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  #121  
Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Seems to me that one of the mistakes people make with boat power is to try and make the boat fit the equipment rather than t'other way round.

Other point is that presuming you want hot water for a shower then you'll need to run the engine an hour or so a day anyway which is a big assist for your panels.

Beyond that we have circa 300w of solar panels plus wind gen. Wind gen is currently not working for some reason and we'll typically need to run engine for an extra hour a day if using notebook puter and its a bit overcast. Sunny days the panels will cope with the hot water engine run time. With wind gen fully operational and only running the thing during the day (noise) we cope quite happily.

We've resisted the temptation to have a decent espresso machine. Even the lowest of the breed sucks up 750w albeit not for long. Nonetheless we'll stick with our venerable old stove topper. Probably increase fridge capacity in due course so will add another panel at same time.

We use an oil lamp for general lighting , currently halogens for reading but as with BBQ boy we are switching to LED as they blow.
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  #122  
Old 07-19-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Seems to me that one of the mistakes people make with boat power is to try and make the boat fit the equipment rather than t'other way round.

Other point is that presuming you want hot water for a shower then you'll need to run the engine an hour or so a day anyway which is a big assist for your panels.

Beyond that we have circa 300w of solar panels plus wind gen. Wind gen is currently not working for some reason and we'll typically need to run engine for an extra hour a day if using notebook puter and its a bit overcast. Sunny days the panels will cope with the hot water engine run time. With wind gen fully operational and only running the thing during the day (noise) we cope quite happily.

We've resisted the temptation to have a decent espresso machine. Even the lowest of the breed sucks up 750w albeit not for long. Nonetheless we'll stick with our venerable old stove topper. Probably increase fridge capacity in due course so will add another panel at same time.

We use an oil lamp for general lighting , currently halogens for reading but as with BBQ boy we are switching to LED as they blow.
I wonder if you get more of a winter than we do? We can generally go about three days on the water heater without needing to either turn on the generator or main. Is it well insulated?

Brian

PS I have two more 130 watt kyocera panels in storage still in the box. I am actually thinking about finding a way to hook them into the system as well. What would that be... 780 watts of solar! When cruising, I can make money as a mobile power company for small islands.
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  #123  
Old 07-19-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Brian, you can put up USB cords and offer "iPad and i:Phone recharging, $1 each" or better yet, become an EV recharging station.

But seriously, doesn't EVERYONE have colder winters than Florida? I know when it gets down to 68F/20C all the old folks bolt their doors and put on their warm clothes, but...if you don't keep salt and a snow shovel handy, seriously? Winter?
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  #124  
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I wonder if you get more of a winter than we do? We can generally go about three days on the water heater without needing to either turn on the generator or main. Is it well insulated?

Brian

PS I have two more 130 watt kyocera panels in storage still in the box. I am actually thinking about finding a way to hook them into the system as well. What would that be... 780 watts of solar! When cruising, I can make money as a mobile power company for small islands.

Brian,
Sydney weather is quite seasonal. Unlike e.g. Queensland we have a distinct, albeit by North American standards mild, 40 degrees is bloody cold for us, winter warm autumn and spring and hot sub tropical summer.

How big is your tank ? Our problem is not so much that the water in the tank goes cold but that we use it all up. I do accept btw that with only the two of us on board we are somewhat profligate with out hot water usage for showers. We tend to head to some form of civilisation every couple of weeks at least plus we have the water maker so water usage in itself is not a big issue for us.

Summer of course is very different cos we'll usually shower with a cold rinse after a swim but in summer we generate more than our daily needs from solar. Its only in winter when a hot shower is a nice bit of luxury and with less sunshine for solar that we need the engine. Ironically in winter Sydney has less wind than summer so we don't get much out of the wind genny.
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  #125  
Old 07-19-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

I think it is 12 gallons. But it really keeps it hot a long while... suprisingly such.

Brian
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  #126  
Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Not living aboard any longer, but I could do all but the refrigerator full time on the solar panels. Every other day I would run the engine. Now I have a question also, I have 2 85W solar panels mounted and I am looking for a solar panel regulator so I don't overcharge my batteries. I have 2 battery banks and was wondering if there is a regulator available that can regulate the two separately?
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  #127  
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Like this one?

Morningstar Corporation » SunSaver Duo

I have used this one on several installations.

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Not living aboard any longer, but I could do all but the refrigerator full time on the solar panels. Every other day I would run the engine. Now I have a question also, I have 2 85W solar panels mounted and I am looking for a solar panel regulator so I don't overcharge my batteries. I have 2 battery banks and was wondering if there is a regulator available that can regulate the two separately?
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  #128  
Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

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Like this one?

Morningstar Corporation » SunSaver Duo

I have used this one on several installations.
I have not used that unit, but I think Maine Sail reccomended it and I trust his reccomendations. WHy don't you refer back to this thread and ask him about it?

FOr larger installatoins, I think Outback is the way to go.

Brian
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  #129  
Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

Would like to see some non-theoretical, longitudinal data on the number of watt/hrs actually captured by solar panels on boats. I've seen numbers all over the place. I wonder how many real-life watts can be counted on per 100 watt panel.
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  #130  
Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Solar power ~ no more running the engine

"Would like to see some non-theoretical, longitudinal data on the number of watt/hrs actually captured by solar panels on boats."

Oh, come on smurph, that's not even trying. Sandia Labs and other hands-on places have solid data for what solar panels produce versus location and rating. If you want them to preform all the tests again "on boats" beause there's some magical effect on the water, then you'll have to do what I did a couple of years ago, deploy a set of panels and take measurerments every 15 minutes and see what effect the BOAT has on anything.

The numbers are all out there for anyone who bothers to look for them. Sandia, universities, other countries, all the data are about the same.
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