Our standard shipping fee is $195 for up to 8 panels. Each time you add up to 4 panels, you pay $25 more. Normally, we deliver solar panels within 7 business days.
Solar Panels For Boats
Solar panels for boats
With the efficiency of PV modules rising and price dropping, solar panels became really popular among sailors. With the help of solar power, boats become independent from gas and propane generators or shore power. Panels are silent and don’t smell, plus they work even when you are away from a boat.
What are solar panels for boats?
Solar panels for boats are your typical monocrystalline PV modules. Unlike polycrystalline panels, they offer the best output from a square foot for a reasonable price. Flexible thin-film panels are also a popular choice among sailors. They are less efficient, but you usually don't need a super powerful installation on a boat anyway. Besides, the deck configuration can make it difficult to install a rigid panel, so thin-film panels have a slight edge in terms of installation simplicity.
Choosing the right panels
Solar systems for boats are similar to RV installations: they are not very powerful and you deal with a limited amount of space. Because of low energy needs, small 100W panels became quite widespread. However, it doesn’t mean that marine solar panels can’t or shouldn’t be powerful — you can certainly pick a 300W solar panel for a boat. Even one powerful module can sometimes be enough for a boat. Plus, with panels of a higher wattage you use your space more efficiently. Panels can be put on the deck, canvas, stern rail or even sails.
Technical features of marine solar installations
One problem that often occurs with solar panels on boats is shading. A mast or sails can easily cast a shadow on your PV modules and hinder the process of gathering sunlight. There are several ways to deal with shading on a boat:
- Pick panels with high shading tolerance. Manufacturers fight the problem of shading with bypass diodes. Diodes split a panel into sectors, and if a cell in one sector is covered by shade, it doesn’t affect other sectors.
- Parallel type of connection is recommended. This way shading of one panel won’t affect the performance of others. With this type of connection the current in the system is the sum of currents of each panel, whereas voltage remains low.
- If you prefer connection in series, you can add power optimizers to panels or pick AC solar panels. AC solar panels have built-in microinverters and produce alternating current on the spot.
What is the average price of marine solar panels?
Solar panels have lost around 80% in price over the last decade which is one of the reasons why solar power for boats became so popular. Now there are a variety of different solar panels for boats for sale on the market. The price for them highly depends on the manufacturer.
- Chinese manufacturers (JA Solar, Trina, LONGi Solar) mainly focus on high efficiency and low price for their panels. You can expect to pay $180-$250 for a PV module.
- Japanese and European companies (Panasonic, REC) prioritize high quality and implement innovations in their panels. Their panels are on the more expensive side of the market ($250-$500 for a panel).
- American and Canadian brands (Mission Solar, Silfab, Canadian Solar) are in between: their panels are high-quality and powerful, but affordable at the same time ($200-$300).
Frequently asked questions
With top tier solar panels, you pay for the brand name, proprietary new technology, higher energy output, and better warranty support.
Please refer to the product datasheet on the product page. We have a datasheet for every product we sell.
In general, manufacturers provide a 25-year performance warranty and a 10-year product guarantee. However, some manufacturers may provide extended warranties as well. More information is available in our Warranty Support section.
We recommend Panasonic and Mission Solar panels for smaller systems as their high energy output and excellent craftsmanship guarantee years of service.
Any of our panels can be used for a 12v system with a properly selected inverter and charge controller.
Yes, we can set up a pick up at a local distributor. Please call to discuss options and stock availability.
To achieve the best system efficiency, panels should be connected in series to create higher voltage.
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