Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Solar Panels

One of the big projects we had on our list for this winter hiatus was to upgrade our solar power. Though we already have a pretty big solar array, it's not quite enough. We wanted to take advantage of newer, more efficient panels, as well as just increase our total solar capacity.

Our friends on s/v Infini used their contacts at Hawaii Yacht Club, to get us a good discount on new panels at Inter Island Solar here in Honolulu. We bought 2 new 175-watt Solar World (ex-Siemans/Shell) panels, and Infini bought 3 of the same panels.

Here's a view of our old solar panel 'array'. The plan is to get rid of two of the 55-watt (smallest) panels on the back end, and mount the 2 new big panels on the arch in place of the 110-watt panels. We are also going to, while we're at it, totally revamp the arch, trying for more strength and a more pleasing look.

The 110-watt panels, a little narrower than the 175-watt panels, have been moved to the rail. Dave spent about a week working on the mounting system.

Taking Apart the Arch

Arch Parts

Aluminum Plate for Mounting Hardware

Dave Working on Rail Mounts

Finished Rail-Mounted Panel

Jim Yates-designed mounting system

Dave is now working on designing the new arch and getting quotes from local welding shops.

1 comment:

  1. Dave, Your rail mounts look similar to ours on Amata Marie, I built a system that allows me to not only raise the panels, but to swing them out like arms to be away from the boat shadows. Like a shrimp boat with booms out while trawiling.
    they are very easy to bring back in and tie down quickly.
    Example, put your arms at your sides, then raise your arms straight out, now move your arms all the way forward and all the way back, that is the amount of swing I have with them, and I can adjust the angle they sit on the arms to face the sun. they work pretty good for a home made system. My 3rd panel is on my dingy davit arms and is pretty much stationary.
    Jim Guthormsen
    S/V Amata Marie