PxPixel
Powerfilm Solar - Sail Magazine

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

Josie-helm-2

Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins

Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more

Crew-North-27M004

Weather Gear for Inshore Sailing

Just because you’re not planning on braving the Southern Ocean this summer doesn’t mean that you won’t have some dicey days out on the water. If you haven’t got the right gear, a little rain or humidity can make things miserable. As with all safety equipment, “it’s always better ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more