Saturday, February 26, 2011

Solar Panel Upgrade is a Complete Success

We have had the new upgraded solar panel array up and running for about a week now, and the results are good. We are now seeing 40+ amps in the middle of the day.

The New Solar Array

We increased our solar capability from 440 watts to 630 watts.

In addition, the following other upgrades were accomplished during this project:

- Mounting new solar powered, auto-on 'anchor lights' on the arch ($3 each, in plastic, at Home Depot. We bought a box of 6, and have spares if we need them)

Alarm Siren

- Mounting a new 'Burglar Alarm' on the arch. This is a light and siren that we can manually turn on... if we hear the pitter-patter of uninvited guests on the deck at night... if we have an at-anchor emergency and need to be quickly identified in an anchorage... to clear the cockpit of hangers-on if happy hour runs too late. It is wired to a switch in our bunk. The siren is loud and the light is a yellow flashing light. We are hoping that any intruders we might hear will immediately depart rather than having to confront them.

- New stronger mounts for the solar panels

- A better way to fix the rotatable panels firmly on the level in case of high winds.

- Renewed electrical wiring and waterproof junction boxes

- Extra cross bracing for the arch, which we can install easily before we go to sea

- Preventative maintenance on the radar

More pictures on our Photo Album


  1. Dave

    What is the brand name of the Alarm Siren?



  2. Thank you for all your efforts to publish information. I am interested in how the panels rotate in a controlled manner? Is it just with the friction of the mounts? Also you mentioned an improvement for fixing the panels in high winds. If you have the time please elaborate. Again thanks.

  3. The rotational mounts are 2 pieces of starboard type material, clamped around the piece of pipe. You make a hole in the 2 pieces that is just a little smaller than the pipe. Easier to explain with a picture: