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Harnessing the Sun

by NWY Staff

Marine Solar Panels

Suaoki 100W Solar Panel

The intense sunlight of the open water was once only good for tanning (or more likely, sun burns). Now, a few strategically placed solar panels can be used to harness this energy and charge the electronics on your boat such as phones, GPS, and computers. Due to their pure direct current (DC) power output, solar panels make excellent chargers, perfect for keeping batteries full. Sailboats with enough solar panels can reduce the amount of times they need to run their propulsion engines to recharge batteries, and a boat with enough panels can avoid it all together.

Solar panels have dramatically dropped in price over the past 10 years, and they are becoming a popular charging alternative compared to a noisy diesel engine. One such panel is the Suaoki 100W 12V Solar Panel, a flexible panel that can be bent up to 30 degrees and attached to a sail or the top of a cabin. Utilizing the SunPower monocrystalline solar cells, the Suaoki panels have 22 percent conversion efficiency; this is much higher than average cells on the market, which tend to average below 15 percent. Equipped with both a USB port and a DC port, the panel can charge two devices at once. Built-in smart detectors control the rate your equipment is charging up, thus adapting the speed as needed.

The Suaoki panels are lightweight and water resistant—another bonus for a panel mounted on a boat. Whether you’re doing it to get on Mother Nature’s good side, or you like the idea of being more self-sufficient by harnessing the elements, check out the Suaoki 100W Solar Panel on suaoki.com. Panels start at $220.

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