Applications for Boat Solar Panels: There Are More than You Might Think!
The first things that usually come to mind when you think of solar power are the panels found on many homes to help generate electrical power. However, there are a number of other applications. One of these is the use of boat solar panels.
What Can You Do with Boat Solar Panels?
Solar panels are a great way to power your boat, and for a lot less than you might think. One you have installed these panels, they require very little maintenance and easily last over ten years or more. The best places to install the solar panels on boats are above the cabin, at the apex of an arch, or above davits to reduce shadows on the panels. This will decrease their efficiency. Another area that proves very effective is on the sides of the booms. This ensures that one panel is always capturing the available sunrays.
There are three applications for boat solar panels. The first is maintenance charging for boats on moorings. The second application is for augmenting charging systems on cruising boats. Finally, boat solar panels can be used as the sole source for charging boats without auxiliary power.
Types of Boat Solar Panels
There are three general types of marine solar panels. These are monocrystal solar panels, which are the most efficient option, polycrystal solar panels, which are almost as effective as monocrystal panels, and amorphous solar panels, which have a shade-tolerant coating.
How Long Will They Last?
Crystalline solar panels will degrade slowly over time; however, compared to some of the other types of panels, it is at a much lower rate. Traditionally, crystalline panels have a life expectancy of 20 years or more when installed on a fixed object. However, when it comes to marine applications, the life expectancy is about ten years. For amorphous solar panels used on boats will generally last about 2-5 years. There are several models that will usually last twice as long as that.
Where to Find Boat Solar Panels
There are a number of different ways that you can find boat solar panels. First, you can contact one of the dealers and get an estimate. Secondly, there are several wholesale companies that specialize only in solar panels. You can find many of these companies online and some have very competitive prices. Finally, you can contact the manufacturers directly. In some cases, this may get you the best prices available.
Boat solar panels are one of the best choices you can make for alternative power supplies. They can significantly reduce the cost of fuel and also help conserve the earth’s natural resources. Boat solar panels eliminate pollution into the earth’s atmosphere and provide a clean, renewable energy source. While it doesn’t seem like a boat could produce much pollution, every time you can eliminate even a small portion of it, it makes a difference. Before you make your purchase, do enough research to ensure that you get the best possible panel for the price.
Boat Solar Panels Tip #1
Solar panels can work in reduced sunlight or even shade as long as there is some sunlight. However, you do want as much sun as possible to maximize energy production.
Boat Solar Panels Tip #2
Depending on your energy consumption on your boat, a 100-watt solar panel can produce enough power in a week for a bilge pump to run for three hours. You’ll need a battery pack to collect the energy for later use.
Boat Solar Panels Tip #3
You can install two different brands of solar panels to each other, as long as they have the same voltage output. For example, only connect a 12-volt panel to another 12-volt panel.