Winter Storage and Solar Panels

Posted on Saturday 31 January 2009

This winter, I decided to store the s/v Pretty Gee outdoors.

Since my marina doesn’t allow you to keep a boat plugged in, I decided to add a small solar panel to keep the batteries topped off, so I ordered a small 25-Watt panel from Harbor Freight.  While I have two large solar panels, I felt that they were overkill for what is basically maintenance charging, and they require the amas to be extended to mount them.

I had some rail mounts similar to the kind I used for the large panels, and used them to mount the panel to the port side cockpit rail.  With the MPPT charge controller, I’ve been getting over 1.8 amps per hour in the middle of the day with the small panel—or about 9 amp-hours a day.  For the sailing season, I think I’m going to keep this small panel on the top of the stern arch.

Here’s a photo of the setup.

25-Watt Maintenance Solar Panel Setup

25-Watt Maintenance Solar Panel Setup

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