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post #16 of Old 01-25-2012 Thread Starter
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I'll reply to all if I remember... It's an Ensenada 20, almost the same as Balboa.

Shadows are a problem, to deal with that I have 2 x 47 cells, starboard and port are in parallel so if half is shadowed the other is still delivering full power. Also, if one cell is completely shadowed (as in someone sitting on it) it will act as a resistor and get very very hot. If 25% are shadowed no energy will be produced. To deal with that problem there are bypass diodes, 7 on each side, so that groups of cells can be completely bypassed.

As for the cells being dark and getting hot for that reason, remember that they convert the light to electricity instead of heat. However, the minimum energy light they can use is near infra-red, and anything with more energy (such as all visible light) has excess energy that cannot be converted to electricity but turns into heat. Still, it gets a lot less hot than a non-solar panel surface of the same color.

By the way, the blue color is from blue pearl, the cells are really black when embedded.

Ensenada 20, 1972
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