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I found an 80 watt would keep up in ideal conditions so just bought two of them, often one of them isn't in an ideal location so works well. Occasionally in the winter I am having to top the batterie

Not sure if you've finished this now but just in case I installed a 140W solid panel on top of my bimini over the summer, mainly to keep my fridge going. In direct sunlight at peak times I've seen it

I thought some might be interested in this. Here is a pic of my solar control panel the other morning. There are two 140w panels in series, producing the voltage on the left, and the associated ampera

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Just as a suggestion.

 

Have you considered rather than spending the coin on buying more generation and storage you spend it on upgrading your gear to more efficent stuff and in doing so reducing power consuption?

 

If your gear is anything like mine was, some is serioulsy inefficent.

 

I changed all my 6 bulb and fluro lights to 12 LED lights and in doing so can now have all 12 of the new ones on using only 82% of the power than just 1 of the old fluro ones did. That cost $252 six years ago..... and by todays standard those are now not that effcient nor cheap. We saved 50% just by changing the stereo, the new one will use less again, as long as I don't flick on the boom box. There are lots of very good saving to be had for not a lot of coin.

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I thought some might be interested in this. Here is a pic of my solar control panel the other morning. There are two 140w panels in series, producing the voltage on the left, and the associated amperage. The middle one is what is going into the batts. As you can see the MPPT controller is doing its stuff - reducing the volts to suit my batt, and uping the amps;

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Hi Farrari, This was a sunny day, but about 9am, The pic was posted to show the boost to charge that a MPPT controller can give.

 

My panels are flat on the bimini, (in fact one sloped slightly away from the sun, one slightly toward the sun at this time of day on the marina berth) The sun angle is not good at 9am this time of year. So far the setup has produced an average of 360w/hrs per day, which is not bad, but a bit lower than I had hoped. However it has rained and been cloudy a lot lately. I've not yet seen the max amp supply it can currently give (I've not been on the boat in the middle of a sunny day!). Perhaps it will be sunny around noon today, and I'll get a chance to have a look...

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Have to say I'm very impressed by the flexible solar panels. I had the perception that they were much less efficient than hard ones. I've put a 100W one from AA Solar aboard, and simply lashed it to the sail cover when anchored. It means I have nearly doubled my solar power, with a hard 110W aft. I often see my battery bank (300 Ahr) at 14.4V when the fridge cycles off. 

But there are cloudy days when I'm still happy to have the wind generator aboard. For serious cruising you need options.

 

Having just sailed to Fiji (on another Cat) I too am thinking of towed charging systems. At this time of the year the sun is out and effective for perhaps a third of the day, and modern auto pilots and nav systems need power all day and night.

 

How hard could it be to use a car alternator and regulator hooked up to a prop on a long solid trailing wand?

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