There may be times when it is desirable to mount flexible marine solar panels on a canvas bimini or dodger and be able to quickly and easily remove them. Our auxiliary solar panel mounting kit is designed for such an application.
One of our business associates, Ed Foster, came up with a brilliant idea for a mounting system that does not require you to put holes in your beautiful bimini or dodger canvas - high power rare earth magnets.
Very high power rare earth magnets (up to 20 pound pull strength per magnet) are ideal for temporary mounting of our flexible solar panels on a canvas bimini or dodger. Our rare earth magnet kit includes 8 or 12 magnets and adhesive to attach the magnets to the upper side of the solar panel.
Quality magnets are triple coated with a nickel-copper-nickel or an epoxy-copper-nickel coating. These magnets are also available with a plastic or rubber coating. We are testing various designs to determine resistance to corrosion in a saltwater environment. This is the big unknown.
Using the magnet mounting kit is easy. Attach magnets to each corner of the solar panel and optionally attach two near the center of larger flexible panels using the included double sided adhesive tape. Position the flexible marine solar panel on the bimini or dodger and attach a mating set of magnets on the underside of the canvas. Connect the solar panel to the solar system using an MC4 T-branch connector. Store the panel under a bunk when not in use.
We tested a set of these magnets on a 110 watt flexible panel during 6 week cruise in the North Channel of Lake Huron during the summer of 2018. We were in heavy winds and the panel did not move a bit. The magnets held the panel secure and there was no air getting under the panel to lift it.
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.