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Old 03-06-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
dhays's Avatar
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8,433
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
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 NeON® 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
Thanks. Interestingly enough, I was looking at that very solar panel a couple days ago. Expensive, but a lot of power for the square footage. I would love to be able to fit two panels on my PH roof, but unless I move some stuff around there, I can only fit a single 60 cell panel.

The other nice thing is that I have a Platt Electronic location near me here in Tacoma. While they may not stock those, I bet they could get them delivered to the store pretty easily.

Do you know what Victron charge controller you used? I have to admit to a lot of ignorance on the charge controller and how it would interact with my genset, alternator, and/or shore power.

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