We are currently in the very early stages of considering installing solar panels on Naughty-Cal. Or more to the point one small 100ish watt panel. We were sat on the boat in the blazing sunshine at Fiskerton Fen last weekend when it occurred to us that a smallish panel would be ideal for such a situation. Ok it will never provide all of our power needs but any extra power that can be pumped into the batteries can only be a good thing.
Initial skimming of the internet suggests that a budget of around £150 will buy the panel, necessary wiring and a solar regulator. Installing the panel would require some fairly hefty custom stainless steel fabrication to create a mounting bracket on the removable radar arch which is capable of withstanding some fairly strong winds and crashing down from waves. To monitor the amount of power the panel is generating we would also need to install a battery monitor, most likely the Nasa BM-1 which would fit nicely on the dashboard.
This won’t be an easy task but will be a worthwhile one, which should help to ensure the longevity of our battery bank. It will never keep up with all of our power demands but will provide some extra power availability on the odd occasion that we do moor somewhere for a few days at a time without the need to run the engine.
Some more research is needed on this one.