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Boat Solar Panels

Natalie Said:

Any one ever install a solar panel on a boat?

We Answered:

Very good advice from the poster above but I'll just follow up with a few more suggestoins based on having installed them on two cruising boats. Get good marine ones. Ones not intended for marine use will corrode. Boat US, West Marine or any good boating store. I think permentnatly installed rigid ones have less hassle involved and fewer electrical issues than "temporary", removable flexible ones. If the charge is relatively low compared to the battery bank, you may get by without a regulator. I've done this on two boats without ever damaging the batteries, even though the solar cells were my primary charging source. (Using a small trickle charge cell that slowly charges the battery over a week or two for that one weekend day of use, for example may work fine with no regulator. When I was cruising, I simply monitored the battery charge and turned off the solar cells if the batteries were fully charged) However, that said even though a regulator may be expensive, it's cheaper than replacing batteries you overchargged and ruined. The angle of the sun to the solar cells has a temendous effect on the efficieny of charge, so if you are somewhere that the sun isn't high overhead, use a system that allows you to rotate the cell to be perpendicular to the sun if possible. Many people do this with a rotating system over the stern pulpit rail.

Terri Said:

were can i get cheep solar panels and dose anyone know any good site for how to make a solar power boat?

We Answered:

here are a couple of web sites regarding solar power boats…

the tree hugger site even tells you how to make your own solar panels.

hope this helps

Michael Said:

searching for best solar panels (cost affective) for use on a barge ,60ft-12ft boat, any ideas....?

We Answered:

yup maplin is a exelent place...also try ebay...and i think everest windows are also fiting them these days...acording to the adds on the tv thay are anyway..

Jack Said:

Will a 5 watt solar panel charge my boat battery?

We Answered:

ok for a 12v standard(not deepcycle) yea sure i use them all the time to make sure that my toys fire up

with a deep cycle or larger batt you may have to step up. Contact a rv place they sell larger ones for different batteries

the things have a regulatior that limits the voltage once the batteries are charged and prevents overcharging
i would still ask about it if you need to step up with a deep cycle or something though


Erin Said:

If you owned a fishing boat with solar panels, an electric stove, and a water desalination system...?

We Answered:

Not as long as you would think. If you completely covered every square inch of the boat with solar panels, you wouldn't have enough power to keep everything running. So, an Generator is a must have, and that means fuel. Even the desalinator uses energy and it cost a lot for one big enough for 4 people. Then most "fishing" Boats are powered and burn fuel. So, I doubt that you would gain more than a day or two on consumables. I hope this helps.

Discuss It!||| said:

Then most "fishing" Boats are powered and burn fuel. So, I doubt that you would gain more than a day or two on consumables. I hope this helps.

vidmate for mac said:

I appreicate the work done and its cool said:

Oh great now I can have my boat with some solar power,I will indeed try to find more information about it at and soon will be installing a solar power system in to my boat.

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