do know what they are doing. The reason they don't come from the factory in most cases is the owners idea of what does and does not look pleasing to the eye. We install a lot of solar on new and used boats. I can say without a doubt that if you give me ten identical boats, ten identical solar arrays, you will end up with ten different installations. Builders are quite aware of their customers peculiarities and what one customer is proud of the next will think ugly as all get out. Builders are not going to find a common consensus on what solar array looks pleasing to the eye. They are in the business of making their boats look sleek and sharp, most solar arrays drastically take away from that catalog appearance. Also understanding the costs a builder will add to a new boat for these type of extras I don't know why anyone would do it through the builder. If money is no object then spend away. But you are going to save a huge amount of money adding all those nice extras using outside contractors, solar included.

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Old 11-01-2016, 17:39   #52
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Actually Leopard uses SunWare panels as you have shown and shading is less an issue than standard panels because of their design. But you will pay a heavy premium for these panels.
I checked out these panels. From what I can see they are great for marine. You can walk on them. But they are low power output. They also like everyone else are affected by shading.

https://youtu.be/-WGU5j7Rh1g
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:51   #53
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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The original question is a good one but the answer is more simple. Boat builders do know what they are doing. The reason they don't come from the factory in most cases is the owners idea of what does and does not look pleasing to the eye. We install a lot of solar on new and used boats. I can say without a doubt that if you give me ten identical boats, ten identical solar arrays, you will end up with ten different installations. Builders are quite aware of their customers peculiarities and what one customer is proud of the next will think ugly as all get out. Builders are not going to find a common consensus on what solar array looks pleasing to the eye. They are in the business of making their boats look sleek and sharp, most solar arrays drastically take away from that catalog appearance. Also understanding the costs a builder will add to a new boat for these type of extras I don't know why anyone would do it through the builder. If money is no object then spend away. But you are going to save a huge amount of money adding all those nice extras using outside contractors, solar included.

Halden Marine Services | Marine Watermakers, Solar Panels, Wind Generators
Understood. What I would love is even if it's an option a well designed fiberglass with metal inside arch designed to fit the lines of the boat. And consideration of boom overhang in the critical cockpit area that is ideal for a stylized cockpit roof extension for solar panels.

For instance the boom position on the Lagoon 450 and Lagoon 62 allow for a nicely designed cockpit roof extension astern for panels. The Lagoon 52 and 56 forget it. The boom comes v acknowledge too far.

I know what your saying about about appearance being very tricky. But I would think that given the huge benefits of a great solar set up I think the boat manufacturer that gets it right (without shading and looking good) will outperform their competitors all things being equal.

Regards,
Chaya
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Old 11-01-2016, 18:13   #54
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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It has been well over 15 years now since sailors have been using solar panels on their sailboats. I am mystified as to why manufacturers are either not building to accommodate solar properly or not building to accommodate solar at all.

This runs true for both mono as well as multihulls. In the mono world you don't have any thought put into offering stylish solar arches let alone not wiring for solar and or Lithium but the lithium battery set up is another issue that should also be being offered.

I'm in the market for with a recent new or new catamaran. Here we are in 2016 and not one cat manufacturer has come up with a solar arch addition. You do have one or two cat manufacturers who are now offering solar. But these geniuses are using low power flex panels and placing them under the boom. Just proving that solar is an afterthought and that they have no real idea what they are doing.

Shading is the biggest enemy of solar. Any type of shading at all over even one panel causes a huge reduction in solar power production. So what do they do. They go ahead and put the panels under booms or the shadow of sails.

Why haven't they come up with stern arches that are built into the design? Why does a manufacturer like Lagoon have their booms on the new 52 and 56 models protruding so far astern that if you want to instal solar panels you would need to have arches well over the dinghy davits. And again why don't they make cockpit coverings or stylish arches for solar that also allow for non shading of the panels?

In my opinion solar is no longer a fringe sport. It is an integral part of sailing and it mystifies me why it is not treated as such by boat manufacturers.

Chaya
Name a boat builder that isn't driven by either the charter market or the wannabe racer market.

The same dilemma applies to the much bigger housing market.

+1 to all your comments.

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Old 11-01-2016, 18:26   #55
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Under the boom is not nearly as bad as you think. Yes, part is shaded while underway (heck, with sails up even an arch can be in the shade), but at anchor or motoring you simple swing the boom to the side with the preventer. I do this all the time. Easy.
80% reduction under the boom is about as bad as it gets. As measured over 2+ years.

We have enough work to keep us busy without shifting the boom back and forth.

Have to agree with comments that builders who offer solar under the boom are clueless.

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Old 11-01-2016, 18:33   #56
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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It has been well over 15 years now since sailors have been using solar panels on their sailboats. I am mystified as to why manufacturers are either not building to accommodate solar properly or not building to accommodate solar at all.


Chaya
People have been using dinghies a lot longer than that, but still not many production boats (especially monohulls) make any allowance for carrying them.
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Old 11-01-2016, 18:42   #57
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Name a boat builder that isn't driven by either the charter market or the wannabe racer market.

The same dilemma applies to the much bigger housing market.

+1 to all your comments.

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Thanks leftbrain. By the way a lot of mass builders are now optioning in Solar systems into new homes in Nevada now. But I'm with you on this. Look how long it's taken for smart builders to see that it helped sell their new homes.

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Old 11-01-2016, 18:45   #58
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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People have been using dinghies a lot longer than that, but still not many production boats (especially monohulls) make any allowance for carrying them.
Good point. But not exactly the same as the senslisness of builders towards solar. After all at least some of the large monos even have garages.
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Old 11-01-2016, 20:12   #59
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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I checked out these panels. From what I can see they are great for marine. You can walk on them. But they are low power output. They also like everyone else are affected by shading.

https://youtu.be/-WGU5j7Rh1g

They are affected by shading. But unlike others only the part that is shaded will shut down. The shaded areas will not shut down the parts of the panel that are not shaded like cheaper panels will. In fairness these are not casual cruising panels. They were designed for more commercial use and industrial abuse but have been integrated into the marine market for boats that will see truly extreme conditions. Leopard offers these as their top of the line panels on their factory boats. Certainly not for the weak of wallet.

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Old 11-01-2016, 20:20   #60
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Understood. What I would love is even if it's an option a well designed fiberglass with metal inside arch designed to fit the lines of the boat. And consideration of boom overhang in the critical cockpit area that is ideal for a stylized cockpit roof extension for solar panels.

For instance the boom position on the Lagoon 450 and Lagoon 62 allow for a nicely designed cockpit roof extension astern for panels. The Lagoon 52 and 56 forget it. The boom comes v acknowledge too far.

I know what your saying about about appearance being very tricky. But I would think that given the huge benefits of a great solar set up I think the boat manufacturer that gets it right (without shading and looking good) will outperform their competitors all things being equal.

Regards,
Chaya

But the thing is so many after market guys do get it right. Especially when they have the ability to take into consideration each individual owners wants, needs, desires, and personal opinions, of what does and does not look good on their particular boat. I doubt you'll see anytime in the near future a standard solar array on production boats. It just doesn't fit the builders goals. Much like it's unlikely you'll see any time soon a solar array on electric cars. Now when and if solar panels are made another 300%+ efficient for the size to Watt ratio, then perhaps.

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