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post #11 of Old 04-23-2012
JeffBurright's Avatar
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Good find! As another option, there's a company that makes 3' x 6' flexible panels at 97W. They basically just changed the layout of the cells, but it might make placement on the boat a little easier. The link is here: Xunlight XR12, 97W Thin Film Solar Panel

My concern about your thought to affix panels to the hull is two-fold: 1) I don't think that the reflected light will be as effective at converting energy. I read it somewhere a while back but don't remember the link, sorry. If it's less effective, why have it? Plus if you put it near the top of the topsides you wouldn't actually be getting direct reflection of the water, so it'd be doubly inefficient.

2) The curvature of the hull (both horizontally and vertically) would make a flexible panel bunch up and not lie flat. You'd have to get it specially shaped, I think. This was the problem I had trying to stretch the 10' panel along my lifelines.

As for meeting all your power needs, IMO it will depend on whether you plan to have refrigeration. I haven't yet put my setup to the liveaboard test, but I expect that I'll probably come up short and need to add additional sources of generation.

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