Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Solar panels

I fitted a 135 watt solar panel in October last year....clicky here  It is doing exactly what I wanted in that on getting to the boat on Friday we had 100% on the smart-gauge. We left the boat at about 70% after the New Year so it has been trickle charging the batteries just perfectly. All we did was run the engine for some hot water, then the stove back boiler kept the water hot via the new Calorifier - it's great when a plan comes together.  We were happy to leave the boat at 85% knowing it will be 100% when we are next aboard.

At the moment it is flat on the roof held in place by 4 x taxi sign magnets (good to 70pmh !) plus a lock to the roof. We will make a folding bracket to lift it to the required 30 degrees when we need more performance from it.

We have to run the engine for an hour to get 10% (on average) into the batteries. I know that our boat uses about a litre of fuel an hour so its in real terms about a quid for every 10% so we are starting to see the return, albeit slowly, on our investment !


Halfie said...

Nev, I was interested to compare your 135W installation with that of John Ryan, who wrote about it in the latest Canal Boat mag (March 2012). He went for self-adhesive solar panels stuck to the top of his boat. His panels look larger than yours, but he claims his are only 68W. In your research did you reject "flexi-panels" in favour of your rigid type on grounds of efficiency? Unfortunately he doesn't give the dimensions of his panels.

You also seem to have completed your job much quicker than John Ryan - he suggests allowing several hours for it!

For the benefit of other readers here is Nev's original post: http://nevsblogaroony.blogspot.com/2011/11/free-energy-ish.html

Nev Wells said...


Yes we ruled stick on panels out based on performance, plus I was not keen on having them permanently on the roof re painting etc. It really was a good job done, but plenty of evening thinking went into it so when I had all the bits I knew where everything was going. How's the boat hunting going there are so many out there at the moment but there is also a lot dross.

Halfie said...

Boat hunt going slowly at the mo. Really annoying that being at work stops me going to look at boats!