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Houseboat with PVT heat pump solar panels Amsterdam. Houseboat solar panels

Houseboat with PVT heat pump solar panels Amsterdam. Houseboat solar panels

    Solar Boat: What Size Solar System Does Your Boat Need?

    Capt. Jim Greer finished a 7,200-mile cruise, and he did it running his 48-foot trihull purely on solar power.

    His longest run was 142 miles in 42 hours nonstop, day and night, crossing the Gulf of Mexico. If that’s not impressive then we don’t know what is. Video: Jim Greer’s Solar Boat Recollection Story You may be wondering how exactly he did it? Well, in this article we aim to teach you what size solar system you need for your solar boat. Ultimately, if you want to go on a long voyage like Capt. Jim Greer, you are going to need some serious battery capacity. This article is instead aimed towards hobbyists looking to equip their watercraft with some basic onboard solar to power certain smaller appliances on their solar boat.

    How to Calculate the Amount of Battery Power Your Solar Boat Needs?

    Remember, not everyday will be sunny and night time will come. What do you do then? How will you power your boats appliances? This is where marine boat batteries come into play. Again you will require the table we already created above to figure this out. Take note of your daily watt hours usage. First, select your battery bank voltage size:

    • 12V – Smaller systems
    • 24V – 48V – Medium to large systems

    We will use 12 volts for our boat.

    2160Wh divided by 12 volts = 180Ah (amp hours)

    Now let’s account for days of autonomy. We do this to assure we have enough power on overcast days, where the sun is not able to power our devices or charge our battery.

    360Ah would be more than sufficient in power our boats devices at night, and in a worst case scenario, during an extended period of 2 days without sun.

    (Please note: we did not account for inefficiencies and temperature coefficients in our calculations.)

    Can I Use a BLUETTI Solar Generator on a Solar Boat?

    A Bluetti Solar generator could absolutely be used on your boat. The overall investment would be cheaper and installation costs would be non existent.

    You could simply plug your required appliances into your solar generator and power them directly.

    You could then use our PV 200 Watt solar panels to recharge your generator whenever it is sunny.

    Final Thoughts

    We would recommend using a Bluetti solar generator on shorter sailing trips.

    houseboat, heat, pump, solar, panels, amsterdam

    However, if you plan to go out on extended expeditions we would definitely recommend getting a full on fixed solar system installed, with a large battery capacity.

    If you would like to read more about solar power for boats check out this article.

    FAQ

    How does a solar boat work? Boats have traditionally been propelled by manpower, such as using paddles, by wind or motor, such as using gasoline Therefore, this means that solar boats are boats that get their energy from the sun – by the use of solar panels and storage batteries to transform sunlight into electrical power, which powers the boat.

    houseboat, heat, pump, solar, panels, amsterdam

    Are solar panels on a boat worth it? There are numerous benefits to powering your boat with solar energy. One of the most attractive benefits of marine solar power systems is the monetary savings. You’ll need to invest money upfront to purchase solar equipment; however, once it’s up and running, you’ll be generating free electricity for your boat.

    What is a solar yacht? Solar boats use renewable energy from the sun to run their motors, electrical systems, and onboard appliances. They do not use petrol/diesel generators or engines and meet all their power needs using solar panels and batteries.

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    Houseboat with PVT heat pump solar panels Amsterdam

    Houseboat with PVT heat pump solar panels Amsterdam: How do you heat an old steel houseboat? Preferably without an enormous gas bill. And also without having to hoist a gas bottle on board very often. In addition, houseboat residents have a natural need to be independent. When the municipality of Amsterdam introduced a subsidy for natural gas-free living, these residents were the first to apply.

    Location of the heat pump panels

    The challenge was to place the PVT heat pump solar panels so that they did not cover the roof hatches in the deck. In addition, placing the heat pump in the ship’s engine room was also a challenge.

    Sustainable houseboat

    In the end, they had an energy-neutral houseboat in the center of Amsterdam with the famous Triple Solar PVT heat pump solar panels.

    Solution

    The mounting frames are mounted on studs welded to the deck. In order to make the ship energy neutral, four additional PV solar panels were placed on the roof of the cabin. The challenge was to install the NIBE 6kW heat pump with separate 200 liter boiler. Shipwrights are often handy and so some steel was cut away in the engine room to make room for the heat pump with boiler.

    Low temperature heating on houseboat

    Since 2007 there has been underfloor heating in most of the ship. The occupant only replaced the radiators in the living room with low-temperature convectors. Of course there also had to be well insulated.

    Would you like to know more about gasless heating of a houseboat with PVT heat pump solar panels in Amsterdam? Email info@triplesolar.eu

    PVT heat pump solar panels houseboat in Amsterdam

    Energy neutral houseboat with PVT heatpump panels in Amsterdam

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    How to install your solar panels ?

    Technological advances related to solar panels make them almost essential on a boat nowadays, whether it is to maintain the charge of the batteries during absences without connecting the boat to the dock (which is more and more often prohibited by harbor authorities due to the risks of fire) or to spread the ever-increasing consumption on board.Here are some tips to choose the right installation diagram and connect your solar panels to your circuit.

    Connect the charge controller

    In humid environments such as a boat, it is recommended to use pre-tinned cables for best performance over time. These are recognized by their silver colored wires instead of the copper colored.

    First of all, connect the regulator to the house battery as shown above. In doing so, a regulator with auto detection will recognize the battery system. Then connect the solar panel. In almost all cases, you will need to use a long cable and a connection between this cable and the cable of the solar panel has to be made.

    If you have a removable solar panel, you will most likely have MC4 waterproof connectors on it and you should use MC4 connectors that are compatible with them on the end of the cable from the regulator. The metallic part of the MC4 connector should be welded to the wire, then put inside the plastic part with a click. You should then screw on the cap firmly to achieve a complete seal. Pressing instead of welding could cause a defective connection and at worst catch fire due to the heat.

    For Flush panels that do not have connectors, you must connect the cable on the inside. Welding is better than any other method of connection.

    If possible, choose thick cables (large cross-sectional area) to avoid any losses. A small percentage of the loss is acceptable for the cable running from the solar panel to the regulator. Between the regulator and the battery, we want the voltage to drop to zero. Therefore, it is important to place the regulator as close as possible to the batteries or to the main cables.

    Solar panels in parallel or in series ?

    Connection in series :

    Advantages :. Higher tensionDisadvantages :. Small constant power loss in the bypass diode. Bypass diodes will avoid partial shade phenomenon but 2 panels in series will always produce less than 2 panels in parallel. Limitation of the number of panels according to the specifications of the MPPT

    Connection in parallel :

    Advantages :. No partial shade phenomenon, especially on a boat. Better overall performance. No bypass diode

    Disadvantages :. Not all MPPTs allow parallel connection. Panels must have identical specifications

    houseboat, heat, pump, solar, panels, amsterdam

    Solar panels connected in parallel

    Use models with similar Vmp (indication on the technical sheet).

    Solar panels connected in series

    If connecting the solar panels in series is unavoidable, we recommend using a maximum of 2 to 3 panels, respecting the maximum voltage of the panels and of the MPPT.

    Bypass diodes (see below) are ALWAYS required to prevent that the less well-exposed panel lowers the overall production

    For 24V or 48V systems, we recommend using a Genasun Boost controller in order to avoid connecting solar panels in series.

    Parallel and series combination

    For large panels, a combination of series and parallel connection is necessary in order to find the right combination of voltage and panel specifications.

    Some recommendations :

    • The maximum number of panels that can be connected in series varies depending on the model.
    • The number of parallel groups is limited by the MPPT.
    • The same advantages and disadvantages described previously concerning connections in parallel vs in series apply here as well.
    • Use a balanced symmetrical configuration.
    • The same size and model of solar panel should be used.
    • A bypass diode must be installed on each panel.

    For each series group, a fuse is mandatory. The amperage of the fuse is determined by the ISC (Max short-circuit current found in the technical sheets of the panels) X 1.25.

    Example: for a panel with an ISC of 6 A, you should use a fuse of 1.25 X 6 = 7.5 or 8 A

    The direction of the diodes

    The direction of the diodes is crucial, it is indicated by arrows or a and – sign; The of the diode should be plugged into the – of the panels.

    Multiple installations

    In order to meet large production needs, it is possible to associate several subsystems with an MPPT on each of themOn a boat for example: a combination of panels connected in series and in parallel for starboard and another for port. tribord et un autre pour bâbord.

    Solar panels for boats

    Owning a boat can be an expensive proposition; not only do you have to pay an upfront cost to purchase it, but you’ll also have to spend money on maintenance and fuel charges. If you’re looking for a reliable and cost-effective way to power your boat, solar panels may be the answer.

    How do solar panels work on boats?

    Solar energy systems on boats work similarly to other portable. off-grid systems. There are four important components to a marine solar panel system:

    houseboat, heat, pump, solar, panels, amsterdam

    Depending on the electrical setup of your boat and the types of appliances you need to energize, you may also need an inverter to convert direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. Some boat electronics use DC and as such do not require an inverter with a solar panel setup. However, if you use some everyday household appliances on your boat (i.e.TVs, microwaves, or hairdryers), they likely run on AC electricity and you’ll need an inverter.

    Best solar panel kits for boats

    There are a number of options available when it comes to buying a solar kit for your boat. Below are a few products that are tailored to off-grid marine solar power systems.

    Boat solar panel options

    ProductCostPanel wattage (W)Included equipment
    Renogy flexible solar panel 200 100 W None
    WindyNation solar panel 160 100 W Charge controller, connectors, mounting brackets
    Renogy solar panel 175 160 W None
    Newpowa solar panel 100 100 W None

    If your solar panel kit does not include an inverter or charge controller, you’ll need to buy those components separately. Battery storage products occasionally have built-in inverters and/or charge controllers.

    Should you install solar panels on your boat?

    There are numerous benefits to powering your boat with solar energy. One of the most attractive benefits of marine solar power systems is the monetary savings. You’ll need to invest money upfront to purchase solar equipment; however, once it’s up and running, you’ll be generating free electricity for your boat. Alternatives to electrifying your boat, like gasoline-powered generators, require purchasing fuel on an ongoing basis. Switching to solar power can cut down on these purchases while protecting you against rising fuel costs.

    Another benefit of marine solar panel systems is the quietness of operation. For those going out on the open water to experience nature, running a generator can be a noisy disturbance. By powering your boat with solar, you can enjoy peace and quiet without losing power.

    Furthermore, you can also safely generate electricity and charge your battery with solar power while you’re away from your boat. This isn’t feasible with generators – running a generator requires manual operation and monitoring. With solar panels, you can produce usable electricity during the day and then use it for weekend boating adventures.

    However, there can be obstacles to installing solar on a boat, perhaps the largest of which is available space. Ideally, your solar panels can be installed in an area with uninterrupted sunshine. Depending on the type of boat you have, this space may be easy or difficult to come by. While you likely get a lot of sun out on the water, the space it may be too small or have too many obstacles that make fitting the number of solar panels necessary to generate all of your electricity needs difficult.

    How many solar panels do you need for your boat?

    The first step in figuring out how many solar panels you need is to calculate your electricity load. Below are some common appliances you may be using on your boat, and what they draw for power.

    How many solar panels do you need for common appliances?

    AppliancePower consumption (W)Daily hours of useDaily power consumption (Wh)
    Lightbulb 60 W 6 360 Wh
    TV 200 W 4 800 Wh
    Microwave 800 W .1 80 Wh
    Mini-fridge 200 W 24 4,800 Wh
    Fan 400 W 2 800 Wh
    Blige pump 40 W 1 40 Wh
    GPS display 50 W 3 150 Wh

    The last column of the above table is the amount of energy you’ll consume in watt-hours running each appliance for the number of hours identified in column three. One 100-watt solar panel that receives direct sunlight for 5 hours will produce approximately 500 Wh of electricity (5 hours x 100 W = 500 Wh). Not taking into account conversion losses, that’s enough electricity to power a mini-fridge for 24 hours, or power a boat’s GPS display for 10 hours. Running all of the appliances above for everyday use will require multiple 100-watt solar panels or fewer higher wattage panels.

    Install solar to save on electricity bills

    You can certainly save money by installing a marine solar panel system, but you’ll save even more by installing solar on your home or business. If you’re interested in evaluating your solar options, check out the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. You can receive up to seven custom solar quotes from local installers to compare side-by-side. Looking to start out with a quick estimate of solar costs and savings on your property? Try our Solar Calculator.

    reading on EnergySage

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    About Kerry Thoubboron

    Kerry is an expert in all things solar – she’s worked in the industry for over seven years, initially as an Energy Advisor dedicated to helping people compare their solar options and make well-informed energy decisions. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Environmental Analysis and Policy.

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