Saturday, May 12, 2012

Going Solar

When we publish May's Cost to Cruise it will be a budget buster for sure as we will have two rather large costs:  300 or so gallons of fuel and now two large solar panels with an associated MPPT controller to include.

Yes, Viking Star is going Green!

As mentioned in a prior post(here http://looking-at-solar-again ) I have been watching the costs of Solar panels drop like a rock the past few years.  And they hit rock bottom late last year -  bringing the ROI on a system to under 2 years. (Side note:  Panels are now commonly available for under a $1/watt!!!)

Yesterday we placed an order through a local solar installer (Rainshadow Solar) for two REC-240 panels and a Morningstar 45 MPPT controller.  They should be in in a couple of weeks.  As Rainshadow let me 'piggy back' onto another (much larger) order we will not have to pay special shipping for these two panels.  Just pull Viking Star up to Deer Harbor dock and they will toss them aboard!

Am a bit excited about these as modeling indicates we will be able to get a very large % of our electricity use from these two panels, maybe even 100% at their peak - but more likely 60-70% of daily needs.  And that will be fine.   Combining these panels with motoring every few days we should be rolling in the Amps!.

And even better, the MorningStar controller has data logging capability - so I will be able to record (and publish) the ACTUAL output over a long period of time.  Ah, REAL DATA - Not just the 'It does all I need', or 'Batteries are full by 11am', or 'I have no idea' type answers I have gotten from asking around.

Solar, combined with a promise of the shift out of the cold/wet weather pattern this summer should = very little generator time.  Bring it on!

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