Which are the best solar panels for boats ? Sailing without engine noise and wasting fuel seemed crazy a few years ago. Today, it would be even more absurd to spend thousands of dollars on gasoline when we can take advantage of the sun’s energy at a much lower cost.
But, do all solar panels work on a boat at sea? We researched and selected solar panels that work in all weather conditions. Listed here are the best solar technologies to take on board.
Read more: Best solar charger for backpacking
Uses of solar energy on the boat
– Powering the boat’s engine. A solar panel of the right size can absorb the amount of solar energy your engine needs to run.
– Power various devices and accessories with solar energy. Carry a refrigerator, chargers, radios, or televisions onboard, without the expense of fuel.
– Power the boat’s lighting with the sun’s energy. It reduces fuel consumption. You won’t have to use a noisy conventional generator to turn on the lights at night either.
Installation of solar panels on the ship
If the deck surface is flat, install solar panels with an aluminum frame and safety glass. Take advantage of the deck of the boat or the Bimini if your ship is thin.
On the other hand, if the surface of your boat is curved, use flexible or semi-flexible solar panels. These do not have a rigid frame. Attach the flexible panel to the roof with polyurethane adhesive. If you want to install and uninstall it easily and turn it into a temporary installation, use the flexible device, taking advantage of the eyelets in each of its four corners.
To optimize the reception of photovoltaic energy, the panels must be perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Therefore, it is convenient to use systems that allow the rotation of the panels and improve performance. Fixed panels can reduce functionality. If an area of the solar panel receives only shadow, it will stop working, even if it has half of its structure in the shadow. Use brackets above the stern or radar arch to locate the panels.
The quality of the cable is critical in the installation. It must be an electrical cable of a cross-section capable of withstanding the corrosion of the marine environment. Although not inexpensive, it will be more durable than conventional cable.
Best solar panels for boats
1. Nature Power 3W Semi Flexible Solar Panel
A solar panel crafted from crystalline mono. This material makes it efficient, potent, and durable.
The aluminum frame holds the cells in place. It protects them from damage while being able to withstand the sun’s heat of high selective power, fast wiring, and installation built into the diode.
Despite its dimensions, this Monocrystalline panel weighs only 24.6 lbs, making it manageable in the installation process.
- Manufactured with anticorrosive material
- Easy to install
- Silent and environmentally friendly
- Includes mounting hardware set
2. ALLPOWERS 50 Watts Solar Plegable
This semi-flexible solar panel is more durable than a traditional rigid panel. It is also waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. The cleaner your panels are, the more light they can convert. It also helps manufacturers have made it lightweight, flexible, and durable.
- Conversion efficiency up to 22%-25%
- Lightweight and packable
- Dimensions: 22.047 x 21.260 x 0.098 in.
- Net weight: 1.9 lbs.
- Must use at room temperature: 0 ~ +40 (℃) / 32 ~ 104 (℉)
3. Nature Power120 Watt Solar
It is the solar panel for your boat if you need portability. There may be a time when you don’t want to attach a solar panel directly to your ship. Nature Power120 Watt Solar is ideal for moving from place to place. One day you have it powering your ship. The next day you are using it to power a laptop on the beach.
- Compact design.
- Efficient portability.
4. MooHoo 18V Flexible Solar
We can’t talk about this solar panel saying how to bend with enough flexibility. By folding 30 degrees this solar panel, you will have more options as to put it. A great feature that will help you install this solar panel on the roof of your sailboat.
- Easy to install
- More powerful options are available
5. Winnewsun Flexible 100W Solar
Winnewsun Flexible 100W Solar is Another flexible solar panel on our list. It can also bend up to 30 degrees. Winnewsun Flexible 100W Solar is an ideal panel to install on the curved surfaces that sailboats usually have, making it one of the most efficient on the market.
- It is bifacial.
- Both sides of the solar panel can generate energy,
- Easy to install panel.
6. Renology 400 Watt 12 Volt
Renology 400 Watt 12 Volt has everything you need to create a charging system. This panel will power many batteries, charge them to a high capacity and charge them quickly: Up to 2000W/h available per day. You can fully charge a $200 battery in as little as three hours. Output is easily scalable.
- Fast charging time
- Easy to install panel.
7. Acopower 35 W Solar Panel
Pre-drilled holes in the strip wires make this an easy solar panel to install on your sailboat. If you want to turn your sailboat into an off-grid boat, then this piece is worth checking out. Acopower 35 W Solar Panel is also small. And it has something that takes up a more space-efficient design for incremental Weather Ready boats.
8. Newpowa 30 W Poly Solar
With Newpowa 30 W Poly Solar it is only a thing to worry about: it will give you too much charge. If you plan to leave the solar panel installed, you may also want to invest in a charge controller. Charge controllers can withstand the heat. You will need thin, highly rated aluminum frames in a hot area.
9. Newpowa 150 Watt Solar
It is one of the most powerful solar panels on the list. If cruising long distances is your goal, then this is the solar panel for you. If you are the owner of a large sailboat and you need the power, then this is the panel you should look for.
10. Windy Nation 100w off
It is a pretty sailboat solar panel system. In one package, you will have everything you need to set up your sailboat to be off the grid and leave the world’s needs behind except for provisions. That kit comes with a solar panel, a 30 amp charge controller designed for boats, adjustable off-grid disconnect kit.
You’re sailing the ocean or the sea. You smile because you know you power all your devices and appliances with the sun’s energy. You have a solar panel system for sailboats. You’ve researched the best solar panels for sailboats, and now you have one. His sailing adventures have never been better. We hope you have obtained all the information you need to add a small solar panel to your boat or turn it into a power-generating machine.
Advantages of using solar panels for boats
Today, the use of solar energy does not seem surprising because, thanks to technical progress, it has become commonplace and familiar. Solar panels are used in everyday life: in industries and businesses, allowing significant savings with alternative energy supply.
The first reason to take advantage of solar energy in shipping is the significant fuel savings. Solar energy is much cheaper to produce than electricity generated by a fuel generator.
The second reason is noise pollution. It is a critical issue for a quiet life: reduce sound levels while staying at sea. Since a regular generator often emits sound while operating the boat.
In contrast, solar panels for marine use are silent. Marine solar panels do the job of generating electricity simply and efficiently. At the same time, they save you from excessive noise pollution.
The additional advantage of having solar panels on your boat is that you can charge your boat’s battery without being on top. Therefore, one can secure a ship at sea and engage in other activities such as diving or fishing. Keeping photovoltaic systems connected to the boat means that you can reliably release some electrical pressure even when diving.