Marine Solar Panels
It doesn’t matter if you own a trawler or a cruiser. It doesn’t matter if you live on your boat full time or just a few weekends out of the year. You can quickly integrate solar panels – marine solar panels – and put the sun’s energy to work for you on your boat.
There are three main applications for marine solar panels and you can easily work them into your regular boating style. Here is a quick explanation of how solar panels work and which three marine solar applications are most popular.
Solar Panels – Marine Applications
Marine solar panels take energy from the sun and turn it into AC or DC power. The panels and the principles are basically the same as those used in solar powered homes. The only different is that they are used in a different environment. Therefore, you’ll need to ensure that all wiring and hardware are up to marine standards. The most common applications are:
1. Maintenance Charging: Prevent the no start situation by keeping your battery topped off. If you live on your boat, you are no doubt aware of how important it is for your batteries to function properly.
2. Augment Your Onboard Charging System: If you use your engine to power the different systems onboard, such as your hot water heater, you can use a solar panel. Marine appliances and electronics can be run off of the sun’s energy quite easily and it saves your engine from running nonstop.
3. Primary Charging: You can use a marine solar panel with your battery banks to store up energy. You can also use a power inverter to change AC to DC and vice versa, so you can use all of these applications most efficiently.
A lot of trawlers, cruisers, and sailboats don’t have a generator or any type of auxiliary source of power. If you can implement a solar generation system, you’ll solve this problem.
Where to Find Marine Solar Panels
There are many different places where you can find solar panels. Marine solar panels are somewhat different. Since the wiring and the hardware must be up to a different standard than those in a used in a residential or business application, you need to make sure the dealer knows what they’re talking about. Make sure that wherever you make your purchase, they are familiar with this type of solar panels. Marine dealers are usually a great place to start your search. If you make a purchase off of eBay or another auction site, then be sure you are only buying from a reputable seller.
A Few Final Thoughts
You will find that you love your new solar panels. Marine panels are specifically designed to give you enough energy to power your electronics and small appliances. This will leave your battery bank better prepared should you need it.
Solar Panels Marine Tip #1
If you’re a handyman, you might be able to save significantly with a DIY solar panel. Many of today’s home improvement stores have everything you need to create a panel that will effectively and efficiently keep your boating experience full of energy!
Solar Panels Marine Tip #2
You may also want to check into a used solar panel. However, make sure you aren’t buying one that requires expensive repair or replacement parts. There are a number of places online where you can find these types of panels.
Solar Panels Marine Tip #3
Buying new may be your best options, however. Most solar panels are designed to last up to 25 years. If your boat will be an important part of your life for an extended period of time, a new marine solar panel may be your best bet.