solar panel system setup - request for advise

Batteries, Generators, Solar, Wind and Electronics
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philipl
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:12 pm
Location: Manchester by the Sea, MA

Re: solar panel system setup - request for advise

Post by philipl »

I installed a Hamilton Ferris Solar kit of 4X50W flexible panels on top of the bimini.

http://www.hamiltonferris.com/products/ ... _Panels/94

I will report back on their performance.

Philip
Philip Leahy
F-38 ex Manchester, MA.

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sailmon
Posts: 235
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:53 pm

Re: solar panel system setup - request for advise

Post by sailmon »

We put a 320W solar panel on Her Diamond’s davits with Victron 100/30 MPPT controller. Keeps our 300ah AGM bank fully charged almost every day. Now only use gen set for water making. One of the best improvements we’ve made since moving aboard. True peace of mind!
Sailmon (Captain Bob Allenick)
S/V Her Diamond
1991 Freedom 38
Cleveland, OH

SFBaysailor
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Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:12 am

Re: solar panel system setup - request for advise

Post by SFBaysailor »

Carrying my question over from the other thread, 2-1/2 years in, are you happy with your setup still? Anything you would have done differently? How have the flexible panels worked and held up?

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seadago
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Lowestoft, England

Re: solar panel system setup - request for advise

Post by seadago »

SFBaysailor wrote:Carrying my question over from the other thread, 2-1/2 years in, are you happy with your setup still? Anything you would have done differently? How have the flexible panels worked and held up?
Jeff, they work very well overall. On a sunny day I get juice in excess of what I need per 24 hrs under sail, including running the autopilot for a few of those. Panels are in good condition still despite the occasional stepping on them.
This that I would have done different.... Maybe design a different run for the power cables, to minimize the number of holes I had to drill on the cabin roof. This is a compromise, as you'll get a voltage drop per mt of cable added to the run. Also, had I had the budget then, I would have bought more efficient panels (mine are mono crystalline), reducing the surface area needed on the cabin roof to get same wattage.
All in all, for a string budget amateur job, very successful.
Rafa
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

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mike cunningham
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Re: solar panel system setup - request for advise

Post by mike cunningham »

Just saw the update to this thread and happy to have something to write about given the Covid lock down.

I have now had my el cheapo (Amazon) HQST 100 watt panels on board for almost four years. They are still going strong although, as mentioned in my original post, I have never come close to getting a full two hundred watts out of them due to the shading on deck. I have one panel mounted on my dodger and the second on the companionway slide hood and extending partway across the main cabin hatch (mull 30). I was just down there yesterday finally replacing the aft cabin headliner and remounting the Kid controller onto the surface of the replaced headliner. This required fabrication of some controller bracket standoffs between cabin top and headliner in the aft cabin. I had had the controller mounted directly to the fiberglass cabin top in "race" mode.

The panels are still in pretty good shape physically but I do need to clean them regularly. Dust and other debris like bird droppings really kill the output I have found. Surprisingly this does not seem to be as big a problem on my house rooftop solar system, or less of a problem, I have never cleaned them and still get the d=rated output.

I wanted to mention my deck mounting approach. I originally anticipated my install would be temporary for some ocean racing I was doing. Turned out I like having them so much I never removed them. But because the original idea was to have them temp, I really did not want to do any drilling on the boat. I wound up using those plastic button thingies (SNADs?) that have an adhesive on each side of the button pad. These have been fantastic. The trick is to very thoroughly clean all surfaces your are adhering to. About a year ago I did a mod and had to pull the array on deck. Just unbuttoned it and all good. The deckside buttons will come off with a little prying with a plastic tool and the adhesive also comes off with some solvent and leaves no marks. Granted, these aren't going to survive a typhoon but they did survive a tropical depression and 40kts of wind so they are pretty strong. The SNADs are really handy.

On the dodger I have a velcro surround sewed on the dodger fabric. Because the array is flexible there is about 1/2 inch of plastic around the periphery of actual solar cells . I basically sewed strips of velcro to these edges of the panel and stuck the panel on the dodger velcro. Now this arrangement WOULD survive a typhoon. I can hardly get the thing off.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment

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