Last updated on August 11, 2018
You are sailing across the ocean or over the sea. You are smiling because you know that you are powering all of your devices and appliances by the power of the sun. You have a solar panel sailboat system. You have researched the best solar panels for sailboats, and now you have one. Your sailing adventures have never been better.
The good news is that we have done the research for you and have already collated the best marine solar panels. There is no need to worry about the kinds of solar panels out there or which panel is the best for you. We have all the information needed to add a small panel to your small boat or upgrade your craft into a power generating machine.
A good solar panel or solar panel kit can transform your sailboat into an off-grid vessel, and can save you some money (and, let’s admit it, it is pretty cool to be able to power your devices by the power of the sun). The technology behind solar panels is constantly improving. The panels are getting smaller and cheaper while giving you more power. It is pretty amazing what a solar panel can do now.
If you want to know the best solar panels for your sailboat, then you have come to the right place. Here are our top 10 best solar panels for sailboats in 2018.
How To Choose A Best Solar Panel For Sailboat – Buying Guide
You should not just buy the first solar panel you see. There is a lot of thought which first needs to go into it. The main consideration is the amount of energy you will need. If you need a lot, then you better not skimp on a small panel. If you only need a little, then there is no point in buying the biggest solar panel. But how much power do you need and where is this power going to come from?
SOLAR OR ENGINE?
If you are going to rely solely on the power of the sun, then you will need panels which are big enough or powerful enough to be able to convert enough sunlight into stored power. If you are going to be using the engine a lot to power your craft and everything inside, then you do not need as big or powerful a solar panel.
If you are sailing in an area where you are taking advantage of the wind, then you will want to switch your engine off and take advantage of your solar panel. If you need to use the engine, then chances are you will not mind a little of it going to power your craft.
What are you going to be powering? If you know how much you need to rely on a solar panel, then you can account for averaging which you will need to power and buy a solar panel based on those calculations.
Check the product information which came with the item you are powering or look online to find out how many amps your product will draw per day. Once you have your total amp count, you can decide on which panel you need.
ACTUAL OUTPUT VS MAXIMUM OUTPUT
When you are looking at the power rating of your solar panel, you need to take into account that this is how much power is output on a perfect sunny day. Do you live in a place where every day is sunny and perfect? You should expect the power to be less than the advertised maximum and make a purchase accordingly.
Are you setting sail from the arctic circle to Honduras? Your fridge and air conditioning may be working overtime. Always remember to plan for the climate you will be sailing to as well as from.
The size of your solar panel will depend initially on the size of your boat and the area in which you can install it. Generally, the more you energy consumption, the bigger a panel you will need. Be warned, though, always check the efficiency. The panel you have in mind may be the biggest, but it may not be the most efficient. Try to find the panel which will give you the largest amount of power while having the smallest footprint.
MONO- AND MULTI-CRYSTALLINE
Most solar panels are made from this material. They are more costly than other options, but they are durable and will give you good power output.
AMORPHOUS THIN FILM SILICONE
Cheaper and more flexible. They are great for fitting into curved spaces, but they are not as efficient as crystalline panels.
The longer you wait, the cheaper your panel will be. Solar panels can be expensive, but the good news is that you will not need a lot of power for your sailboat. One or two panels will be enough to power most items on board as long as they are not being constantly used. You do not need to fork out a massive amount of money to go off-grid.
Q: HOW MANY SOLAR PANELS DO YOU NEED?
A: The number of solar panels you need depends on the amount of power you need. After you have counted up the number of amps you will draw per day; you will have an idea of the total amount of amps you will need from your panel. If this needs more than one panel, then that is what it needs.
For the casual boater who does not use a sailboat every day or for long journeys, then one solar panel should be fine. I would recommend buying a complete kit which can be installed on your boat. If you have a large boat and take long journeys, then you will want to look into multiple panels.
Globo Surf Overview
Sailboats are becoming more and more self-sufficient. They are also drawing more and more power. With some solar panels from our list, you can get that power from the sun and take you sailboat completely off the grid. Sailing is about being out on the water. It is about being one with the water. Solar panels not only keep you harnessing nature’s power, but they take the hassle out of your sailing adventure.
- Solar Panels, Livescience.com
Have you tried one of our solar panels for your sailboat? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
Globo Surf Solar Panels for Sailing Review