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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-14-2012
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Solar Panel Mount

I have two solar panels that I would like to mount differently. At present, I have poles that attach to the aft rails. It works ok but would rather have them more out of the way, up on a stern arch. They kinda stick out over the perimeter of the boat and , to me seem like awkward appendages. I have been reluctant to build a huge permanent monstrosity of an arch to get them up and out of the way. Has anyone seen a removable/collapsible arch frame that would attach to the stern rails? It would be nice to NOT have a permanent Eiffel tower attached to the stern of the boat when the panels are not needed. I'm thinking something along the lines of one of those folding ladders that can be turned into little scaffolds.
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

How about a picture of what you presently have?
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount



My Mainsail inspired install has proven itself to be out of the way INCLUDING using the stern swim ladder and seems to get plenty of sun
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

That's the positioning I had in mind. It doesn't depend on a massive, permanent arch structure. Nice. The problem I have getting the panels out over the stern is in clearing the Norvane wing which sticks up about 54" from deck level when the largest wing is on. Maybe I can figure a way to add a frame to the existing rail to center the panels on with a leg like yours on each one that attaches forward of the pivot point instead of back where it would interfere with the windvane. The picture is an old one, before I started working on her. Now the steerer takes up much of the transom.
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

Smurf,

I posted a single panel setup several months ago, and it would be relatively easy to set it up for a pair of panels. Unfortunately, I can't seem to locate the photos, but I'll try to find them tomorrow.

Gary
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Old 07-15-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

Maybe consider something along the lines of davits for the panel, it would look better than an arch. It would be high enough that it wouldn't interfere with the vane. If you try a stern rail mount, I think you'll have conflicts with the vane.
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Old 07-15-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
Maybe consider something along the lines of davits for the panel, it would look better than an arch. It would be high enough that it wouldn't interfere with the vane. If you try a stern rail mount, I think you'll have conflicts with the vane.
Yeah, looks like the davit/arch structure is the probably best way to do it although I really don't like the idea of a huge thing hanging off the transom. Am trying to maintain the openness of the cockpit. I'd like the boat to continue looking more like a sailboat than a Beverly Hillbilly boat with a charcoal grill. Putting that much additional weight levered over the stern is also a concern. One panel lays down nicely and interferes with nothing right atop the aft hatch. I may just mount one there, hinged over the hatch and leave the second one on the pole setup when needed or just mount it forward of the dodger. The thing is, I don't always need two of them unless using everything on a long haul without motoring. One is most often stowed.

Gary, thanks. I think I saw that post but can't remember exactly what it looked like.
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Old 07-15-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

I really like the way Rebecca designed and built her own mounts. They are both sturdy and out of the way and can turn any way needed with minimal effort.



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Re: Solar Panel Mount

Wow, those look really functional. The rail extensions she put on are what I was thinking of doing. They don't add nearly as much weight as a free-standing additional arch would. I wonder how those would fare at sea.
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Old 07-15-2012
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Re: Solar Panel Mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Wow, those look really functional. The rail extensions she put on are what I was thinking of doing. They don't add nearly as much weight as a free-standing additional arch would. I wonder how those would fare at sea.
They must do pretty well as the S/V Angel has had quite a few miles under her hull in blue water. I think someplace Rebecca details how she built the mounts. She has done quite a few articles on various media outlets about her handy work. If I can dig it up I shall post it. Perhaps you can even email and ask for instructions.
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