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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Asleep at the wheel
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Interesting. This gives me some concern, though:

The electricity will be transferred to the boat's batteries by wire and silver paste circuitry inside the laminate. In cases where the panels are bonded to the outside of a finished sail, the connecting wire will run under a Dacron tape.
Despite what they say in the article, I still think a bimini is the best place for these kinds of cells.
The soft photovoltaic cells can be built into sun shades, biminis and dodgers, but on a boat, the base of the mainsail offers the most unobstructed area.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Uh-huh. I said in the thread on improved solar PV cells that incorporating solar into laminate sails is the obvious way to produce huge power on space-limited sailboats. :) It's like, "Duh, I have 800sqft of lightly-shaded membrane sticking up in the air, where oh where can I mount enough PV to drive the autopilot?" Improvement (albeit slow improvement) in thin film PV makes the fusion of sail and cell inevitable, if not easily accomplished. Jimgo puts his finger on the biggest issue right away: it's hard enuf to keep our VHF and masthead light/instrument wires and connectors working properly in a chafe-prone, flexing, salt-water environment. Now imagine a power cable from sail to mast and down thru the decks to the DC panel; now imagine the insulation cracking or wearing thru and 150A of DC power shorting to your mast or boom. Ever seen a plasma cutter go thru aluminum? Yeah, like that.:eek:

For now it looks like small panels mounted on the sail, so that's cool. If they fail, they can be replaced. Once we start going larger panels built into laminates, we may need a lot of development on the cabling front before they become reliable.
 

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... and what about all the hours spent at anchor/moored... we'll need to leave sails up then too!
 
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Living in an urban area with marinas where most boat owners have to work it's been my experience that boats usually never leave the dock. Those that do are usually away for 2-4 days and a good portion of that time they're anchored.

With UV causing sail degradation even on a windless day and you're anchored or at the dock you won't want to put your sails at risk.

Seems like a niche product at best.
 

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Old enough to know better
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I think it all boils down to price. Of course if you are at a mooring, or anchor, this will not produce anything. My other concern is that this would be most beneficial for cruisers, but they already don't like laminates as they don't last as long. so it will be a more expensive sail, and not last a long as a good cruising Dacron sail? I don't see it taking off.

For the racers who replace there sails every season or two, it could mean having smaller batteries so less weight there, but how would it effect sail shape and weight aloft?
 

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Corsair 24
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this is hilarious!

there was a thread on panels not long ago with people dying for this tech...saying it would be a game changer, so welcome, awesome blah blah blah

we sort of get it now only to have people I need to keep my sails up all the time for it to be worthy or I dont sail enough bla blah blah

man

some are never pleased huh? jajaja


would be great for long voyages...hope it works and is on the market soon
 

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clueless
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Ive seen them the ones i like are the flexible units people are mounting in their Bimini's...
I have even molded my triple 100 watt fixed solar units to take on the shape my self so on any tack at least one is dead on. and they are mounted close to / just over the Bimini so as not to be ugly and detract from the boats lines.
 
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