Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Solar Panels Anyone??"
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Thread: "Solar Panels Anyone??"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Solar Panels Anyone??

Brian Smith

ok, orion's first winter sans shore power here in the frigid north.. any recommendations on a solar panel to keep both house and starters battery topped for the winter? has anybody had any experience with the type of solar panel that simply plugs into the 12 v cigarette adapter?? (sounds too easy/good to be true?)

Rod Lawson

Hi Brian, I have recently replaced my solar panels with 2 x 60watt panels located on the top of the spray dodger. Fairly simple installation but run through a regulator. They are not angled to optimize gain but I get about 25 amps per day. Having changed over to LED interior lighting I'm only using about 10 amps per day. Hope this assists.

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

We have 2 35/watt panels that are monted permently on articulating arms Which means they can be aimed at the sun which makes a tremendous differance. We are running our boat including refrigeration, TV, and lights(LED)on these two panels. If we run the watermaker we have two 70 watt panels on the same type of attachment. We also have an MPPT controller that increased production 15-20%


Jim and Julie- I am looking for mounting ideas for solar- any pics you would be willing to share? Thanks!

Norm Rhines

WE have four 80 watt panels on our 32, I have to following comments on their behalf.
1.) make them movable (I use two rail mounted panels which I found need to be able to be moved to one side in some cases.
2.) On long passages (if you dont move your panels) 3 out of 4 will be shaded or have a shade line across them = 1/4 power.
3.) Take the time to sand the sharp corners off the Alum. frames as they are sometimes painful.
4.) With Ref we use about 100Ah / Day almost matching the 4 Panlels output of about 85Ah/day could be 120 but we run up aginst the regulator in the afternoon.
5.) On shore or at Anchorage the use and charges balance out as we use less radio, radar, and interior lights.
Hope this helps

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

I'd put some pictures on the site if I could get it to work. Sorry it took so long. but we have limited internet access as we are making our way down the Calif. coast on the way to Mexico. Right now our daily use is 20 amps a day including refrigeration, 30 amps if we watch a movie or use the computer. In warmer climates it will go up another 3-4 amps.

Aaron Norlund


30 amps including refrigeration is astounding. Makes me understand the cost of the Glacier Bay equipment for your box/refrigerator!

I'd also be interested in pictures of mounting locations for panels.

Fair leads,
Aaron N.

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