When batteries are low or the generator stops working, solar panels can significantly assist mariners by keeping essential lighting and appliances operational. They also provide a far less audible alternative for battery charging.
If a sailor wishes to reap the benefits of marine solar panels, he or she must become proficient in installing them. Three main kinds of solar cells are used in solar panels, and they all have their advantages. Sailors must educate themselves on these benefits and choose the most appropriate solar panels.
Solar Panel Varieties
Protecting solar panels from shade is vital because shaded cells must get energy from other, un-shaded cells.
Monocrystalline solar panels have a high conversion efficiency and take up less room than other types, however they are easily damaged by shading.
Polycrystalline cells in solar panels increase conversion efficiency and use even less room, yet they are still vulnerable to shading.
The conversion efficiency of solar panels made with amorphous silicon cells is lower, and they take up more room in the installation but offer shade protection. This may become more crucial when sailing.
There are both rigid and bendable solar panel options for boats. Attaching wooden solar panels to the deck is possible, while flexible solar panels might be stapled to the canvas covering.
Dimensions and Quantity of Solar Cells
Among the steps in learning to install marine solar panels is figuring out what size and how many boards you’ll need. Simply type “What size solar panel do I need” into your preferred search engine to find the answer to this query. You should plan on using 20% more energy from solar panels than you think you’ll need.
Installation of Photovoltaic Cells
It will be easier to decide where to put solar panels once you know how many you need and what size they should be. The optimal locations for the meetings are specific to the layout and size of the boat. Just chill out and give it some serious thought. Get familiar with your solar panels’ manual. Any actions that may nullify the warranty should be avoided.
When asked where to put marine solar panels, the answer is straightforward: out in the sun. Choose sites where there will be no shade at all.
It is recommended to utilize additional bars or bracing when installing maritime solar panels. You want them to be steady, of course.
Marine Solar Panel Installation Instructions
The marine solar panels you purchase should come with straightforward assembly instructions. Additionally, think about what follows.
There are typically three primary parts to any marine solar panel system:
First, solar panels to convert sunlight into energy.
You should use a charge controller to prevent your battery from being overcharged.
Power storage batteries help keep the juice flowing from your solar panels.
Batteries charged by maritime solar panels can power most items that require 12 volts DC. Emergency lighting, ordinary illumination, pumps, fans, and other tiny equipment could fall into this category. A 120-volt AC inverter allows you to use a microwave, radio, satellite dish, or any device typically requiring 120-volt AC power. In addition to the battery, most electronic devices need an inverter, a distinct component not discussed above.
First, ensure you have access to a voltmeter to test the system. You should get one and put it in if it doesn’t have one. You can verify the amount being charged this way.
Securely install your solar panels and wire them together following the kit’s instructions. Connecting the solar panels to the batteries should only be done with tinned marine-grade wire. Do your research on the wire you want to buy if you don’t know much about it. Although it may seem the same, regular vehicle wire is not designed to withstand the damp and salty atmosphere of the ocean.
A Useful Hint
Installing marine solar panels is a breeze with the help of a pre-assembled kit.
Anna Hart, 2007. For more of Anna Hart’s writing about solar energy, see [http://www.solar-energy-connection.com]. Anna has written several articles there about the many uses of solar energy. You won’t miss her post to learn more about rollable, flexible solar panels [http://www.solar-energy-connection.com/portable-solar/powerfilm-45-watt-roll-up-solar-panels-25/].