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Old 21-11-2016, 19:38   #31
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Boat: Nicholson 38
Posts: 80
Re: Pacific Northwest - wind gen or solar or both?

Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Whatever you do, DON'T mount a wind generator so it will shade the panels.
I see that all the time. What are these people thinking?
I can't believe I never thought of that. Haha!

We added semi flexible panels (2 x 100W) because they are really reasonably priced now, about $1.75 per watt on Amazon. And more robust (I hope) than our traditional glass ones.

This gives us a total of 4 panels (370 W). The main advantage of more panels is not that we need almost 400 W, it is that we still get usable power when the lighting is not so great. We've cruised for years in the PNW, and found that the 170 watts we had was sometimes not enough. We'd run the motor a bit longer before and after anchoring to help boost the batteries. But we (especially the Admiral) *hate* running the motor...

I do not glue the flexible panels down - I just tie them in place (we have a hard top over the center cockpit which works great). No problems with that even in 35 kts.

If you do go for solar, you need a good controller. Make sure you get one that has double the capacity you think you will need. You will need it someday! And these controllers get quite warm, so it seems prudent not to run one at its max rated value.
Why do so many sailors motor most of the way from Seattle to Alaska? Because they don't have this reference book: "Taken By the Wind: the Northwest Coast". Find it on Amazon.
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pacific northwest, solar, wind

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