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Old 03-06-2018, 07:19 PM   #11
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City: Seattle, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Safe Harbour
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 240
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
That is solid and oft repeated advice. Since I will only be able to fit one panel conveniently on my boat, I've ignored it. I am not, like the OP, looking for energy independence. For me, solar won't get rid of needing to run the genset to charge the batteries. I am simply looking to reduce the run time of the genset and to bring the batteries up to full SOC.

As such, I want to get the highest wattage 60 cell panel I can afford connected to a MPPT controller. It won't be an ideal setup, but should be workable and achieve my aims. Even with such a simple setup, it is a big learning curve for me.
I just put solar panels on the pilothouse roof after years of thinking it wouldn't do much good. My thinking was I already have a generator, big battery bank, and high output alternator, so why do I need another charging source? Especially one that's dependent on weather and daylight. And would solar really make a dent in my power consumption?

Turns out I really like solar! After paying for the hardware and install, it's like free power with no maintenance, and it really can make an impact on generator use.

These are the panels I used: LG365Q1C-A5 | LG NeONŽ R Module | Forward Energy | GridReady | Products | Solar | LG USA

They were among the most efficient I found. Platt Electric had them locally for as good a price as I could find anywhere online once shipping was factored in.

I installed a Victron charge controller with the bluetooth dongle. Very cool to be able to check solar output from a smartphone or tablet anywhere on the boat! It makes me want to replace all the electrical stuff onboard with Victron just so I can monitor and control everything from the app!

More about my solar choice here: Safe Harbour | Solar in the PNW? – Slowboat
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