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mbaillie 04-09-2013 03:20 PM

Solar Power for catalina 27
 
I am looking to purchase some solar panels to power my cat27. I currently have 2 deep cycle batteries on board. I am new to the solar world and am looking for some advice on what to get to make sure my batteries stay charged.

Faster 04-09-2013 03:29 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
Interesting things in the solar side of things - walk-on and flexible panels that will make mounting them less of an issue..

Steveston Marine offers the Ganz line, flat thin panels you can walk on, reasonable size and if you're not running a fridge they may provide enough to keep you going, esp if you're using LED lighting.

Pacific Yacht Systems (?) offers a line of very flexible panels that can be sewn/snapped/velcroed/zippered onto dodgers or biminis.

Understand that solar is not always reliable in these parts, but summer in Desolation is going to be alright. The problem has always been how to mount them efficiently without turning the boat into a bit of fugly.

You'll also need a solar charge controller to ensure you don't overdo things on a bright sunny day. None of this is cheap, of course.... but the newer panels will/may need less structure that will reduce the overall cost.

Do a power budget.. figure out your daily usage on average and see if there's a panel that can supply that in a 10-12 hour stretch of sun...or less...

Rhys05 04-09-2013 03:50 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
I'm probably going to be getting something like this:
Combined with this:

to keep my battery charged on my S2 7.9 which is berthed at a powerless dock with a motor with an alternator that is integrated into the flywheel that doesn't charge (BMW D7). From my back of the envelope calculations it appears that 50W should be sufficient for me to start my motor, run a (small) chartplotter/fishfinder, some autopilot (tiller pilot), LED lights, etc. for a good period of time cruising away from power. YMMV

ABH3 Boyer 04-09-2013 05:25 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
I currently use a solar pannel to charge my system. I dont ever plug in and I go out at least 2 to 3 times a week in the height of the season. I always come back to my boat with a full charge next time I go. Currently I'm installing a 55#thrust electric motor to use to get me in and out of the harbor. Looking for the 125watt pannel to recharge my battery in time for the next trip. My pannel has a glass face so I have to be careful about where I mount it but other than that there has been no problems going into the 2nd season of using it.

Captainmeme 04-09-2013 05:36 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
If you don't tell use what equipment and how long you use said equipment then any advice we give would be akin to "Here, this piece of rope is long enough." Do you intend to tie your alternator into the charging system? Do you sail at night, have LED nav lights,
LED cabin lights? Got an electric windlass and anchor a lot? Run a depth sounder, chart plotter, radar, VHF, AIS, frig/freezer ? Any idea how much area you have to mount the panels?

mbaillie 04-09-2013 05:39 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
marine stereo, gps, depth/fish finder, running lights, outboard electric starter

enough power to go away for a weekend and still be able to start up my boat

norahs arc 04-09-2013 05:39 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
I used a 64 watt panel last year and it covered my usage most of the time. I use the lights a lot, small GPS, VHF, autotiller, and a bilge pump which runs a few times per day (Shaft seal drips a bit too much - on spring repair list.) Never had any problems.
Putting refrigation aboard this year and will add a second panel. Your choice of a 50W and controller sounds adaquate. The nice thing about solar is you can add to it without changing much as long as your controller and cables can the added amperage.

Faster 04-09-2013 05:44 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
No fridge, and reasonable sunshine a 40-50W panel should more than keep up. Good deep cycle batteries should be able to keep up with those light loads for some time.

tommays 04-09-2013 08:50 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
Installing A Small Marine Solar System Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

Start with Mainsails guides as you will get a free lesson on what works and why it works

http://i565.photobucket.com/albums/s...er/genasun.jpg

You want one of these

http://i565.photobucket.com/albums/s...266B75079A.jpg

And a good panel like a 40 watt sunwize does well on my 29' with two group 27s

jameswilson29 04-09-2013 10:25 PM

Re: Solar Power for catalina 27
 
The two deep cycle batteries are adequately maintained by the 40 watt panel on my Pearson 28, which you can see from all sides in this video:


The electrical load includes an autopilot, bilge pump, navigation lights, and engine starter.


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