You can fit a solar
panel to just about any boat i.e Westerly, Fisher, Bavaria,
Sadler, Hunter, Beneteau, Moody, Island Packet, Jaguar,
Hardy, Bowman, Fairline, Nauticat, Najad, Malao, Oyster,
Vancouver, and Nelson to name just a few.
Above - The Finished
A solar panel fitted to your craft somehow seems a perfectly
natural thing to do, sailing and boating are where we go for
piece and tranquility and the solar panel epitomises this by
virtue of the fact it has no moving parts and therefore no noise
or pollution. Most craft have a little area of deck or coachroof
where a panel can be installed, and there is no need to worry
about damage to the panel as there are panels that are made
to be walked on as in the picture above.
There are many panels sizes and power values so there will be
a panel or panels to fit whatever your requirements in terms
of power production - see the power specification
page for help on specifying a system.
The parts and tools necessary to complete the job:-
Solar panel regulator*
Fuse holder and fuse
Sikaflex - 291 adhesive/sealant
* For help with specifying these items visit panel specification
We started by choosing an area for our panel which apart from
a bit of shadow from the boom was in the sun just about all
day, we would park the boom to the side while moored to stop
this. We chose a walk on panel so if someone was clambering
about on the coachroof we did not have to worry about damage.
panel with a thick cloth/blanket or similar to stop any electrical
production while working and wiring until the installation is
the chosen position -
Clean the area well and use methylated
spirits to remove any grease.
out the position -
Once you have a clean surface to
work on carefully mark out the panel position by laying masking
tape around the panel parameter and tracing around the panel
marking the screw holes as well. Next plan the route for the
cable which has to have a flowing curve to the deck gland/cover
if your installation works out like the one here.
||Waterproof deck gland/cover
(this was a Solara product)
Applying the adhesive and sealant to the
back of the panel.
panel in position -
Cover the panel with a cloth to
stop any electrical production while working and place the panel
in position and finally screw with stainless screws in each
Wiring the regulator
- The next part is to take the wire
that is through the deck/roof to the regulator. Find a good
position for your regulator so it is easily monitored. Wiring
it up is very basic and consists of two wires in and two wires
out, most regulators have symbols as can just about be seen
in the picture below.
Their are six holes at the bottom of this regulator of which
for this simple solar installation we only need to use the first
four. The first two holes are for the solar panel +/- and the
middle two are for the run to the fuse and batterry - on this
regulator they are clearly marked. The remaining two holes on
the right are not used here.
to the battery
- Next take the 'out' wires and run them
via a fuse to the battery observing the +/- terminals. A simple
fuse holder bought from a chandlers, Maplins, Halfords or simular
electrical store is quite sufficient. Remember to place the
fuse very close to the battery.
Need to ask a question!
Then visit the forum where professionals maybe able to help
Other pages to help you with
the installation are:-
To communicate with us over
technical issues please use the Solar
Chat Forum, also take a look at the Solar
Warming - it's why we are making changes to our way of life!
David Bellamy has a very interesting article on global warming
where he gives another point of view, Read