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Old 07-31-2019, 09:30 AM   #21
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City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
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Time for a report.
My solar panels have been in place through a 4 week vacation to the Desolation Sound area, in weather that was the rainiest we have experienced in over 40 yrs of summer visits to that locale.
The generator was turned on once, as we were out of hot water. Otherwise the solar panels produced more than our entire consumption required, without any days of being marginally close or "not enough".
The only issue was that in one rain squall, a gust of 30 knots or so lifted one panel and its support fell out, so that panel fell back to vertical from being positioned horizontal.
Since returning, Retreat has been tied to a mooring bouy, the panels have been vertical most of the time, the freezer is emptied out and turned off, so production while vertical is what the panels are providing. The house voltage is still in the mid 13s every time I check.
I haven't been to a well stocked marine store since returning, so haven't dealt with fixing the lift post attachments. My plan is to get another pair of similar "hinges" that will be attached to the posts, so the panels can be fastened in the horizontal position, rather than just standing there, vulnerable to strong winds.
All in all, they have turned out to be a complete success.
Janet thinks we now look just a little like liveaboards. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:13 PM   #22
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Cool, Keith. You make me wonder why I’m still waiting for the ultimate deal on my own system. Here you are enjoying yours while I still have my 12.5 x 8.5 bare roof, cleared of accessories for a 1200 watt plan years ago.
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:48 PM   #23
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Glad it worked so well.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:52 PM   #24
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My new Solar System

Quote:
Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Cool, Keith. You make me wonder why I’m still waiting for the ultimate deal on my own system. Here you are enjoying yours while I still have my 12.5 x 8.5 bare roof, cleared of accessories for a 1200 watt plan years ago.

Get R done Larry. You will enjoy designing the system, and I’ll help with the installation. I’m good at handing you tools and drinking copious amounts of beer and rum.

But seriously, I think you would get great satisfaction out of your proposed 1200 watt system.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:11 PM   #25
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My solar system hangs from the ceiling.


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Old 04-07-2020, 03:58 PM   #26
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This thread got me thinking about my dinghy that's constantly in the water behind my boat. How big a panel would I need to just keep the tender's small battery up? It also got me thinking about those call boxes you see along the highways. They have small solar panels mounted above the box to power the phones inside.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:41 PM   #27
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I'd say not much wattage needed to keep a battery topped up (obvs loads such as a constantly running bilge pump would change this). With a small panel you can go without a controller (check into it but I'd think 20 watts or less, perhaps depending on size of battery).

Just for comparison, I run a 40 liter refrigerator 24/7 (~3.5a draw when running) as the sole load with a 100 watt panel and a Group 24 battery. That works fine with reasonable amounts of sun and is much more "work" than keeping a battery topped up. That does use an MPPT controller because the panel is much to large to run controller-less (I've never run a very small panel so I can't cite exact size/proportion for controllerless use). That's what makes me think you'd be okay with much less wattage.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codger2 View Post
This thread got me thinking about my dinghy that's constantly in the water behind my boat. How big a panel would I need to just keep the tender's small battery up? It also got me thinking about those call boxes you see along the highways. They have small solar panels mounted above the box to power the phones inside.
A typical LA battery self discharges about 10-15% per month depending on temperature. You can do the math on the battery you have. It also depends on whether that battery needs to be able to run a bilge pump and/or lights. I find that the battery in our dink is kept up just fine by the 6A charger in the motor. BUT, all it has to do is start that motor. I do occasionally consider a small bilge pump for it, but if I go that route, there are bilge pumps with self-contained battery and solar panel.

Ken
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:53 PM   #29
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Here's a link to my post today in similar solar discussion thread. I'm still fine tuning the adjustable support strut but I'm getting closer to finding the "just right" fit, form, function and funding solution for FlyWright.

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...&postcount=105

I was walking past a sailboat this afternoon with struts similar to Koliver's. If I can find an 18" extendable to 36" telescopic 7/8-1" SS pole, I'll use something like this at both ends to adjust about 90* range from 45* port-level-45* stbd.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...QBZXN8NE&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...QBZXN8NE&psc=1
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