Super Charge Your Vessel with Solar Power! Part 4/4

Now that we´ve got this far, the only thing left to do is talk about tilting, buying and installing your solar panel system on your vessel. Let´s get to it.

Tilting Your Panels

Tilting your panels is another way to get the most out of them, and makes a lot more sense than installing them horizontally, lying flat. They don´t need to track the sun, but that is an option. This is what solar panel “farms” do. There are two angles to take into consideration: the summer angle and the winter angle. Both are latitude dependent, so if you´re sailing at a fairly constant latitude, they won´t need adjusting.

Check out the calculator three-quarters down this page to work out your optimum tilt angle. Here is another calculator for working out how much sun different areas around the world receive (sadly only currently available for Europe and Africa-Asia). Here is another, suitable for sailors in the Americas, and everywhere else.

Using these calculators, your figures and the above-mentioned page on solar panel wattages, you should be able to work out how many panels you´ll need to provide you with power in the region you are located in. If you´re still having trouble, check out Ben Meakin´s personal calculation in this post to guide you.

Buying Your Panels

These days, there are all sorts of kits and systems, including wind and solar hybrid kits and mounting systems.

This company sells panels and systems specifically for boats. Here´s a marine solar panel comparison chart.

Installing Your Panels

To install your panels, you´ll need some basic mechanical tools, including wrenches and screwdrivers, a drill motor and a metal bit index, and wire crimping and cutting tools.

You´ll also need the solar panels, an amp-hour box/electrical monitor, a regulator or solar panel charge controller, and any mounting device you´d like to use (some panels come with a mount).

This video by Sailing the World: Chasing Contours, on YouTube, shows you around a whole 3-panel, 4-battery system.

But since most sailors like you are usually practical, once you pick up the basics, it doesn´t seem so hard anymore. Am I right?

Has this article series been useful? Let us know in the comments! Good luck with your solar panel adventures. Being self-sufficient is a great feeling. Enjoy.

Super Charge Your Vessel with Solar Power! Part 1/4

You´re Actually $200 Away From Solar Boat Power……

Super Charge Your Vessel with Solar Power! Part 3/4

Super Charge Your Vessel with Solar Power! Part 2/4

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