We have been testing our 150 and 160 watt solar panels for the past few years on extended cruises. While at anchor, on a sunny day, our battery banks are usually topped off by about 1 PM. We run our refrigerator/freezer 24/7. So why not use a smaller 100 or 120 watt solar panel and plug in a flexible panel on the rare occasion we need more charging power? This is what we will be testing while cruising this summer. It's a simple arrangement. We will carry a 100 watt flexible solar panel under a bunk cushion. If we need extra charging power we will simply plug it in using a T-branch connector at our pole mounted 120 watt panel and secure the flexible panel to the bimini top. That gives us 220 watts of power through our 20 amp MPPT controller. Several of our customers have reported using this configuration and are very satisfied with it. I'll report our results at the end of the season. Now, gotta go sailing and start testing.
5/11/2020 12:21:58 am
Hi, I'm interested in installing solar panels on my 50ft Beneteau sailboat. I live aboard and plan to cruise, so I was looking at getting 5 semiflexible panels equalling 700w to attach to the top of my bimini. My last boat had a setup where the charge controller would dump excess solar energy into the water heater after the batteries are charged, and I'd like to be able to do that convenient setup again if possible. Can you point me in the right direction? I am moored in Tacoma, WA. Thank you!
5/11/2020 11:01:12 am
Send me an email with your contact info or call at 248 705 837 and we can discuss you options.
9/24/2020 12:10:27 am
It’s a great source of knowledge; I think it will be helpful for lot of people who are looking for learning more about the adding extra solar power only when you need it. Thank you very much for sharing this article.They offer same information here Franklinme.co.nz one must check them also.
11/21/2020 08:50:07 am
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1/11/2022 03:57:44 pm
A solid information about Solar products here.
3/10/2022 11:00:22 am
Solar energy now provides only a small portion of our country's current electrical demands, but it is quickly becoming a highly coveted and ultra-clean source of energy. If Edison were still living today, he would undoubtedly be competing with fresh solar application ideas in the marketplace. Remember, it was Edison who initially invented the modern electric utility system... and he was always refining his innovations to make room for new technologies. He'd definitely make space for solar!
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Thomas Trimmer has been cruising with his Ericson 38 sailboat on the Great Lakes for over 20 years. He has pioneered the use of solar energy for wilderness cruising. He is continually designing and building equipment to simplify and enhance the cruising experience.