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Old 10-03-2019, 05:40 AM   #14
Veteran Member
City: Antalya, Turkey
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: mv Möbius
Vessel Model: XPM78 eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker, Naval Yachts
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Wow, 14x360W solar panels is a lot of surface area!

From a guy with a boat that got caught in Dorian and had his two big solar panels blown off the mounts, how will you be sure the solar will withstand possible very high wind loads?

Granted, mine were probably not mounted as securely as they should have been, and if I was close to the boat I would probably have removed them and stored them inside the boat, but just wondering how y’all plan to mount your solar.
Sorry for taking so long to responds here "Cardude". We can relate all too well to your concern about solar panels and other equipment when your boat is caught in severe weather. When I was singlehanding my steel sailboat around the world I had quite the experience when the tsunami hit Pango Pango in American Samoa almost 10 years ago to this day. (Sept. 29, 2009) and then when Christine and I happened to be hauled out in Fiji, doing a huge refit to that same 52' steel Bruce Roberts cutter, when Winton hit and we experienced winds reportedly over 220kmh and were actually "knocked down" when the big steel support stands underneath gave way.

Those experiences taught us well to take such situations into account as we designed the new boat and we have several ways of protecting the solar panels in a cascading degree of severity of conditions. The first stage is "just" eXtremely strong mounting of the panels to the boat. We have three "banks" of solar cells, one bank of 3 up front on top of the PH roof that are mounted on a dedicated single frame which in turn is mounted very solidly to the aluminium superstructure of the PH. Then there is a bank of 8 solar panels which also act as the roof panels on the roof over the SkyBridge which is a single welded structure of rectangular aluminium extrusions. These 8 panels are held in place with a combination of bolts through the AL extrusions and industrial adhesive. Then the aft 3 panels are mounted to the aluminium roof which is pat of the PH superstructure itself which forms a overhanging roof above the deck to the rear of the PH. All these panels should be able to withstand weather and sea conditions we experience 90+% of the time.

For the exceptional scenarios, our practice is go into what we call "hunkered down" mode where we remove any and all gear that can be removed and additionally secure that which cannot. For example, we have gone to great lengths to design and now build the roof overtop the SkyBridge to be able to fold down such that its whole perimeter is down resting atop the coaming and can be secured there. We designed in this feature as part of a larger system where the whole arch assembly is hinged and we can lower our air draft dramatically to enable us to go cruise canals or other situations where there are low height restrictions. This same capability also serves us well when we want to go into this "hunkered down" mode such as we would do if we were to leave the boat for an extended time in a location within hurricane/cyclone zones.

You will be seeing more of this articulated fold down roof/arch system in the coming weeks here as we start mounting the roof.

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