Solar Panel Install

Back when we installed our solar panels I had taken these photos so I could talk about the install. I had a pretty complicated time figuring out how to get everything to fit on top of the bimini. I'm not sure exactly why because in hindsight it seems so simple. Hopefully some of these visuals might help someone else work out their installation.

We mounted aluminum barstock on the back of the frame to give us more options for mounting and also to act as a stiffener/brace to the existing aluminum frame.
Aluminum bar stock on solar panel

We fastened the aluminum barstock to the frame with spacers I cut from starboard and stainless u-bolts with wing nuts. The wing nuts and u-bolts are intended to simply the removal process in an emergency because they can be removed by hand without tools.
Solar panel spacer, u-bolt, wing nut

We used sealing ring terminals on the ends of the wire which were fit through the gasket provided by the manufacturers (2 Sharp 80W and 1 Kyocera 85W).
Inside solar panel connection

This is what the inside of the built in junction box looked like. We wired the panels in parallel and this panel has the wires from the preceding panel as well as wires going out to either the next panel or the MPPT controller.
Inside junction box (Sharp 80W)


The end wires come through the cockpit combing and down under our aft berth to our Blue Sky MPPT controller like this.
Blue Sky 2512ix

An overview of how the panels were working during this past summer is here.

4 comments:

  1. Looks better than a professional job. Nice work!

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  2. We will be working on our install today or tomorrow. Hopefully it turns out as nice as yours.

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