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post #1 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Solar - Nextgen

I was think how great it would be for the decks on a boat to be solar panels. But of course up until recently all photovoltaics were black or dark blue. And this makes them unfeasible for boat decks... But if they could be made in lighter colors... the game would change. I found this:

"With highly rated models now running in excess of 20-percent efficiency, solar panels have gotten pretty good at turning sunlight into electricity. Trouble is, they still aren't very pretty.

But this is changing.

Tesla grabbed the spotlight earlier this year when it began selling solar shingles that look like ordinary shingles, and other panel makers have refined their offerings (which now include solar windows). And now researchers in the Netherlands say they have developed a process for making conventional bluish-black solar panels bright green.

The same process might also make it possible to create panels in other colors, and even in white.

Such panels would afford a level of versatility that just isn't possible with conventional solar panels — for example, red panels could be used on roofs, white ones on walls, and the green ones in natural settings — and thus do more than conventional panels to encourage our reliance on solar energy."

Panels are now being integrated into the roofs of battery powered cars. Why not design decks to be solar collectors? The surface would likely have to be some sort of clear non skid pattern.

I predict this.

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

I'm not sure the marine industry, especially the pleasure boat market, is large enough to warrant anyone investing the time and money to develop solar panels with non-skid for yacht decks.
However, I would like to see the solar cell manufacturers develop a dome that fits on each cell and directs sunlight that is not close to overhead into the cell like direct overhead light. Not so good for walking on, but more efficient sunlight hours per day.

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I'm not sure the marine industry, especially the pleasure boat market, is large enough to warrant anyone investing the time and money to develop solar panels with non-skid for yacht decks.
However, I would like to see the solar cell manufacturers develop a dome that fits on each cell and directs sunlight that is not close to overhead into the cell like direct overhead light. Not so good for walking on, but more efficient sunlight hours per day.
Yes and no... first we need light colored collectors. You'd want the panels to be recessed into pockets which drain of course... and the non skid might be just an unbreakable non skid transparent cover... like a fluorescent light diffuser.

Solar collectors could be part of bench seats as well Obviously blocked by butts but will work when no one is sitting and the sun is shining.

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
However, I would like to see the solar cell manufacturers develop a dome that fits on each cell and directs sunlight that is not close to overhead into the cell like direct overhead light. Not so good for walking on, but more efficient sunlight hours per day.
There are now bifacial panels available that collect sunlight from both sides. This can really increase output for those installations over davits or off railings. It can even increase output for panels mounted a couple inches off a white deck.

We just bought one for installing over davits, so interested in seeing how much additional gain we get.

Mark
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Re: Solar - Nextgen

Perhaps one day they will go beyond hard, or "flexible" panels, and develop truly flexible fabrics that collect solar energy. Imagine, rather than mounting a panel on a Dodger or bimini, the whole thing could be made of energy collecting material. Or at least have panels soft enough to roll or furl up when not required, and unfurled for charging. For that matter, what if sailcloth could collect energy!

Hell, if we are gonna dream, dream big!

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

[QUOTE=SchockT;2051649318]Perhaps one day they will go beyond hard, or "flexible" panels, and develop truly flexible fabrics that collect solar energy. Imagine, rather than mounting a panel on a Dodger or bimini, the whole thing could be made of energy collecting material. Or at least have panels soft enough to roll or furl up when not required, and unfurled for charging. For that matter, what if sailcloth could collect energy!

Hell, if we are gonna dream, dream big!

Have been thinking for years that one day we would be plugging in our sails.
( I keep looking for development/advancement in cars/space
but afraid won't see anytime soon).
...So then our auxiliary could be powered by our sails.
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Re: Solar - Nextgen

I think it is unrealistic that solar would be integrated into sail cloth. Sails are very specialized in shape, construction, and materials. While a future solar cloth might exist, it will be of limited interest for sails, and that interest will only be from people who don't care about their sail performance. The quest for better performing and better lasting sails is non-ending, and I don't ever see "solar cloth" as desirable here.

It would be useful for awnings, bimini, and the like. When it does appear, my guess it will be from 3D printing technology.

Mark

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

Why is the deep blue/black panel unfeasible? Non-skid walkable semi-flexible panels already exists. Solara, I think. Expensive, but customizable, if you have the checkbook.


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Re: Solar - Nextgen

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Why is the deep blue/black panel unfeasible? Non-skid walkable semi-flexible panels already exists. Solara, I think. Expensive, but customizable, if you have the checkbook.
I think it would be too hot... certainly for bare feet.

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Re: Solar - Nextgen

Our rigid panels get so hot that you can't touch them. But the glass cover transfers heat well. Plastic might be less.

Mark
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