Boat Systems Solar Panels

Solar Panels!

Monday, April 12, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

Two views of the starboard side solar panel.  The 3rd on will mount on the radar arch.

Two of the solar panels for our new array arrived last week and have been sitting in their boxes up in the forward cabin patiently waiting for the weather to settle down so they could be mounted which is exactly what happened on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, the local high schools had a sailing regatta (dinghies) in the bay and flooded the end of the pier with adolescent chatter causing David to manoeuvre around backpacks and bodies, but he managed the job brilliantly. He'll have to go back and reinforce the strapping to make the panels more secure, but that's a job for another day now that the weather has taken a turn for the worse.

Like every other project on a boat, this one's difficult and tedious taking huge amounts of prep-work and time (I'm still having nightmares about the endless conversations regarding which panels to buy, who to buy them from, where to mount them, and the like leaving me knowing more than I'd ever wanted to about solar panels – in the end, we chose 3 Kyocera 135w panels which are 60 x 26 inches and weigh approximately 30 pounds). But, on average, they should put about 120 amps into the house batteries daily which is only 30 amps shy of our usual energy consumption making the whole endeavor worthwhile. What that means is we'll no longer have to rely on our generator (which is still out of commission) or the engine to regenerate power while at anchor making us more independent, economical, and environmentally friendly!

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