The Search For Bright Waters

Monday, November 29, 2010

We Are Solar Powered

We are off the grid! The Solar Panels are complete. We have two 80 watt panels for a total of 160 watts of solar power capability! They were not as difficult as I imagined. I drilled them to two sturdy 2x4s and then mounted the whole thing onto the bimini using metal brackets.

The wire runs down the railing and into the engine compartment. Yes I had to drill into the deck but I am getting more confident about it. I used an electrical grommet to keep it water proof.

From there the wires run to a ground and along the hull to a solar controller. It currently shows .5 amp coming in!  It's a gloomy day. The wires then run down to the battery compartment. We decided to hook up the two spare batteries to make one solid 340 amp house battery bank. And then the starter battery will be used as a spare, being turned off when the engine isnt running.

The solar panels look quite nice on top of the bimini. They will get plenty of sun exposure. And they arnt in our way like if we put them on the dinghy davits. We can now go anywhere in the world and provide our own electricity!

Nalas new sleeping spot



Steve said...

I don't want to come across as being mean, but your installation does not look like it would stand up to much weather. Those screws into wood have a good chance of ripping out if the wind comes up and gets under the solar panels which then will tear up your bimini. Also, all the wiring is not secured. This may be a chaffing problem once you are underway.

Once you get south and into the trade winds the wear and tear are much greater than sitting in port.


Joey and Christine said...

thanks for the advice steve. I'm pretty confident about the wood mounting. each panel is secured by 22 two inch screws. We will keep an eye on it though.

I'm not sure what you mean about the wiring. It is currently zip tied down the bimini railing and is solidly secure at both the panel and the gromet. We will keep an eye on it aswell.

Mike said...

Good work!

My project next week will be installing our new solar panel and controller. We still have yet to figure out how we are going to do it.