Originally Posted by Uncle G
I've been planning to install 600W of solar panels over the aft end of the cockpit
and moving the radar
to a mast
bracket in order to avoid it shading the panels. However, it recently dawned on me that a warm, flat 'helipad' type area clear of obstructions (1.7m x 2m) could well be a magnet for the local bird population.
Being someone who gets teasy when a gull lands on deck and starts clomping around - or when I find cr@p everywhere on deck after being away for a few days, I'm now having second thoughts.
Is the problem not as bad as I'm thinking? Does it depend on location? I'm in Cornwall, UK. Would I be better advised to go for a wind generator
- given that we're so far north (50 deg) and having the panels horizontal wouldn't be very efficient anyway? But then I don't like noise
If I do end up with solar and accepting that birds will walk all over it and occasionally use it as a place to smash open shells - maybe flexible panels would not stand up to the abuse?
It's clearly going to have to be some sort of compromise.
What do you reckon? I'd be grateful for details of your experience with nuisance and fouling of solar panels. Thanks.
I understand your concern. I moor my boat to a mooring
buoy 24/7/365 on an island in Puget Sound
, WA (N47.20) and depend on solar to keep my boat batteries
charged, particularly during the winter
as there is obviously no dock power
In 2015 I installed 4x140W (560W total) Kyocera
monocrystalline panels in fixed positions, two over the dodger
and two on a stern arch. The seagulls definitely prefer the solar panels on the stern arch to the ones on the dodger which are on more of a slope. We receive a fair amount of rain and that helps somewhat. The stern panels are essentially flat but drain to the rear off the boat.
Much depends on bird activity where your boat is kept. Last year I had my boat at a neighbor's dock
on the east of the island for a month and didn't see one bird attracted to the panels. The gulls appear to prefer the north side of the island where my mooring buoy is but I wouldn't think of changing locations and putting it out of my sight, a compromise. There is one other much smaller boat a few hundred yards west of mine and I never see any seagulls on it.
I have tried the proverbial owl and reflective tape without good results. I haven't been able to come up with anything for the arch panels that might work
without shading the panels. I do string a line from the mast to the backstay with old CDs hanging from it and that seems to keep them off the mainsail
cover as long as the line doesn't break.
While sailing there isn't any problem. Never had a bird consider landing on them sailing local or during my roundtrip to Hawaii
. So, once cleaned, keep sailing.
In terms of charging
great. Never had to run my diesel
to charge the batteries
. With four panels one, two, or more are always charging
regardless of heading or heel.
I will follow your post to see if anyone has a winning idea.
~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH