Re: solar panel

Bill Kinney


Dean has given a great explanation of how solar panel manufacturing tolerances and marketing interact.  We bought our panels when they were new on the market, and we lucky enough to have gotten a pair with well above rated output, but it's a crap shoot. We will see above rated output most sunny days for about an hour either side of local noon.  But of course peak output is not REALLY what matters.  Total daily energy output is really what we care about.

Our two arch mounted, horizontal, 315W rated, panels generate between 3.25 and 3.5 kW-hrs on a typical sunny day in south Florida in the spring.  In June we will see as high as 4.0 kW-hrs.  This is on those days when our batteries are accepting a bulk charge all day.  Our normal daily power consumption at anchor is about 6 kW-hrs, so the solar panels give us a bit more than half our total usage.  We run the generator every other day to bring the batteries up to about a 93% charge in the AM, and the solar panels then bring them up to 100% full by 14:00.  It is a set up that has worked really well for us.

Most of the 6kW-hr power usage is refrigeration.  We run two freezers, and a fridge, and the Amel installed insulation is not the greatest. A serious upgrade of the insulation is on our wish list.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Hollywood, FL

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