February 6, 2010

solar panels

as the circumnavigation started we realized we needed to turn either the engine or the generator to charge the batteries more often than what we wanted. every hour of the engine or the generator represents diesel consumption and deterioration of belts, increase in frequency of oil changes, filters, etc... so we decided to go lighter on the budget and boost the charging power of the wind generator by also going solar. we found two 85 watt solar panels from the catamaran light speed in san blas, and purchased them for a good price. we carried them on board and placed them on deck initially only to find no free deck space to maneuver.

we finally decided to install them on top of the bimini which was the better place for direct sun light exposure and the better option considering the costs of materials and our boat size. We are quite happy with the installation. now we can only hope they will really work and provide the 9 amp average per hour as they are supposed to.

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