Solar panels can be a great help to sailors, keeping vital lights and appliances functioning, even when batteries run low or a generator malfunctions. They are also a much quieter way of recharging batteries!
Learning how to install marine solar panels will be vital for the sailor who wants their advantages, but first he or she must learn which solar panels are best. Three types of solar cells are commonly used in solar panels, each with its own advantages. The sailor needs to learn these advantages and select the solar panels that are best for the need.
Types of Solar Panels
Solar panels must be kept from shading, as shaded cells draw energy for themselves from other cells.
1. Solar panels using monocrystalline cells have high conversion efficiency, and take up less space, but lack shade protection.
2. Solar panels using polycrystalline cells have even higher conversion efficiency, take up even less space, but still lack shade protection.
3. Solar panels using amorphous silicon cells have lower conversion efficiency, and take up more space, but do 3km.ca have shade protection. This can be especially important on a sailboat.
Marine solar panels are available in both hard and flexible types. Hard solar panels can be attached to the deck, while flexible solar panels might be attached to deck or canvas.
Size and Number of Solar Panels
Learning how to install marine solar panels will include calculations to determine what size and how many solar panels you will need. This information is readily available on the Internet by searching the question: “What size solar panel do I need” on your favorite search engine. The rule of thumb is to allow for 20% more solar panel power than you estimate you will need.