Looking to Power up Your Boat with Solar Energy? Know How to Install the Panels

Basically, solar panels are anything which make use of the thermal energy from sun to create electricity. The business name of a solar panel is photovoltaic panel, which is a flat panel to directly receive emissions of the sun. The surface of these panels needed to be at 90-degree incline from the rays of the sun to best absorb sun’s energy. Very similar to the process of plants receiving energy from sun to process it through photosynthesis, photovoltaic cells function to process solar energy into electricity.

As soon as the rays of the sun hits the solar cells, it is transferred to a silicon semiconductor and the power is changed to direct current (DC), which passes through the wires and reaches the storage battery.

Fixing solar panels on to your vessel

There are various types of solar panel mounting rails, but majority of them are meant for roof and ground mounting. The boaters used to make their own mounts fitting to the size of their vessel; however, there are customised mounts available now of various sizes to be fitted on to boats. With the option to do online purchase, you can get such mounts from various stores matching to all type of Mount Gambier solar panels and variety of vessels.

Solar panel types

The most popular type of solar panel used in yachting is either amorphous thin-film cells or multicrystalline. The multicrystalline panels are the oldest kind, which are the strongest too. With adequate size and paired with ideal batteries, multicrystalline panels are best to operate larger loads like refrigeration in the boats.

When compared to multicrystalline, the amorphous thin film panels are just about 50% effective. But, these are lightweight and come in a various forms, which can be folded or rolled. It can also change shape based on the contour of the boat’s top. They don’t offer adequate yield for a considerable load, but can be simply be used for charging a light battery bank etc.

Power of solar panels

Usually, the power of solar panels is measured by wattage. You can get various solar panels to be used on boats ranging from 10 watts to 200 watts or larger. We can calculate it in such a way that a 200-watt solar panel produces about 200 x 5 hrs of sunlight = 1000 watts/day.

You need to calculate the power consumption of your boat at the first point to decide which panel to choose and the size. For example, if you need to have 3 lights which draws 2 amps each to be switched on 4 hours at night, the power consumption would be 3 x 2 x 4 = 24 AH/day. The other major considerations to make while you calculate the amps hours in a boat at anchor are likely;

  • Refrigeration
  • Sanitation System
  • Freezer
  • Fresh Water Pump
  • Electric Toilet
  • Stereo etc.

With all the above facts known, always ensure that you purchase the best available solar panels to be installed onto your boat. Also get the installation done by experts in order to ensure proper fixation and adequate tilt of the panels to harvest maximum energy by ensuring endurance.