Author Topic: Simple solar panel mount  (Read 3489 times)

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Offline Norman

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2016, 06:03:52 PM »
That is an interesting evolution, complete with the pictures to show exactly what it looked like at each stage of the project.

On my visit aboard in Annapolis, the arrangement certainly made an excellent impression, both neat and sturdy  in appearance.  You and Ralay have certainly succeeded in making the best of the size sand shape of your vessel.


Offline Cyric30

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2016, 06:33:20 PM »
Hello Woody
can i ask, or is there a place i can look to see, what all do you run off this 175W and how long can you go on a charge with it.?

Offline w00dy

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2016, 08:39:55 AM »
Here's another picture I meant to include, to show the structure of the frame tying the two panels together. It was made from the re configured pieces of the original mount. Waste not!



Cyric, as you probably know, the 175W max output of the panels is only a third of the energy equation. The other two parts are storage capacity and usage. We have a house bank of ~200 Ah and a separate starting battery of 100 Ah. Our usage is somewhat conservative and we do our best to keep discharge above 50%.

Usage depends much on circumstance and we will adjust our strategy to conserve if needed. Very generally, our house bank powers our lights, charges our electronic devices (phones and laptops), and supports a few instruments. Generally, when underway, we will use our Furuno chartplotter/radar/depth unit, which accounts for the bulk of our energy usage. We also usually have our VHF with AIS reciever on when moving. Occasionally, we will use a small tillerpilot to steer, but as it gets overpowered in modest weather, it is usually only on when conditions are calm and we are motoring and generating power with the alternator.

We also have an electric windlass, but it is only supposed to be used in conjunction with the engine in forward, so as to only take the weight of the chain, not the entire mass of the boat itself. We don't always adhere to this guideline, but our windlass motor hasn't burned up yet. It does put quite a load on the batteries though, somewhere in between 50-100 amps, so we usually have the motor running when in use.

If conditions are somewhat sunny and we aren't guzzling power non-stop, our battery levels will usually recharge completely every few days. If we are underway 24/7 for a while, the chartplotter will eventually deplete the batteries beyond the level of what the panels can replace. We usually end up running the engine every so often anyway, when entering a harbor, or on a calm day, so our 35amp alternator will pick up the slack and bring the house bank back up.

Adding another large battery and another panel might enable us to run a small refrigeration unit, more electronics like an SSB, or allow longer periods between engine charges, but generally we are pretty satisfied with this setup for our current cruising needs, and if we stay somewhat conservative with our usage, we have more than enough.

Oh, btw, we have an entirely DC setup, with no AC circuits or inverts, so this helps a bit in conserving power when charging electronics.

Hope that answers your question, Cyric.

=====================

Thanks for the compliments, Norm. Doing our best!

Offline Cyric30

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2016, 09:14:14 AM »
Haya Woody
Thank you for the information
It does help alot, it gives me a decent idea of what each system ive asked about can run, if i may ask what kind/size charge controller are you using for this?

lastgreatgeneration

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2016, 10:13:25 AM »
When you mentioned that the lashings worked better than the hose clamps, what does it look like? What size line, how much, and any partictular knots?

Thanks, I might consider that method. My panel is ok where it's at but it needs to be folded down to be standing at the helm.

ralay

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2016, 05:52:46 PM »
Cyric: It's this one:
http://www.flexcharge.com/NC25A-Product-Info.html
It came with the first solar panel in Woody's work-trade. (Go Woody!)  We considered upgrading to an MPPT controller, but it just didn't make sense.  Solar panels are getting so cheap, we could meet our needs more cheaply by buying more panel area.  Of course, folks with boats too small to mount large panels might be more inclined to spend money on efficiency.  Our set up is about what was available for cheap/free/worktrade and I think it's serving us pretty well even if it's not what I would have designed from scratch.     

ralay

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2016, 06:07:00 PM »
This is the only photo I've got that happens to show the hose clamps and paracord lashings on solar panel mount 1.0.
http://imgur.com/bbMA74Z
Woody, have you got a better shot of your lashings?

Offline w00dy

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2017, 10:10:40 AM »
The lashings were joining two pieces of tubing of slightly unequal sizes, so I made several ironwood spacers using different hole saws that let them mate together neatly  with an inch of room in between.

The lashings were pretty standard, using 10 feet or so of sheathed parachute cord. I used a fid to help draw each wrap up tightly, then at the end used a series of hitches to lock it all in.


lastgreatgeneration

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2017, 12:13:10 PM »
Very nice. I imagined something quite differently. I have hindereds of feet of paracord on my boat all milspec, I'll have to experiment. Maybe I can find an old Bimini switch ss tubing that I can use.

Thanks.

ralay

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2017, 06:02:32 PM »
Woody, didn't you get all that paracord for helping Dave take apart an old parachute?  And ipe from handhold left overs which were already CJs leftovers?  You are truly king of the scrap heap.   ;D

Offline w00dy

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2017, 06:49:40 PM »
Yeah it was an old open deck board thatbecame handrails. If we ever have another boat I'd like to name it "Scrappy"

ralay

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2017, 09:01:22 PM »
Deal.   ;)

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2017, 09:20:35 PM »
ROFL
But you two have come a LONG way since this

Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2017, 09:22:44 PM »
or this
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

ralay

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Re: Simple solar panel mount
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2017, 09:38:42 PM »
Oh man, CJ.  NEVER AGAIN.