Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Solar panels - what to get?

I wonder what proportion of private boats now have solar panels. Half? More than half? In one one hundred yard stretch of the Ashby Canal I passed at least five boats with them on top.

Most panels are mounted on frames which allow them to be tilted towards the sun.

This one looks like it could double as a sail.

And some rest horizontally on the roof.

There's no urgency to buy yet as Jubilee has mains readily available to keep the batteries charged. (I've just thought: the starter battery probably needs charging as the boat hasn't gone anywhere for a few weeks.)

I'm keeping my eyes open though, as I will be wanting to fit one or more solar panels ready for when we get the boat back for our own use.


SkyMiningSolar said...

Pictures are telling a lot. Thanks for sharing.
solar panel systems

GO-FOR-IT said...

hi we got 2 130ah panels and so far they are saving about 2 hour a day engine running doing the maths that is saving me £2 p/day =£730 + a sevice and wear and tear
so after one year the panels are paid for
check out http://www.kurandamarine.co.uk/victron-energy/victron-bluesolar

Bruce in Sanity said...


Most inverter chargers put a float charge across the start battery - does yours?



Halfie said...

Go-for-it, did you mean to say 2 x 130W panels? (Ampere-hours are a measure of battery capacity.) I'll look up the link you gave.

Bruce, the device fitted to Jubilee is a three- or four-stage battery charger (like a car battery charger) connected across the domestic battery bank only. It's not a combined "inverter/charger".

James said...

I'd really recommend the stick-on panels, over the framed version.

Although they can't be angled towards the sun, they are effective in low light or shade (if you by ones with bypass diodes) and they become part of the roof that can be walked on - all you have to do is to clean them occasionally! They're also much harder to nick, as the glue is pretty good.

Halfie said...

Thanks for that, James.

Skippy said...

I have written about our Solar on my blog at http://skippy.org.uk/solar-power-on-boats/

Halfie said...

Skippy, thanks. I've had a good look at your blog - lots of interesting stuff there with some useful links. (I'm afraid much of the computerspeak goes over my head, though!)

Kurt Amezcua said...

Some boat owners nowadays are installing solar panels to save on energy costs. And one of the greatest advantages of using solar panels is that solar energy comes from the sun, which is absolutely free. Anyway, if you install solar panels on your boat someday, try having a humidifier; it can help maintain the solar panels’ effectiveness, even under changing weather.

danellekim said...

Solar panel installation is a good idea. Therefore it will not only cut your energy costs but also reduce the harmful effects to the environment.

Florida solar panels