Solar panels on GS52

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Herminia
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Solar panels on GS52

Postby Herminia » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:31 pm

I was thinking about installing some solar panels on the GS52. Anyone else done this? Where to install and how big? Any pictures appreciated.

8-)
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

streetcar
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby streetcar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:05 pm

Where are you planning to cruise and for how long?

I have 2 solar panels which I put on deck when the sun shines. They just plug into the charge side of the batteries. I stow them at sea. They are small enough to not require a regulator, but big enough to give enough amps to contribute... maybe about 3 amps at 24V for four tropical sun hours.

The only alternative I have considered is to put solar panels on the top of the canvas bimini. The reason I haven't done this is that when it is night (or very windy downwind, or really windy upwind), I like to fold the bimini back so that I can see the mainsail as I steer, or make a gybe.

I reckon a gantry arrangement over the stern, perhaps with davits involved would work. The downsides would be extra weight in the stern in the ends, spoiling the way the boat looks, and cluttering the aft end of the narrow side decks.

Perhaps think about a small genset in the cockpit locker, or a windgen if you are going to a windy place.

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Herminia
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby Herminia » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:30 pm

I will be sailing in the Med, a lot around the Balearic Islands in the summertime. Sunshine all the time! I already have a generator but I like the idea of be able to stay longer periods at anchor without having to use any fuel. I very seldom go to marinas, maybe one or two nights in a four weeks vacation. We use the zodiac to get provisions. And in the Balearics in the summer, it is crazy getting fuel and water, sometimes I have to wait half the day!

Does your wind generator make a lot of noise?
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

streetcar
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby streetcar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:07 pm

I have an Air Breeze 24V. Between 8 and 15 kts it does make a bit of noise, once wind is stronger the noise reduces. I believe that you can get quieter blade sets.

In my opinion windgens really come into best effect when you are in tradewind conditions with 15kts plus all the time. Sailing upwind its great especially of its rough because then my genset sucks air through the cooling intake and runs dry. If I'm doing 8 kts upwind in 20 kts wind then I am making 6 to 9 amps at 24 v which is more than enough to chill a few beers in the fridge.

The quietest ones I've seen are the Eclectic Energy D600 and D400, but I believe they are quite expensive and I would not be able to comment on their effectiveness.

For Balaerics, I would guess there isn't enough wind to justify a wind gen, so maybe solar is the way to go. Another option is to mount them on the guardrails so they hinge out to horizontal when you want them to work. This always looks to me like they might get damaged while docking or taking waves.

paepi
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby paepi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:38 pm


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Herminia
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby Herminia » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 pm

Hi paepi and welcome to the forum :-)

Yes, this is the location I was thinking about as well. It looks easy to install them there. I guess it works well if you move the boom to one side while at anchor to minimize shadow.

Looking forward to some pictures of your boat. It is always interesting to check out other GS52's!
Where is your cruising area?
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Rune
Grand Soleil 52 "Herminia"
Cruising Spain

paepi
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby paepi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:42 pm


paepi
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby paepi » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:49 am

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choel
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby choel » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:02 pm

I've been installing a couple of solar panels for the last few weeks here in Greece. And I would recommend a semi flexible one. You can step on it and it will follow the shape of the deck. Have a look at these, . You can mount them anywhere on deck an maximize your coverage.
Been planning to mount a couple of them myself in the near future.
About wind generators I'm personally not so found of the blade ones cause they tend to make a lot of noise. I would look at a this , almost noiseless. But they are not as efficient , but to have it quiet instead is a big plus.
And I recommend to install a regulator for your solar panels, no matter how small they are. If you have more then 300W I would recommend a MPPT regulator, which is of course a bit more expensive, but you will get the full power.
Joel
Grand Soleil 45 "Serenity"
Currently in Lavrio, Greece

streetcar
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Re: Solar panels on GS52

Postby streetcar » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:10 pm

I am interested why you advise to use a regulator with small solar panels. I have used these panels for over a year in tropical sun and the battery voltage has never been over float charge levels, even with very low loads.


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