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Old 17-07-2012, 09:20   #1
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solar bimini design?

I'm looking for a good design for a new soft bimini. This boat has a huge cockpit, and 1000 watts of solar panels presently on a plywood bimini. We'd like to replace the hard bimini with a soft top but it needs to be able to have solar panels attached to it. We're also thinking we'll change the dinghy davits to an arch at the same time, and that might all go together well.

Have any of you guys with catamarans with open cockpits seen any good bimini designs?
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Old 17-07-2012, 16:02   #2
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Re: solar bimini design?

Here is a picture of the solar panels on the soft bimini of our Island Packet Cat 35. The panels are mounted on auxilliary bows.

These are 85 watt panels, but 140 watt panels would fit with enough clearance for the boom.

David
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Old 18-07-2012, 04:18   #3
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Re: solar bimini design?

There is a new generation of flexible and foldable solar PV's that are coming on the market. The are mostly designated as speciality field charging stations. They can even make whole tents that generate 1KW.

e.g. Folding/Flexible High Power Solar Panels, High Wattage PV Panel

Google flexible solar panels for more
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Old 18-07-2012, 05:51   #4
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Re: solar bimini design?

Why not use Azak sheets to make your Bimini.
It's maintanance free. Will not flap. much cooler. Solar panels just bolt right to it.

Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick

Bimini

Bimini
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Old 18-07-2012, 06:45   #5
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Re: solar bimini design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Why not use Azak sheets to make your Bimini.
It's maintanance free. Will not flap. much cooler. Solar panels just bolt right to it.

Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick

Bimini

Bimini

Nice, I like that. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 20-07-2012, 16:27   #6
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Re: solar bimini design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mausgras View Post
There is a new generation of flexible and foldable solar PV's that are coming on the market. The are mostly designated as speciality field charging stations. They can even make whole tents that generate 1KW.

e.g. Folding/Flexible High Power Solar Panels, High Wattage PV Panel

Google flexible solar panels for more
I'm thinking about this one....

Solar Power Flex Panels and Controllers by Solbian and Genasun

Lower price, 25% maximum flex which should do for a bimini.
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Old 20-07-2012, 18:53   #7
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Re: solar bimini design?

I was thinking of something like those that could be rolled out when at anchor for extra power and then packed up and put away when underway.
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Old 26-07-2012, 11:53   #8
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Re: solar bimini design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Why not use Azak sheets to make your Bimini.
It's maintanance free. Will not flap. much cooler. Solar panels just bolt right to it.

Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick
Do you know anything about it's UV resistance? PVC typically doesn't do well in strong UV. Gets ugly and brittle. I couldn't find a spec on it in their lit.
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Old 26-07-2012, 12:30   #9
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Re: solar bimini design?

Azek has a 25 year warranty

AZEK Product will be free from manufacturing defects that cause the Product to rot, corrode, delaminate, or excessively swell from moisture for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of the original consumer purchase from an authorized AZEK dealer.
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