When thinking about sailing in the present day, many emerging technologies are currently available for sailors who are environmentally conscious and want to go green. One such technology is the use of solar generators for boats, instead of the usual gasoline or diesel generator, to meet the boat’s power demands.
Many advantages come with the use of solar generators. Apart from saving you thousands of dollars in fuel, using a solar generator also gives you the freedom to generate your power from sustainable resources.
Solar generators are also very reliable, which can be really important when sailing in areas where the shore-side services are scarce or tough to come by. A solar generator constitutes three primary components; a solar panel to trap the solar energy otherwise commonly known as sunlight, a battery to store power energy, and an inverter to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) to run AC appliances on the boat.
Solar generators can vary in sizes from small compact components to power small devices. Or you have the solar generators for motors which are large and the advanced systems that do not come in a compact form but instead in their separate various components.
The solar panel is the central element that converts solar energy into electrical energy. It uses a principle called photovoltaic power to generate an alternative source of power. Therefore, they can be considered as the power generators in a solar power generation circuit.
The Top 3 Solar Generators for boats are as discussed below:
1. Nature Power’s Semi-Flexible Mono-Crystalline Solar Panel
Semi-flexible mono-crystalline solar panel by nature power product is a monocrystalline type of solar panels. This means its design involves a single silicon cell that is grown into a larger crystal, and after that cross-section cut into wafers to form each cell that is joined to form a solar panel.
These types of solar panels are light in weight and wafer-thin in design; they can withstand various weather conditions without any damage or corrosion.
Due to its semi-flexible features, the semi-flexible solar panel can comfortably be formed to a curved surface of up to 4% curvature. Another unique feature of this solar panel is its high efficient mono-crystalline solar cells that are so strong that it can be walked on without any damage.
This panel comes in different power ratings and can continuously recharge 12-volt batteries exclusively from the power of the sun.
2. Power Film Flexible Power Panels
This solar panel manufactured by Power Film Solar is a unique thin-film panel pasted on plastic. Unlike other thin-film solar panels that are only flexible, Power Film power panels are truly rollable and very light.
This type of solar panel is suitable for small boats as it is easily portable, reliable and can offer high performance even in extreme weather conditions.
These flexible solar power panels come in various power ratings ranging from 7w, 14w, 21w, and so on and therefore you can choose that best caters for your boats to power energy needs.
Using rollable solar panels by Power Film is a great solution for solar boating; they charge 12-volt batteries that provide the boat with continuous power even when the weather is overcast.
Its great additional features are its ease of installation as there is no drilling or glass involved. What you only need to do is to unroll it and mount it by use of corner grommets.
3. Nature Power’s Rigid Monocrystalline Solar Panel
For larger boats with enough roof space, a rigid mono-crystalline solar panel provides the best alternative source of power energy for your boat. These rigid panels provide power to 12-volt batteries that act as power reservoirs as well as providing power to all 12-volt applications.
It is excellent to use on tourist boats or excursions, the freedom from expensive, noisy diesel generators provides a smoother and quieter cruise that is environment-friendly as well as giving you electrical independence.
The solar panel is easy to install as it comes with easy to use plug and play connectors. Besides, it comes with different power ratings, for example, there is 90W, 165W and 330W rated solar panels.
Its modular design allows solar energy expandability depending on the boats growing electrical power needs. The rigid aluminum framework provides it with strength against adverse weather conditions as well as permanent mounting on the roof of the boat.
Since this solar panel is of monocrystalline type, it is very efficient considering that this is the current technology in the market today.