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Old 07-02-2015, 02:36   #31
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Re: Angle of solar panels

KISS principle: mount them flat, and when it rains, it usually blows too, and so the boat rocks, heels, sways, etc. and water and dust will flow off.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:57   #32
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I have designed and patented a driver for a solar tracking array.... it involves a small globe covered with tiny solar panels which determines the optimum altitude and azimuth at any give moment and sends commands via a VLCC ( very large control computer ) to the alt/az motors which set the VHSA ( very heavy solar array ) at the optimum angle at any given moment.

Works a treat...
Is there some reason you can't just measure current from the panel and work off that? Obviously it might turn the wrong way but it would immediately know and correct this.

One time I got above 100% rated power when the sun is low in the horizon because additional light reflected off the water onto the panel.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:09   #33
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Is there some reason you can't just measure current from the panel and work off that? Obviously it might turn the wrong way but it would immediately know and correct this.



One time I got above 100% rated power when the sun is low in the horizon because additional light reflected off the water onto the panel.


Measuring current (or more accurately, power) is no help as it varies second to second. Simplest active tracker uses two light sensitive resistors separated by a small vertical blade attached to the panels with the blade perpendicular to the panel around the axis of rotation. A simple circuit compares the resistance and moves the panels so that neither resistor is in shade. Does not work so well on cloudy days though.

The active smart tracker on my home array increases output by 30 to 40%, it knows where the sun is every hour of every day of the year regardless of the clouds and it angles the panels appropriately . No use on the boat though.

Interested that you got over 100% output from reflection. Did not know you could do this. I sometimes see 110% from our Kaneka home panels but I assume that will stop happening over time as the panels age.

Matt


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Old 07-02-2015, 05:40   #34
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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KISS principle: mount them flat, and when it rains, it usually blows too, and so the boat rocks, heels, sways, etc. and water and dust will flow off.
That's what I did. I accept that they only work at full capacity when the sun is directly overhead. I've seen a lot of boats with adjustable panels. But, I can't ever remember seeing anyone move them to point them at the sun.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:17   #35
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Re: Angle of solar panels

To get the most output of your solar panel the photons have to hit the panels @ 90 degrees. in saying that tracking systems on land will give you up to 30 % more output than fixed.On a boat there is the challenge of rigging shading on panels that shut them down due to series connection in the cells.At the end of the day so to speck you are further ahead to fix them in a place on the boat flat and keep them Clean from dirt and bird dropings. solarsam
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:21   #36
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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Hi, i'm planning out to mount solar panels on the davits. question is: should they be angled or just kept flat. i'm in sunny florida but was just wondering what the best choice is.'
thanks
Keep them flat The boat moves around enough to prevent growth build up between glass and frame.
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:27   #37
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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Is there some reason you can't just measure current from the panel and work off that?
What I actually do is 100% hand-a-matic... trim panel to face sun as best I can.... monitor input on ammeter at the chart table.... adjust trim through the day as and when I feel the urge.
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:42   #38
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Re: Angle of solar panels

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Solar Panels are cheap. Add more and mount them as convenient. Complexity of tilting is unlikely to offset benefits unless you are limited on area. More is better. You can't have too much, provided your solar regulator is suitable.


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Old 11-02-2015, 07:10   #39
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Re: Angle of solar panels

Solar Angle Calculator | Go Green !
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