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Monday, November 16, 2009

More Solar Panels!

Our boat has 2 x 75 Watt Siemens solar panels. They are high quality and do a great job of keeping the house batteries topped off. However, once we sail off on our world exploration trip, I'm concerned that they will not provide enough juice to keep the batteries topped off AND provide power to the various portable devices we will be taking (e.g. laptops). Consequently, I've decided to replace the Bimini with another solar array.

The additional solar array will be exclusively used for the charing of the portable electronic devices we plan on having with us. I will set up a charing station that any member of the crew can attach their portable electronic device to and get charged up. Since most portable devices really want 14VDC and Solar Charing fluctuates in their output, I will be installing a "charging battery." That is, I will install a special battery that will be fed by the new solar panels, and the battery will be the provider of charge to the electronic device. This will help ensure we have the 14VDC that devices expect. When the battery is flat, then no device charing will be done. It is as simple as that. :)

Taking this approach will also allow us an additional level of redundancy. If the main solar system goes out, we can switch over to this one until repairs are made.

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