Going Solar

These last few months are a landslide of big decisions and projects finally coming to fruition. First alternator and then batteries, SSB installation in progress, and now we have purchased our solar panels for the top of our bimini.

We purchased two Sharp 80 Watt panels and one Kyocera 85 Watt panel. Why those? Good brands both, but more importantly, we wanted to fit as much wattage as we could on top of the bimini without spilling over the edges. It is much less expensive to go with fewer, larger panels than more, smaller panels because you are paying for the frame and construction 3 times and that is a large part of the cost. But the cost is worth it to us to have the extra energy incoming every day.

We also purchased a Blue Sky 2512iX MPPT charge controller. This is what we use to connect the solar panels to our batteries to charge them.

The 245 total watts should give us approximately 80 Amp hours DC on average once we get further South which is our current electrical usage. We expect to use closer to 150 ultimately, when running the fridge in the tropics and using our SSB for weather and email.

I will report back when I install them and then again when we've used them for a while.

- Livia


  1. The refrigerator is always the big load on a boat, isn't it?


  2. Yep. We may very well turn it off on passage. We *really* need to reinsulate as well. That is on our Spring 2011 big refit list.



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