The Solar Panels

by Web FishApr 25, 2013 @ 04:49pm


The solar panels provide the main (and for now - only) source of power for the vessel. Electric power generated by the panels is used for driving propulsion pods, rudders, as well as all navionics (processor / controllers / comm). The harvested power is split between current consumption and battery bank charging. Battery banks kick in when solar power is below pre-defined threshold. 

  • Current selection: HighFlex Solar HF35W
  • Status: Finalized

  • Criteria: Weight, power output, efficiency (watt/sq.ft.), mounting, cost 
  • Finalists: Solbian SL40Q, HQRP 30W Flex panels, SunFlex 50W panels 
  • Main decision factors: Weight, availability, cost

 (click image for larger view) 

Spec highlights:

  • 27" x 13" x 1/8" panel size
  • < 2 lb panel weight
  • 4.7 V no-load output voltage
  • 4.5 V output voltage under nominal load
  • up to 7 A @ 4.4 V short current

 

Caveats:

  • Low output voltage requires adjustments to the rest of the power package;
  • These panels are MAGNIFICENT! At less than 4 ponds per side, we are harvesting up to 60-65 Watt power at high noon. Very, very exciting!

 

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