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Author Topic: Solar panel project to Beneteau 393 Yacht  (Read 369 times)

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Monster Mummy

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Solar panel project to Beneteau 393 Yacht
« on: December 19, 2013, 08:29:07 PM »
After having resolved the issue of the capacity of our house battery bank I decided to then look at solar panel options.

Our boat is set up with a canvas bimini and it would be quite expensive to install a solar panel rack to suspend solar panels off the top of it - in the future we may look at a solid bimini that covers all bases.

In the meantime our options were to find something that we could 'add to' the canvas.  After going to a recent marine show we saw that solar panes now come in the flexible variety.  This was great news.  But after enquiring as to the prices we nearly fell over.

I thought well I'll just see if there are any other flexible solar panel options out there and sure enough there are heaps and readily available with free delivery etc.  I scored these semi-flexible panels that I found on Amazon http://amzn.to/JNgLv0. They were a great deal, fitted the area I needed and was a good 200amp hours capacity and free delivery.

I had to remove the canvas bimini to do some minor repairs and to start the process of making 'lapels' for attaching the solar panels to the bimini.

Thankfully our canvas was the common colour of blue that Sunbrella make in Pacific Blue - again I found the best price using Amazon http://amzn.to/1cflhOs. You can probably find heaps of other colours as you need there as well. Again the free postage is a dream.  I purchased about 10 metres overall - as there were a few other projects I was doing, i.e. sun shade awning, lifeline covers, bbq cover, winch covers and side wind protection breaks.

I purchased a few M4 connectors and some heavy duty solar cable and crimped up the system at home. The panels come with about a metre of cable already.  I cut that cable at about 20inches and attached y pieces and then connected the two panels down into the one line that ran through the top of the deck into the aft cabin where the batteries were.

Down in there I installed a Steca 30/30 charge controller/regulator similar to this one on Amazon http://amzn.to/1dq3Vec

I left room on the battery bed that I made to use a sheet of small angle bracket with all the pre drilled holes in it to mount it near the front corner so I could see the digital display.  I hooked it up to one of the batteries.  I took specific care to not hook up to one of the batteries that had the battery charger on it as sometimes they can confuse each other. This way each reads the 'pond' separately.  See my other article re batteries and house bank set up.

Oh I forgot the lapels for attaching the panels to the roof.  I measured and cut strips that were the ends and the lengths of each of the panels.  Sewing them so the selvedge was tucked away and sewed on Velcro strips to the upper side. The lower side was sewn to the bimini.  Then attach the other half of the Velcro to the edges of the solar panels.  I used self adhesive 1 inch Velcro that I sourced from a marine detailer.

When the panels are laid in their template the top of the lapel is folded over the panel.  This keeps the system flexible and cool.  Cool solar panels are more efficient.  Being mounted on a canvas bimini means cool airflow and these panels are amazingly thin - I'd say 5mm and aluminium so really cool and don't hold heat.

I'll attached pictures to this thread of the lapels.

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions don't hesitate to post or email.

Monster Mummy
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« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 01:27:29 AM by Monster Mummy »

 

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