By Joshua Liedolf

With soaring gas prices and an ever-growing environmental problem, solar panels are a great way to power your yacht or boat. Once installed, they require very little maintenance (you just have to scrape the residue off of them from time to time), and they’ll probably last you well over a decade if you take good care of them. You have three primary options: you can go with monocrystal solar
panels which have a high output and are the most efficient option; you could instead opt for the polycrystal solar panels which have a high output and are almost as efficient as the monocrystal panels; or you could choose to use thin film amorphous solar panels, some of which feature shade-tolerant coating.

Most boaters find that maximum efficiency is achieved when the solar panels are installed high and toward the stern of a boat, preferably in direct sunlight. It’s best to place them at the apex of an arch, above one of the high points on the craft, such as above the cabin, or above the vessel’s lift system in order to minimize shadows that will fall across the face of the solar panel, reducing its optimum efficiency. Try to stick with a high-output model if you can. You can install the mount directly above a bimini (if you’re sure it will not be prone to shadowing), or, alternatively, you could install your solar panels on a rail along the stern. Installing your solar panels with one on each side of the boom will ensure that at least one of them will experience full sunlight at any point in time during the day. It is extremely important (with either a monocrystal or polycrystal model) to make sure your cells aren’t being shadowed, because if just one row is entirely shadowed, you won’t be getting any power output. That’s because when a row goes out you’re effectively getting a break in the circuit. If this becomes a problem you’ll need to invest in an amorphous solar panel with shade resistance (some models are manufactured with the cells divided into several circuits).

To learn more about product information, pricing, financing, and eligibility of tax credits call me today at 954.235.9911. Afterall, doesn’t it only make sense to save money, create your own energy,
increase your boat’s value, do something great for the environment and protect yourself from rising fuel costs? Call and ask for me, Josh Leidolf, Energy Efficiency Expert for State Energy Conservation. We are a company with a focus on clean energy that specializes in serving our clients. Our business focuses on solar energy and technology to satisfy the ever-growing demand for free energy! For more information, simply call 954.235.9911.