Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wind Free - Solar Power Is The Way To Go

Sim working hard at his little work bench
While we have been a little quiet on the social front, both having been a little under the weather  - we (I should say mainly Sim) have been working hard at becoming wind free!

Now both wind generators have gone – we are wind free.  After much researching, organizing and running around, the first two, of three humongous solar panels have been installed.
Two of three panels - just have to move the radar now.
Much thought and time has gone into this little project; working out how big we can go without looking like we have grown wings and are about to take off. Not to mention the steps we have taken in order to obtain two simple pieces of aluminum angle to add support to the frame work. For those that are interested in shipping easily into Grenada there is a company called Ezone on the Dusty Highway behind Spice Island Marine.  They offer a very good service, shipping by air from their address in Miami and dealing with the brokerage this end.  They charge by weight. You need to be a member, which is usually offered on a yearly basis but they also offer a short term rate of just EC$25 for a two week period.

So now we have two fairly large Solarworld 100cm X 168cm, 235 watt 30V solar panels.  They are big power providing machines. Not quite latest, latest technology but pretty close and certainly more efficient than our last ones.

Our third solar panel will arrive next month giving us a total of 705 Watts compared to 430W from our older panels.

To say this is exciting is an understatement.  One of the biggest bores about living on the boat is constantly having to watch our power consumption.  Do we have enough power to use our laptops and charge all the necessary items that go with modern day cruising. What about the fridge, freezer or just having lights on at night.  You hear plenty of stories of cruisers who wear head torches at night to read by to save on battery power.  The days of living in the dark ages have gone for me.
The lovely cockpit table
In other news we have a lovely table for the cockpit – a very important addition. It was already on the boat but had no legs or did but only one which didn't really work.  The other end rather cleverly latches into the main sheet winch with its own adapted winch handle.  Sim has made some new legs for it and hey presto we have a beautiful cockpit table. Lounging in the cockpit has never been so comfy.
Sim enjoying the fruits of his labour.


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