Researching low profile solar panels


JB Duler
 

Thanks for your email Greg!

I have a different set, as my main sail boom is ABOVE the arch.
I’ll check out Offgristech.

Here are some photos of my setup.

Best,

JB



On Sep 27, 2021, at 01:05, Gregory Shea <gmshea@...> wrote:


Hey JB, 
I have the same "in front of the mizzen" arrangement as you. The issue with that arrangement is that the width of the panels is constrained by the mizzen and the boom and/or topping lift. Finding panels with the correct geometry I found challenging. The only vendor that offered panels that would work for me was a German outfit, Offgridtech. 
They are not particularly cheap but their technolgy seems more than adequate, their quality is excellent, the performance works for me and their delivery is reliable. I have two of their semi-flexibles in front of the mizzen and two of their rigids on the rail. Flexibility was not something I really needed, geometry and weight were my primary drivers in choosing the semi-flexibles. 
You can order direct from them or via Amazon.de. In one instance I had them ship to Italy and this year to Greece. Spain should be a snap. Their website is a mix of German and English but you can figure it out if you find yourself in a German bit.
In case you are looking at new panels that are wider than the old ones, don't just check the clearance with the sail furled.  Lift the boom up to the "to-be" position of the new panels and make sure they clear. Everything may seem OK in the static position but when the boom raises, as the sail is deployed, the dynamic clearance may be much less than you thought. I put a new main on my boat this year and with the sail furled everything looked fine. However, the cut of the new sail was sufficiently different to the old one that the end of the boom, when sailing, was much higher than with my old sail. The first time I gybed, the boom hit the solar framework. An Amel boom hitting anything will put the fear of god in you. A gybing Amel boom even more so. The framework was immediately raised to clear.
Attached are some pics of an early version of my setup with my old main deployed.
<image1.jpeg><image2.jpeg>Good luck with the project.

Greg Shea
Sharki 133 Cap des Iles
Kilada, Greece


From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of JB Duler <jbduler@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:20 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Researching low profile solar panels
 
Hello,

I have a unique setup, an arch in front of the mizzen mast where 19W flexible solar panels were installed maybe 20 years ago. They are dead.

  1. I want to explore low profile rigid panels (the boom swings above it) as I do not think I can fit normal panels with regular height.
    1. Any of you have had experience with low profile panels? I would prefer low profile panels instead of flexible panels (but if I find nothing I may revert to flexible panels).
    2. The dimensions of the arch are 245 cm * 51 cm
  2. I can install a rigid or flexible panel on the rigid dodger where I can fit 45 cm * 135 cm
  3. I am also exploring adding side panels mounted on the Swedish system we recently discussed (Thanks Danny and Greg for the tips!)
  4. Any brand or dealer you would recommend?

The boat is based near Barcelona. Where is a good source to get panels in Europe? I know where to go in the US but not in Europe.

Thanks again for the help,
--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


Gregory Shea
 


Hey JB, 
I have the same "in front of the mizzen" arrangement as you. The issue with that arrangement is that the width of the panels is constrained by the mizzen and the boom and/or topping lift. Finding panels with the correct geometry I found challenging. The only vendor that offered panels that would work for me was a German outfit, Offgridtech. 
They are not particularly cheap but their technolgy seems more than adequate, their quality is excellent, the performance works for me and their delivery is reliable. I have two of their semi-flexibles in front of the mizzen and two of their rigids on the rail. Flexibility was not something I really needed, geometry and weight were my primary drivers in choosing the semi-flexibles. 
You can order direct from them or via Amazon.de. In one instance I had them ship to Italy and this year to Greece. Spain should be a snap. Their website is a mix of German and English but you can figure it out if you find yourself in a German bit.
In case you are looking at new panels that are wider than the old ones, don't just check the clearance with the sail furled.  Lift the boom up to the "to-be" position of the new panels and make sure they clear. Everything may seem OK in the static position but when the boom raises, as the sail is deployed, the dynamic clearance may be much less than you thought. I put a new main on my boat this year and with the sail furled everything looked fine. However, the cut of the new sail was sufficiently different to the old one that the end of the boom, when sailing, was much higher than with my old sail. The first time I gybed, the boom hit the solar framework. An Amel boom hitting anything will put the fear of god in you. A gybing Amel boom even more so. The framework was immediately raised to clear.
Attached are some pics of an early version of my setup with my old main deployed.
Good luck with the project.

Greg Shea
Sharki 133 Cap des Iles
Kilada, Greece


From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of JB Duler <jbduler@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:20 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Researching low profile solar panels
 
Hello,

I have a unique setup, an arch in front of the mizzen mast where 19W flexible solar panels were installed maybe 20 years ago. They are dead.

  1. I want to explore low profile rigid panels (the boom swings above it) as I do not think I can fit normal panels with regular height.
    1. Any of you have had experience with low profile panels? I would prefer low profile panels instead of flexible panels (but if I find nothing I may revert to flexible panels).
    2. The dimensions of the arch are 245 cm * 51 cm
  2. I can install a rigid or flexible panel on the rigid dodger where I can fit 45 cm * 135 cm
  3. I am also exploring adding side panels mounted on the Swedish system we recently discussed (Thanks Danny and Greg for the tips!)
  4. Any brand or dealer you would recommend?

The boat is based near Barcelona. Where is a good source to get panels in Europe? I know where to go in the US but not in Europe.

Thanks again for the help,
--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


JB Duler
 

Hello,

I have a unique setup, an arch in front of the mizzen mast where 19W flexible solar panels were installed maybe 20 years ago. They are dead.

  1. I want to explore low profile rigid panels (the boom swings above it) as I do not think I can fit normal panels with regular height.
    1. Any of you have had experience with low profile panels? I would prefer low profile panels instead of flexible panels (but if I find nothing I may revert to flexible panels).
    2. The dimensions of the arch are 245 cm * 51 cm
  2. I can install a rigid or flexible panel on the rigid dodger where I can fit 45 cm * 135 cm
  3. I am also exploring adding side panels mounted on the Swedish system we recently discussed (Thanks Danny and Greg for the tips!)
  4. Any brand or dealer you would recommend?

The boat is based near Barcelona. Where is a good source to get panels in Europe? I know where to go in the US but not in Europe.

Thanks again for the help,
--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med