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post #31 of 44 Old 07-08-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

Andy,
The rule of thumb is you can expect a solar panel to make roughly 30% of it's rated wattage as amp hours.
That means a 100 w panel will make you 30 ah of usable power per day. That 50w you are eyeballing will make 15 ah. That's on a good day.
Your autopilot alone will need more than that offshore.
My good friend has a Bristol 24, I'll not advise on the feasibility of taking it off shore but I'll recommend you look at mounting solar on the fore deck, over the sides etc. You will need more, and can almost never have enough (well, don't come off looking like skylab).

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post #32 of 44 Old 07-08-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

It is my understanding that polycrystalline or "thin film" panels are more shade tolerant than standard cells. Is it possible that they are superior in shady climates and boats with more shade issues?

It was also my understanding that if enough of the cells of a monocrystalline panel were shaded, the output would drop to zero because it was below charging voltage. (each cell contributes a finite amount of voltage). Is this shading issue solved with MPPT controllers?

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post #33 of 44 Old 07-08-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

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Originally Posted by andyselzn View Post
@Charlz0, which 100w kit at Renogy?

@Davester, which 50w panel?

There are variations between mono vs poly etc etc
I bought the mono panel because it is a couple inches shorter. Yesterday I picked up some pieces of aluminum flat bar and angle bar at home depot to mount it.

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post #34 of 44 Old 07-08-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
It is my understanding that polycrystalline or "thin film" panels are more shade tolerant than standard cells. Is it possible that they are superior in shady climates and boats with more shade issues?

It was also my understanding that if enough of the cells of a monocrystalline panel were shaded, the output would drop to zero because it was below charging voltage. (each cell contributes a finite amount of voltage). Is this shading issue solved with MPPT controllers?

MedSailor
Poly and thin film are two different things. Thin film are, in fact, more tolerant of diffuse radiation, though they have lower performance overall.

On any Mono or poly crystalline module, shading any one cell completely will drop the output of that string of cells to zero. Most modules (panels) consist of two or three parallel strings of cells so as few as three totally shaded cells will take the output to zero.

An MPPT controller will help when voltage is low because of poor sun angle etc, but if a cell is fully shaded it won't pass any current and so neither will that whole string. A charge controller can't help you around that.

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post #35 of 44 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

Any experience with Aurinco? They look pretty tough and are now all made in Anacortes.
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post #36 of 44 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

Mainesail is now a Solbain dealer, and they look like top notch stuff. Semi rigid, he has an install on a Bimini, almost invisible.

Installing A Solbian Solar Panel Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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post #37 of 44 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

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Originally Posted by seaner97 View Post
Any experience with Aurinco? They look pretty tough and are now all made in Anacortes.
And their price shows it - more than twice the price of a comparable wattage flex panel.

Brian
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post #38 of 44 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: solar recommendations

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And their price shows it - more than twice the price of a comparable wattage flex panel.
Actually similar in price to the Ganz and many of the other highly rated "walk on" panels. I decided to go with them and am spectacularly happy with my two 38 watt panels charging my 4 group31s in my house bank.

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post #39 of 44 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: solar recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyselzn View Post
@Charlz0, which 100w kit at Renogy?

@Davester, which 50w panel?

There are variations between mono vs poly etc etc
Standing corrected, I went back and looked at my order history through Amazon (just caught this thread update, might as well make my correction for any future reference)

Amazon.com : Starter Kit 100W: 100W Solar Panel UL 1703 listed+ 30A PWM Charge Controller + 2 20' MC4 Adapter Cable + Uniquely Designed Z Bracket Mounts : Solar Panel Kit For Homes : Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com : Starter Kit 100W: 100W Solar Panel UL 1703 listed+ 30A PWM Charge Controller + 2 20' MC4 Adapter Cable + Uniquely Designed Z Bracket Mounts : Solar Panel Kit For Homes : Patio, Lawn & Garden



Was the kit I purchased. Going on my 2nd year with it, still working flawless, even though I don't use nearly enough juice to drain the batteries down that far each time I'm out. Plotter/VHF and charging phones and things is the most of it, though I have an LCD 24" TV that I use to watch Netflix on from time to time, off an inverter. Never had an issue though. Still have the thin plastic film on the outside of the frame, come to think of it.

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post #40 of 44 Old 06-17-2015
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Re: solar recommendations - question for MAINESAIL

Maine....Your article on Solbian installs shows an installation on a boat forward of two aft stays....can you comment on what performance impact, if any, stay shadowing has had?

Thanks, Bruce

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