Monday, August 22, 2011

SOLAR BIMINI: PART TWO: Plan B!

Well the first idea of using the existing dodger frame to mount the solar panels worked out well for a few years:

The sail cleared it fine when tacking. I installed some Lexan in between the panels which not only helped keep things dry under the hatch but also allowed me to view the sail as I raised it. I was happy with this plan until one of the hanger lines broke and dropped the sail a few inches and a reefing line I suspect grabbed a corner of the solar panel and broke the 1" aluminium angle used to hold the solar panel. Time for Plan B.

Plan B was to lower the solar panels so they did sit so high above the stainless steel frame where an errant line could once again grab it. To do this required I buy a few more jaw slide hinges. But, letting the jaws hang below the frame instead of above as shown here:



I then cut up the remaining aluminum angle into four pieces:

I drilled  mounting holes so they could be attached to the jaw slides and they would cradle the solar panels in between the dodger frame and not above it:

This was a better idea and there was less chance of a line getting caught on a panel compared to the first setup. It is not perfect because the stainless steel frame of the dodger is lightly curved and the aluminum angle is straight so there was some distortion in trying to mount the solar panels to the aluminum angle but, it can be done.  This was phase one of the project. When I added some additional panels to make a solar bimini over the cockpit and provide the panels that would help charge my electric propulsion system I came on an even better solution to mount the panels.

1 comment:

Annie Khan said...

Excellent article. The blog is useful and more informatics........................... solar panels cost