• You are here
• News & Blog

Manufacturers

01Jun

POWERFILM ROLLABLE PANELS

POWERFILM ROLLABLE  PANELS

This case study came from an article in Sailing Today, We are pleased to say that the panel in the article was bought from us via one of our sister sites.

In the article, the proud new boat owner had bought a boat without electrics. He needed a solar panel to provide charging power to his 12V battery so that he could operate his LED cabin lights and depth sounder.  His plan was to liveaboard during the summer months.

Electrics:

• 2 LED lights for the evening
• A depth sounder during the day

Calculating the LED light power requirements:

The boat owner wanted to use his LED lights for roughly 3 hours a night. The magazine article doesn't give exact figures so we Googled marine LED lights and found some rated at 35mA each (0.035Amps).

• They operate in a 12 volt circuit, which means each light uses 0.42 Watts (Volts x Amps)
• He planned to use them for 3 hours a day, which takes the power requirement up to 1.26Watts per day per light.
• There were two of these lights, so the power requirement doubles to 2.52W

Calculating the depth sounder power requirements:

Again, no specifics in the article, so back to Google. We found the in-dash Humminbird HDR 650. This operates at 12V and according to its manual, has a current draw of 60mA (0.060Amps). Let's assume the depth sounder was used for 8 hours a day.

• The power requirement for an hour is 0.72 Watts (Volts x Amps)
• The power requirement for 8 hours is 5.76 Watts

With the nav lights barely used, we'll ignore them for the moment.

So total power requirements per day for the lights and the depth sounder = 8.28 Watts

Now in the winter, we only get about 1 hour a day of full sunlight. This means the panel would have to be rated at greater than 9W for use in the Winter months.

In the summer that goes up to 4 hours a day, but let's stick with 1 hour and assume our boat owner has picked a very overcast season for his sailing.

One more thing ...

The boat owner wanted a flexible panel which could be rolled up and stowed away when not used.