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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let the sun shine, PLEASE!

I made a move today that I've been procrastinating about for way too
long. I ordered 2 solar panels and an MPPT charger for our onboard
electrical needs. The reason I've been procrastinating is that solar
stuff is VERY expensive and I know so little about it. But, I finally
decided that I'd learned about all I was going to w/o actually having
the equipment in hand. And, if there was any chance to get it
installed and working before we leave in July, I'd better get on it.
So, after a reasonable amount of cost-comparison shopping on the
internet, I ordered 2 80Watt BP panels and a Blue Sky MPPT
controller. One of the bummers about a small boat like Siempre Sabado
si that there is very limited real estate fro mounting things like
solar panels. The 80 watt units were about as large as I can go. The
sad part is that I could get a 135 watt panel on sale for just a
little more money (maybe even a little less) but there's just no good
place to put it. Oh well, look at how much we save in bottom paint.

So, between the 160 watts of solar power, our 70 amp engine-driven
alternator, and our Honda 2000 generator, we should never need to
connect to shore power while we're out traveling. That's good because
different countries often use different power systems (220 V 50 Hz vs.
120 V 60 Hz for example). Also, shore power connections are reputed
to be one of the worst sources of stray voltage leading to
electrolysis. And, besides, shore power is available at marinas and
we're hoping to primarily be anchored out away from shore.

There, the money's gone so now I can just relax and get on with it.


SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

We just pulled the trigger on one of our 3 solar panels (Kyocera 85W) and a Blue Sky MPPT controller. We are getting two 80W Sharp panels locally. It is soooo much more expensive to have to use multiple panels, but this is the configuration that fits on top of our bimini so...*shrug*

- Livia

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

And we're looking forward to knowing how those panels are working for you. Not that we have any reason to have them while we're here. Damn, I could use some sunshine about now.