Buyer's Guide: Quality Solar Panels for Boat

Solar panels are generally energy-conserving equipment. They absorb and convert the sunlight into electric energy to charge a wide array of your devices, such as refrigerators, ovens, lamps, and smartphones.

Why Choose a Solar Panel for Boats

Obtaining a high-quality solar panel specially built for the ship is an asset, because it can convert solar energy into electricity, so you don't have to worry about the electricity problem on the ship.

In fact, a boat consumes a lot of electricity. Appliances like lights, refrigerators, microwave ovens, GPS consume electricity all the time. Since you need to maintain the operation of these devices, the power of the backup battery will be quickly consumed by them, so the only way to prevent this is to equip solar panels to charge your backup battery to keep the boat running normally.

At the same time, one of the benefits of choosing solar panels for boats is that you can enjoy a moment of peace when using noiseless solar panels, unlike gas generators that produce smoke and noise. This is the best choice, especially when the purpose of the trip is to enjoy nature and solitude during a leisure outing. According to some researches, solar panels are the safest power generation medium.

Features to Consider When Picking Solar Panels for Boats 

As for getting a solar panel for marine use, there are certain features to look out for. Marine solar panels are becoming more and more popular as sea travelers begin to realize that solar power systems save them additional money. We would, however, be exploring features to be considered before picking a marine solar panel.

1. Size

The first thing to put into consideration is the solar panel's size. The size of a solar panel goes a long way in determining the quantity of power it can supply. You wouldn't want to run short of power by using a small panel. The best way to do this is to get a list of all the equipment that needs power supply in the boat, calculate the number of amp hours of DC each would require, add about 20% more, and get a suitable marine solar panel for your boat as regards size.

2. Place

The next to consider is the location where the folding solar panels for boat would be mounted. This is very key in getting the best out of your solar panel. Since solar panels get charged in contact with the sun, getting the sun to be directly on it would produce more power in a short period.

3. Type

Finally, you should put into consideration the type of solar panels. Initially, we said that the size of the solar panel affects the quantity of energy being converted into electrical power. However, the type has a greater role to play in the quality of the panel. Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous are the three basic marine solar panels. Amongst them, monocrystalline is classified as the highest in terms of efficiency, but it is also expensive.

How Do Solar Panels Work on Boats?

Usually, solar panels for boats need to be used with portable power stations. The marine solar panels converts solar energy into electricity and stores it in a solar generator.

Solar panels obtain electricity directly from sunlight, and the generated electricity is stored in a solar generator for use. You only need to place the solar panels in a sunny and shadow-free place during the day, and then adjust the angle so that the sun's rays are directly on the solar panels to achieve maximum utilization. Some solar panels will be equipped with a kickstand to facilitate you to adjust the angle. If it doesn’t come with a kickstand, then you need to find an alternative to support the solar panels.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need for Your Boats

The panels needed on your boats depend on some factors: the quantity of the appliances that require electricity on your boats, the kind of solar panels you are using regarding the three kinds of panels we mentioned above, and the size of your boats and solar panels. With all these under consideration, you should know how many solar panels for boats you need. While some boats would need just a 100-watt solar panel or even smaller, others would require a larger amount of watt, requiring more panels. All you need to do is calculate the amount of energy your boat requires per day. With that, you would know the number of panels that are needed.

Below are some common appliances you may be using on your boats, and what they draw for power:

Appliance

Power consumption (W)

Daily hours of use

Daily power consumption (Wh)

Lights

60W

5

300Wh

GPS display

50W

4

200Wh

Bilge pump

40W

1

40Wh

Microwave

200W

0.5

100Wh

Mini-fridge

200W

24

4,800Wh

According to this, you know that a 200-watt solar panel will produce 1,000Wh of electricity for 5 hours (200 watt*5 hours=1,000Wh). Not taking into account conversion losses, that means it will power bilge pump for 25 hours or 5 hours for Mini-fridge.

Recommended Solar Panels for Your Boats

As we mentioned above, the efficiency of monocrystalline solar panels comes a rather high  23.5%. So we recommend the following solar panels for you.

 

BLUETTI SP200 200W SOLAR PANEL

This solar panel can produce 4000Wh of electricity in 8 hours in full sunlight (200W*8H=4,000Wh). This is enough to power the basic equipment of a small boat.

It has kickstands, so you can adjust the angle at any time to ensure that the sun can always be directly on the panel to achieve its best efficiency.

It can charge BLUETTI AC30/AC50S/EB150/AC200P power station. Moreover, it’s very portable and weighs only 14.3 lbs. It comes with a handle so you can easily take it to other places.

Installing solar panels on the boat allows you to have enough electricity to run the equipment on the boat during the day. But for the night, the electricity problem still cannot be solved. So we recommend this combo for you.

 

BLUETTI AC200MAX POWER STATION+3*PV200 PANEL COMBO

As explained above, to have a beautiful experience on a boat without the hassle of no electricity or noisy sound coming from a gas-powered generator, AC200MAX power station is a nice choice.

It has a very good capacity of 2048Wh for AC200MAX. During the day, you can use 3 PV200W solar panels to charge AC200MAX, and then use AC200MAX to power your fans, lights and other equipment at night. With this combination, you don't have to be in the dark even at night.

FAQ

Q: Does solar panel waterproof?

Honestly, rain has no bad effect on your solar panel system. Yes, it is fully waterproofed so that no form of moisture would damage it. It has a strong resistance to rain. But in order to maximize the life span of the solar panel, please try not to get it wet or soak it into water.

Q: How many solar panels does it take to power a boat?

It takes as much as even one to power it. However, the size of the boat and the equipment needing power should be put into consideration before getting any solar panels.

Q: How good are solar panels on boats?

So far, so good, solar panels are very good on boats. Not only are they cheaper to run, but they are also quiet and clean.

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