Note: As of now (spring 2012) the double is out of stock.
One of the issues facing cruising sailboaters is having enough room for all the solar panels needed to run the boat. The Sanyo HIT Double, a bifacial panel, makes the most energy per square inch of any solar panel available. It does this by gathering light energy from the bottom as well as from the top. So, if you are installing the panels on an arch or on davits, sunlight reflected from the water and/or from a white dinghy can be made into electricity. These panels are rated at 195 watts, but that does not include the power that comes from the bottom because of the standard used to test panels. The back face of a HIT Double panel generates electricity from ambient light reflected off surrounding surfaces, and combines with power from the front face of the panel. Depending upon system design and amount of reflected light, this results in up to 30% higher power generation (more kWh) per square foot.
HIT bifacial solar cells are hybrids of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers, available solely from SANYO. The crystalline silicon is the most energy-efficient, and the amorphous is more shade tolerant, so this is a combination of the best of both worlds.
As temperatures rise, HIT Double solar panels produce more electricity than conventional solar panels at the same temperature, due to their low temperature coefficient. So they work very well for tropical and subtropical areas!
When we met in January ’94, John said, “I’m leaving in 9 months to cruise the Caribbean on my sailboat, and I’m looking for crew.” Within a month, Libbie was buying her foul weather gear! We spent 4 years cruising in the Caribbean aboard s/v HOTWIRE, our steel Bruce Roberts 36′, and continued to live aboard in the Tampa Bay area for another 8 years while we were growing the business.
When we started cruising, our energy needs were very basic. The longer we were out, the more comforts and conveniences we added. By the time we decided to sail home on business, we were using lots of electrical gadgets, keeping the batteries charged with a KISS High Output wind generator and a solar panel, rarely having to start the engine.
Since we returned to the U.S. in late 1998, we’ve been using our education backgrounds and cruising experience to help other cruisers put together energy systems that will make life easier and more comfortable for them, sticking to the KISS principal: Keep It Simple, Sailor! We know we’re doing something right because so many of our customers have become our good friends and our best referral sources! (You guys are GREAT! Thank you!)
Our knowledge and experience with small systems evolved into consultation, design and installation of the larger residential and commercial solar electric systems as well.
John has extensive experience with power-related systems and is available for FREE consultation, helping you to design a working system to meet your energy needs. (But even Libbie has learned more than she ever thought she’d want to know about alternative energy and is now able to guide customers on basic issues.) Please feel free to contact us with your alternative energy questions or use us as a sounding board for your ideas. We’d love to hear from you!
Mage Power of Germany now in the USA with very attractive warranty and pricing
Reliability is at the core of all of our solar energy systems. So is power. To that end,
MAGE POWERTEC PLUS modules use mono- and polycrystalline cell technologies. They keep the energy flowing and operate with an electrical cell efficiency of up to 17.3%. And it’s important to note that our modules boast allowable tolerances of up to +5 watts. Which guarantees maximum power without compromise. In fact, nominal power is always obtained and often exceeded. This gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors, whose modules may actually deliver less than the wattage they claim.
on the subject of superiority, our 10-year product warranty is also in a league of its own, and easily surpasses those required by law. And MAGE POWERTEC Plus modules go far beyond competitors´standards with the the added guarantee that they’ll produce 90 % of their nominal power for 12 years and 80 % for 30 years. That´s three full decades of reassurance. In order to certify such high quality, we insist that our products meet or exceed the most rigorous North American and international standards. What’s more, every MAGE POWERTEC Plus module must pass stringent optical, mechanical and electrical quality controls.
It’s comforting to know that MAGE POWERTEC Plus modules can handle the toughest demands with regard to stability and corrision resistance. This is due to their engineered hollow-section frame and 3,2 mm (0,13 in) special solar glass. We also use high-quality EVA foil, which is ideal for embedding solar cells, while the weatherproof foil on the back of the modules protects against humidity. As a final security measure, we place a junction box with bypass diodes on the back of the module to avoid overheating of the individual solar cells (hot-spot effect). Our extremely robust modules resist a maximum pressure of 5,400 Pa (= 113 psf).
• Efficient – monocrystalline silicon provides twice the power of thin film panels
• Ultrathin – All models are only 3/16″ (4.5 mm) thick
• Light-weight – ideal for racing, or for mounting on a bimini, dodger or other light structure
• Flat front – there is NOTHING protruding from the surface that can catch sheets, sails or your feet
• Snug-fit back – wires are recessed and protected in grooves, either mounted hidden through tiny holes to interior or without holes on top
• Rugged – sealed with a durable UV-resistant surface, salt water proof to IP67
• Step-on – you can step on the textured surface and add optional anti-skid strips
• Mount on curved surface – the narrow Bluewater modules are slightly flexible and can be installed to follow a curved cabin roof or deck
• Temporary use at anchor – mount on boom with bungee cords, then store under bunk or cushion while underway
• Partial shade resistance – an array of modules is less sensitive to major power loss from boom, mast and sail shadow than a large single panel
• Beautiful – not an eyesore on the boat you are so proud of
PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION — SPEC SHEETS & PRICES WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON or phone Hotwire at 727-943-0424.
It is very beneficial to reduce the load on your batteries (for example, by using LED reading lights, LED anchor lights, and other led lights for cruising sailboats…) in order to reduce the watts of solar panels necessary to recharge your batteries.
In the state of Florida one of the requirements for a contractors license is verifiable work experience working fora contractor for at least three years. I have never worked for a contractor, and while I thought it might be possible to get around that requirement when I took the tests, it looks like I will never be able to get the license because I won’t be closing our business and going to work for someone else. I have other certifications; Airframe and Powerplant FAA Certificates, Bachelor’s in Education, ASE (automotive) Master Mechanic, USCG Captain’s License and others, none of which count (nor should they). I do have 16 years experience working with wind and solar systems, mostly on cruising sailboats. I have attended various manufacturer’s seminars, including UniRac, Xantrex, Outback, Sharp, Sanyo, SMA, Morningstar, Southwest Windpower, and others. I stay in touch with new developments and give seminars on “Solar for Your Home”. (Nothing like lecturing in front of a bunch of people to motivate you to know what you are talking about!) Historically, there have been rebates offered from the State of Florida and from Progress Energy. In order for your solar system to qualify for the rebate, you will have to show that the system was installed by a licensed electrical or solar contractor. I have contractors I work with who can do the installation.
Pictured is a system I “integrated” in Plant City, Florida. For this roof, there is enough surface area to put down almost 6000 watts of solar panels. Because the roof has little pitch, we were able to put modules on the East and West facing roofs with less than 10% loss in efficiency. However, in order to keep the overall system efficient, we used two inverters, having two sets of strings with different number of modules in series.
If you have a steel roof, with flat “pans” of at least 16 inches between the ridges, then you can put down flexible modules. These UniSolar modules come with adhesive backing, are lightweight, and add no wind loading.
The same size as a wall switch in your house, the Atkinson will display battery voltage, wind amps, wind amp-hours, solar amps and solar amp-hours. More info: http://atkinsonelectronics.com/product_pdfs/PVWDM.pdf
Highest lumen-per-watt LEDs outperform other LED lights in its class
Best Marine LED Light in the market for commercial and recreational boating
Spreader / Deck / Spot LED Light
The Kevin is a general purpose waterproof light with four US made high-flux LEDs. This light is fabricated from the highest quality components to assure long life and trouble-free functioning. Die cast aluminum housing provides ample heat sinking to the LEDs to ensure long life operation. Their patented internal circuitry provides consistent brightness and makes them immune to life-shortening voltage fluctuations. Their incredibly low power draw (1A @ 12V) makes them the perfect way to reduce energy consumption.