panels are wayyy too small for your needs. Even twin 130's won't keep up with it. No matter what wind
gen you put on, you will not make up your loss.
Instead of dissecting a thousand threads written on this subject, I will tell you to bet on 160-180ah/day (160 with no watermaker). You can close that gap some if you super-insulate your refridgerator. I wrote a thread on this here and on Sailnet called "Refrigeration Conservation". The fridge will be your biggest draw, about 50-60 ah/day (assuming you arenot running your radar/offshore). That is the cheapest way to extend your recharge time. Outside of that, your are stuck with running your main (not reccomended), running a generator
(nice if you have one... but requires diesel
and/or you being there)... solar and wind
I am one of the few proponents for solar only. I bought an Air-X, went to set it up, then returned it for 2 more solar panels. Think about 4 things regarding wind:
1) There are nice breezes in the bahamas
, but no one wants to anchor
in a windy spot. You anchor in calm, secluded spots (in general). That renders your wind useless.
2) Wind is pretty close to worthless until you hit about 12k. DO NOT USE THE CARRIBE AS YOUR REFERENCE, use the Bahamas. How many times a day is it blowing 12+ (12 being the minimum that anything worthwhile is even being put out). 15+ is optimum.
3) Your placement of your wind gen is VERY likely going to interfere with your solars at some point in the day.
4) The things are loud and hated in a crowded anchorage or at night. Some interfere with SSB**.
Solar is clean, quiet, and has no moving parts
to wear out. However, it is not without its idiosyncracies:
1) It requires a large bank to power a boat. Your little bank will not do much... even in the best of times.
2) Cloudy, rainy days they are about worthless. Any shading of the panels almost makes that panel worthless, and on some (without diodes) it will actually pull off the other panels.
3) The RIGHT system is expensive. It costs a whole (WHOLE) lot more than a wind gen or a can of diesel.
My irritation with cruisers and solar is that they go to West Marine
and buy these two flimsy little $100 panels, wire them directly up to their batteries, then start screaming a day later about how solar just does not work. WHAT A CROCK! You can't power your house off of two flimsy little panels, how in the world are you going to power your yacht!!
I wrote a very detailed thread on this on sailnet. Here I will only summarize:
1) If you want the least amount of money
out go get a bunch of gerry cans, lash them on the side, then run your diesel (main). Better plan on being there every day though and running that thing for about 4 hours unless your bank exceeds 640 ah. That would be 3-4-D's, AGM
. Don't even get me started on wets. Thus, go buy another 4-d, wire it parallel into your bank, and if you really want to splurge, increase your alternator
to 100ish (I bet you have an 80 right now) and put on a Balmar
. West now sells them in packages (though I bet you can find them cheaper elsewhere). Page 376 on the new book. That way you are good for about 2 days and your charging
will be a good charge and not a partial charge obtainable with a stadard alt and no reg.
2) If you don't want to screw around with the engine
every other day (though you probably still will), put a wind on there. Four winds probably is the best. My guess is about 2k without mounts, though others on this board know the price
better. Air-X is cheaper, and I have heard good things, but I also understand it is not effective until about 13-15k and it may cause interference
with SSB***. At any rate, just budget
about 50-70 AH/day on that thing. That, with your new battery
will get you about every two day... possibly three if a front comes through.
3) If you do not want to listen or deal with the wind and its drawbacks, put on a real solar bank. You will need a minimum 2 kc-130's (which will give you a little over 80 ah/day in the right conditions) to 4 KC-130's. That is 260-520 watts. THis must be tied into a MPPT
charge controller. Blue Sky is cheaper and is good for small banks (like 2 KC-130's). Outback is more expensive but appears to be superior to the BS - though it really needs more than 2 KC-130's to be really effective. You cost here is a little over $600/per panel, about $500 for the Outback, and about $500 in wiring
and lugs. You will also need a place to mount them. They weigh about 30lbs/piece. THus, a large array is really too much for your bimini
. I had a solar arch built outside of my davits
... though many people will use davits
and stanchion mounts to save money
FYI: at 520W, I average about 176 ah/day. That almost equals my burn rate if the kids
turn off the lights (smile). Kyocera
is a good product, but ther are others. Beware of a cheap
panel!!! If they are much/lot less, something is wrong!!
I hope that helped. If you need pics or have other questions, etc, let me know.
*** The SSB Interference
appears to be limited to Air-X. This was discussed in depth
on the SSCA board.