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Old 02-04-2011, 03:12 AM   #1
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Solar Panel

Well I have my solar panel and controler on the way but have yet to figure out exactly how I wish to mount it on my sundeck.* The manaufactuer of the panel offered no real good solution saying most boat owners "made" their own mounts.

Anyone have any ideas you could share?
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:22 AM   #2
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RE: Solar Panel

Talk to a sailor. They know all about solar panels. Walk around a marina full of blowboats and look at the different solution they came up with. There are more than a few thread at Cruiser's Forum too. Sorry, that's the best I can do.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:36 AM   #3
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RE: Solar Panel

We 1 inch angle into 1 inch pieces.SS or aluminum

Then one flat side bolts to the panel, the other is sealed to the deck.

The part sticking down and up are bolted with self locking nuts.

Use ALL the mounting holes.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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RE: Solar Panel

I made my frame out of 1 1/4 aluminum angle. In my case I had 6 panels so I made the frame to fit 3 on each side with flat bar across the center. I left 2 inches between the 2 pieces of flat bar for the wires to run through. I then made 4 feet with pads for mounting to the roof of my pilothouse. I welded it up and hauled it out to the boat. I installed it while out anchored in a quiet location. I've seen some people go to great effort to build frames that tilt the panels attempting to capitilise on the setting or rising sun, but my opinion is once you consider boat swing at anchor, flat is the easiest way to go. No need to be constantly adjusting them. If you look close at my avatar you can make them out on my pilothouse roof. I would take a picture, but we are having a typical west coast day (rain).
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #5
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RE: Solar Panel

I have my solar panel and found an easy way to mount it on the sundeck. After I get it installed, I'll post me more information about how to size the panel to your boat and how I installed it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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RE: Solar Panel

Any photos of the frame and mounting would be appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:14 AM   #7
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RE: Solar Panel

I would but cannot figure how to post photos here?
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:47 AM   #8
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RE: Solar Panel

Advanced editor... look at the bottom and there is a radio button to click that says "Attach Images". It will open up the attachment menu.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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RE: Solar Panel

Dave and others, would very much appreciate photos showing your mounts.
Also, what is the recommended wiring to the circuit so to produce slow trickling charge.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #10
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RE: Solar Panel

who is a reliable supplier/vendor?
how many panels (75w i assume)?
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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RE: Solar Panel

Boeing announced recently that its solar cell subsidiary Spectrolab is beginning production of a 39.2 percent efficient cell.

Not bad considering the previous best was 24 percent and most available were considered pretty good at 15 percent. So hang in there a couple of weeks and you might be able to get a lot more power or have a much smaller panel footprint.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:40 AM   #12
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RE: Solar Panel

The problem with solar is not the footprint , its the COST!

With blems now down to just over a buck a watt, the change will come with the NEXT decimal point.

10c a watt and solar might begin to compete with coal or oil.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:46 AM   #13
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RE: Solar Panel

Ok guys, there seems to be a lack of understanding on how to properly size, select and install these things; I could not find a good source on the Internet that gave me everything I needed. So I have been keeping copious notes from my discussions with industry experts and will produce a detailed summary with photos, descriptions etc. on how to select, size and install these things. I have all the pieces of the puzzle yet have found the time I need to install them. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #14
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RE: Solar Panel

Rick and MT
I dont think i will be waiting for the next generation cells (at least not for the boat) since the cost of the mono is reasonable cost.
i found an 85 watt mono including the volt/charge controller for a couple hundred bucks.
my plan is to mount it on top of the FB "somehow" but i would love to get some ideas from you guys.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #15
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
Per wrote:i found an 85 watt mono including the volt/charge controller for a couple hundred bucks.

my plan is to mount it on top of the FB "somehow" but i would love to get some ideas from you guys.
That sounds like a heck of a deal as long as it is weatherproof.

Without knowing exactly how the panel is framed and what is available on the boat in the location you prefer it is kind of hard to provide many ideas. Need photos and/or sketches.

*
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #16
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
RickB wrote:

*
Per wrote:i found an 85 watt mono including the volt/charge controller for a couple hundred bucks.

my plan is to mount it on top of the FB "somehow" but i would love to get some ideas from you guys.
That sounds like a heck of a deal as long as it is weatherproof.

Without knowing exactly how the panel is framed and what is available on the boat in the location you prefer it is kind of hard to provide many ideas. Need photos and/or sketches.

*

*

you can see the panel here:
http://www.amazon.com/HQRP-Monocryst...=2V857JOL43KP7

i have attached a few photos of the boat.
i could put it on the forward sundeck, but it would have to be stowable as i wouldnt care to have it there permanently.
it could also go on top of the FB, as you can see there is an arc bridge where the radars/antennas are mounted. this would be my preferred mounting location.

*
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #17
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
Per wrote:

Dave and others, would very much appreciate photos showing your mounts.
Also, what is the recommended wiring to the circuit so to produce slow trickling charge.
I don't have any pictures of my mount and I'm away from my boat at the moment. It's just a rectangular frame made out of aluminum angle*with 2 lengths of flat bar running up the middle with 4 feet to fasten it to the hardtop of my pilothouse. It's designed to hold 6 smaller panels (3' by 16" each). It looks just like RickB's avatar only much smaller. Be sure to include a fuse between your panels and the batteries in case of some electrical short at the panels, you don't want 800+ amps going through your panel wiring.

*
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #18
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
DCBD wrote:

*
Per wrote:

Dave and others, would very much appreciate photos showing your mounts.
Also, what is the recommended wiring to the circuit so to produce slow trickling charge.
I don't have any pictures of my mount and I'm away from my boat at the moment. It's just a rectangular frame made out of aluminum angle*with 2 lengths of flat bar running up the middle with 4 feet to fasten it to the hardtop of my pilothouse. It's designed to hold 6 smaller panels (3' by 16" each). It looks just like RickB's avatar only much smaller. Be sure to include a fuse between your panels and the batteries in case of some electrical short at the panels, you don't want 800+ amps going through your panel wiring.

*

*

i dont have a pilothouse, but i have a FB with a bimini top but also an "arch" on which my radars and antennas are mounted, this "arch/bridge" is not long enough for a panel but it is across the boat so failrly beamish and sturdy.
wondering if this could be a good spot to mount the panel but at the same time worried if possible the antennas/radars could be suceptable to electric noise from the panel?

also commenting to your fuse recommendation, would the voltage regulator provide the protection?

*
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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RE: Solar Panel

Quote:
i dont have a pilothouse, but i have a FB with a bimini top but also an "arch" on which my radars and antennas are mounted, this "arch/bridge" is not long enough for a panel but it is across the boat so failrly beamish and sturdy.
wondering if this could be a good spot to mount the panel but at the same time worried if possible the antennas/radars could be suceptable to electric noise from the panel?

also commenting to your fuse recommendation, would the voltage regulator provide the protection?

*

I think if you were to mount it off the arch, shade would be your biggest problem. If a solar panel is in 25% shade, you would probably get nothing from the panel. Looking at the pictures of your boat, unless you plan to do a lot of fishing I would be tempted to remove the rod holders from the FB back railing and mount it off that with some type of hinged device so you can fold it down when you don't need it.

I don't know if the voltage regulator provides protection of not, I never even considered that when I bought it. But I did buy the highest quality one I could find, which cost me $100, the fuse cost $5. To me it's worth adding a fuse.

*
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:28 AM   #20
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RE: Solar Panel

antennas/radars could be suceptable to electric noise from the panel?


More likely that a single shadow will drop the output of the pannel to near zero.

WE use the Trace C -12 V regulator and control for 5 years and are delighted with the many features and adjustable ability.
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