Thursday, 18 August 2011

Solar power on a narrowboat

Having discussed solar power for our hot water at home, we got talking about solar panels on the roof of a narrowboat.

We've seen a few with a framed panel but I really like the idea of the flexible panels that are stuck down to the roof of the boat.  They are much less obtrusive and less likely to get broken, but they do appear have a shorter life span.  There is another compromise with the flexible panels and that is being unable to angle them to the sun.

This website includes prices for flexible panels :

I also came across this company that uses solar energy to deal with damp issues.  The cost for one of these dehumidifier units on a narrowboat is around £350.  They are a great idea for boats being left over Winter.

Dehumidifier unit solar panel

For further information I've found about all types of solar energy on narrowboats :


Andrew said...

I've seen a narrowboat with the solar panels mounted on the *side* of the boat. The reason: the boat spends most of its time with one side facing south and catching the sun, and the light also bounces off the water onto the panel.

The theory is that the water's reflection thus almost doubles the amount of light falling onto the panel. I've no proof that's correct, but it's an interesting 'angle' to explore.

Elly and Mick said...

Thanks for the suggestion Andrew. That is definitely an interesting idea to have the panel on the side of the boat. I wonder how well it would work when you aren't moving around a lot. If you happened to be moored in a less than ideal direction? solar panels mid wales said...

This are great, i will have to get one of these for my boat, whats the charge voltage from these 12v would be perfect i could charge my car battery.

Kurt Amezcua said...

Flexible solar panels surely have its advantages. Its flexible attribute makes them perfect for a variety of uses. And it is considered as lightweight making it portable. It would be great if the panels can be moved to where the sun is facing in order to maximize the power input. Anyway, the humidifier is a great idea to help maintain the effectiveness of the solar panel even on winter time.