Solar Panel Array / Wind Generators

The Initial Requirements

As purchased, the open stern of Ironbarque was used to hold four Solas A1 Zodiac 6 man life rafts. Three in the cleft of the stern and one in a stainless steel cage mounted on a platform that spanned the stern. This had previously held the satelitte dish for uploading race pictures.

Above the platform was a small arch that carried the radar and various communication/navigation antena.  To the left and righ of the arch there were the HF antennas. There was a stailness steel pulpit rail that held four horse shoes.

Working with Sergio at Baja Naval, we came up with the design below.

The radar was moved to the mast (and upgraded from the nearly dead Raymarine to a Furuno). A larger tubular stainless steel arch was constructed.  This supports the communication antena and two wind generators.

We wanted to get sufficient solar panels and wind generators in place so that we sit at anchor and not have to run the generator even with the kids doing school work, the refrigerators working and the radios/lights on. On line there are all kinds of tools for guesstimating how much solar and wind power you can generate. We were limited by space and weight and by the requirements that the solution employed had to be safe at sea. The long and the short of it is that on a dull day with no wind; we will have to use the generator. On bright sunny days with a steady breeze; we won't. On a few short trips to San Deigo and back we found that the tools werre reasonably accurate.

The panels we chose were 6 x 130 W SE-8000 panels form ICP Solar. The two wind generators are AIR-X from Southwest Windpower.

The panels are mounted in a frame that sits atop the arch. The panels are secured in place by wingnuts. All six can be removed in about 30 minutes to be stored below in winds above 35 knots. We gave up one pipe birth to make a box that holds all six panels down below.

The davits were simple in design.  They were intended to support a small dinghy whilst we are at anchor. The dinghy is deflated and put away when we go to sea.

We kept the stainless steel pulpit railing and the horse shoes. We added a column to house the bow thruster and main engine throttle in the one location behind and outboard of the wheel on the port side. Previously the main throttle was mounted low and was operated with the foot (not really great with a size 11 shoe).