Powerfilm Solar

This isn’t a piece of communications gear per se, but with fossil fuel prices soaring it’s a good time for sailors to think of energy alternatives. These flexible PowerFilm Solar products offer some interesting options. All it takes is a modest-sized Rollable Charger (available in four sizes) to keep the batteries of a moored vessel topped off and ready to go. Depending on the size of the battery
Author:
Publish date:
gear1

This isn’t a piece of communications gear per se, but with fossil fuel prices soaring it’s a good time for sailors to think of energy alternatives. These flexible PowerFilm Solar products offer some interesting options. All it takes is a modest-sized Rollable Charger (available in four sizes) to keep the batteries of a moored vessel topped off and ready to go. Depending on the size of the battery bank and the type of batteries, a charge controller may also be necessary. Long-term long-distance cruisers can use several longer strips of these interconnectible rollup solar panels to create awnings that double as a solar array. The strips can be quickly stowed away before heading out to sea.

These flexible thin-film amorphous silicon solar arrays are coated onto a plastic substrate and are cost effectively mass produced. Though not as efficient on a per-square-foot basis as single-cut crystal technology, the price per watt and stowage capability of PowerFilm’s products makes up for the lower output per square foot. Power ratings are given in watts at 15.4 volts DC, but like all panels, voltage and therefore wattage drops as soon as the array is connected to an even slightly discharged battery. Still, in this tight energy market every little bit counts.

Related

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more