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Old 06-10-2014, 17:26   #1
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Solar Panels

Hi. Im looking to buy some solar panels for my beneteau 38. Was thinking of running the fridge off them and maybe supplement a little power to the batteries. Any suggestions or insight on what is the best option on how to make this project happen. Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-10-2014, 17:36   #2
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Re: Solar Panels

We bought Sanyo cells a couple years ago. 18.5 % eff. Pick the best watts/sq-ft. If you want high output cells, you will need a charge controller, possibly MPPT. You can read/research on line. I found Handy Bob SOlar to be useful but lengthy. Sift through it, there is good help there.

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Old 06-10-2014, 19:10   #3
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Re: Solar Panels

What does your fridge consumes in terms of amperage? A typical firdge is about 4-5amps kicking in every 1/2 hour assuming it is properly insulated and not opened too often. Let's say it is not and it's running full 5amps for an hour. That means it needs a continuous 60W worth of juice. The solar panels are at best about 50% effcient during the day on the average. So to get 60W you need at least 120W panel. I would say 2 100W panels should be sufficient. Now if you have an electric winch and all kinds of electronic goodies - TVs, computers, chartplotters, etc, etc. we're talking at least 400W or more. But in the long run it is much better to have extra panels than to run your engine or the genset. Since I don't use my fridge now I get by with 80W total from 3 older panels. I did buy 4 110W panels and will be installing them for next season. Should be plenty enough for all my needs incl. the 11.5cft fridge.
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Old 06-10-2014, 22:09   #4
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Re: Solar Panels

Forget the amp load and use calculations because you can't have too much solar for happy batteries. Most people will be limited on solar by their available panel mounting space. But rare is the cruiser that ever says, "hey I installed too much solar". Solar is like sex my there ever too much. A good online source for solar (not sex) word be Northern Arizona Wind and Solar. Good prices and all you will need in one online store.
Rich Boren Living Aboard in Morro Bay, CA and the owner of:
Cruise RO Water High Output Water Makers
Technautics CoolBlue Refrigeration

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Old 08-10-2014, 17:45   #5
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Re: Solar Panels

We use the 100w airflex by iTechworld. Very resilient!

Here is a link: Airflex Solar Panel Kit 100 Watt - SUPER LIGHT WEIGHT | iTechworld, Inc.
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