One of the main features of minitransat boats: They are very small, measuring only 6.50m in length. For this reason they usually carry their solar panels (most of them Solbian-brand due to their low weight, around 100-150Wp) on stanchions at the stern of the boat.
For this MAXI650 from boatbuilder IDBmarine we were asked to do something else: The panels should be mounted on deck to minimize weight and windage. Apart from the small available surface the biggest challenges were the many ropes and sources of shadow.
Ten bypass diodes and four separate step-up MPPT charge controllers optimize the energy yield and maximize shadow tolerance. All panels have been designed to maximize use of space without getting covered by sheets and halyards on deck. Instead of optimizing the shapes to the design of the deck, we chose to use as little laminate as possible to minimize weight.
The wiring below the panel surface ensures waterproof deck-feedthroughs of the wires and makes sure no ropes or feet can get stuck on junction boxes on top of the panels.
Installation: 2sail / Christian Kargl
Panel series: SP
Battery voltage: 12V
Battery type: LiFePO4