Where did you put solar panels? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Sam, what do you have to do differently for the bimini to support the extra weight?

Steve
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Talisman
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-14-2010
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I have an 80W panel mounted on the cabin top, between comapionway hatch and the mast, with a Sunsaver duo charge controller. It's not the ideal place for the panel, but works well, and keeps the 160Ah battery bank well charged.

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post #13 of 28 Old 06-15-2010
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I'm giving serious consideration to mounting a pair of 135W panels on the bimini top. That would require modding the frame to mount the panels above the sunbrella.

I'd considered mounting them on the dodger but the boom clearance was a bit too tight and I was worried about panel blockage.

The 135W panels are huge but seem to have the best value for the money. I've seen other cruisers with smaller ones (70W or so) and they've been mounted in a variety of locations, temporary or permanent.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/C.I./M.I. 500-ton Oceans
PADI MSDT

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post #14 of 28 Old 06-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
You can mount it on the rear stanchion, but it would block the swim ladder.
I've got 2 50W mounted on my 31, almost no shadows and they don't get in the way.
Tom
Tom, I have a PS 34 in Maine so the swim ladder is for wishful thinking only.

I like your idea of mounting the solar panels on the rear stanchion. Do you have any photos so I can see how you did that?
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steneck View Post
Tom, I have a PS 34 in Maine so the swim ladder is for wishful thinking only.

I like your idea of mounting the solar panels on the rear stanchion. Do you have any photos so I can see how you did that?
No I don't, but go here:
Boat Mounting Kits for Solar Panels
I used the standard rail mount kits.
Tom

PS31#111 Cielo Azul
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post #16 of 28 Old 12-09-2010 Thread Starter
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Here's a relatively low cost solution that I ended up with. The bar across the top of bimini is 1" SS bent on ends and braced with Taco fittings. The Panel is Kyocera 135 Watt at cost of $375. Wiring was 30 Foot MC4 Solarline 2 at $28. Morningstar MPPT 15A at cost of $238. All available from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun. I mounted using 1/8" angle aluminum AFI Rail Mounts. Total cost was about $800.

The panel is rarely in any shade and produces about 1 amp first thing in the morning building to 8 amps by noon. This value is from my Link Monitor so actual amperage is higher. You'd initially think you'd get 10 amps (135 watt / 13.50 volts) but bulk and absorption is 14.60 volts. I could angle the panel by loosening the thumbscrews and tilting if I needed to increase morning/afternoon charging. I'm pleased with the final result for the relatively small investment.

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Steve
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post #17 of 28 Old 12-10-2010
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solar panel mounting

We used E-Marine for our source and chose two 40 watt Kyocera panels mounted above the bimini. We purchased the bimini mount kit package which included everything we needed except for the main cross bow which we fabricated locally. The fit was tight as we needed to clear the end of the boom and position both panels between the backstay. This set-up has served us well as we anchor out quite a bit and never worry about draining our battery banks. The system is rated at 28 amps a day which handles our boat easily. Our power demands are minimum as we have engine driven refrigeration and switched to all low draw lighting and are fairly conservative with power use.

John S.
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post #18 of 28 Old 12-29-2010
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Hi John,
That is a nice looking setup you have. How difficult is it to stow the bimini in preparation for a storm?

Regards,
Steve
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post #19 of 28 Old 12-29-2010
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post #20 of 28 Old 12-30-2010
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We've just installed panels on the Womboat but I'm not impressed with the rail clamps.

Norstar .. where did those clamps you've used come from ?

Regards

tdw

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
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