Type and model and size of boat.
Total Panel Output (How much power can be generated?)
1,200 watts - 7kwh/p/day
Panel Size: How big are the panels?
1,650 mm X 1,000 mm each
Individual? Total area required?
3,300 mm X 2,000 mm
Age of Panels: When did you install the panels?
4 weeks old - LG 320 watt X 4 domestic panels
Panel Location: Where is the panel located and does it cause problems there?
On a stainless steel
structure above the davits
. This has not caused any problems. In fact, it provides great shade.
Does it cause problems with any other gear or while sailing? Does it cause windage problems? Has shading of the panels been a problem due to location of the panels and surrounding rigging
No problems of any kind thus far.
Type and Brand of Panel: Who made the panel? What type of panel is it? Marine
or Domestic (land) panel? Origin?
LG 320 watt X 4 domestic panels. All the marine products I investigated had less power for more than double the money
. The glass panes have anodised aluminium surrounds. What more would you want for a marine application?
Total Cost: How much did it cost to build the system? How much was each panel?
Panels $1,200 AUD
Victron 100 amp (at 12volts) Solar Controller, shunt BNV 702, colour display. $2,040 AUD
fabrication $6,500 AUD
Install - $0 By a friend who is an electrician and solar expert, Dave Boyle from Solar South. $0 (plus beer
and a week at sea)
Total Efficiency: Do you consider the installation efficient? Please any comments that may help another improve efficiency, based on your experience.
It has exceeded my expectations. We never need to run the engines to charge the batteries. Yesterday we had rain and it was overcast all day and the batteries were fully charged by 2pm whilst keeping up with our load. Most days when sunny, batteries are fully charged before lunch and the solar controller has to reduce the charge accordingly.
Damage? Has the installation been damaged by wind
Too early to tell.
What would you do differently next time? Tips? Different type of panel?
Nothing, I love it! (I should have done this year's ago.)
Any problems? Disappointments? Surprises? Disatisfaction? Issues? Weaknesses of gear or system?
How has adding the solar affected your sailing or cruising?
Peaceful bliss. With my excess power, I'm going to get an ice maker. Drinks all round.
A big thank you to my mate, Dave Boyle from Solar South in Adelaide, who flew up to Airlie beach to help us out.
I'd also like to thank Paul Rogers from Moor R & R who kindly provided a schematic of his system, for which I based ours. (The diagram was so professional I suspect Kathy Roper's graphic design skills may have been used? If not, bloody good effort Paul).