Sunbeam 46.1 sailing yacht – 710Wp SP series

The Sunbeam 46.1 – European Yacht of the Year 2019 – combines highest build quality and tradition with innovative features. In cooperation with the shipyard, a deck-integrated solar system was developed.

Based on the 3D model of the yacht, contours were defined that fit into the boat’s design without being too dominant. The cables were placed underneath the solar panels in locations that would allow them to be routed inside without colliding with halyard tunnels or structural components.

For a final check, the entire system was tested on board using 1:1 paper templates. This allows all details of the system to be checked before the material is actually manufactured.

Conducting paths and cell connectors were covered in black during the production process, which in combination with a black base laminate ensures a homogeneous appearance with barely visible solar cells. This allows the adapted outer contours to be highlighted, while the surface is not immediately recognizable as a solar system. The effect on heat generation is negligible, since the majority of the surface is black anyway due to the color of the solar cells.

High shade tolerance is provided thanks to 19 laminate-integrated bypass diodes in conjunction with five synchronized Victron SmartSolar MPPT controllers. As soon as the rig or sail covers a part of the system, the diodes bypass the affected area so that the rest of the system can continue to supply power.

A fine lens structure on the surface provides a good grip with boat shoes, even when wet. This makes it safe to walk on the system even in difficult conditions.

710Wp provide about 220-300Ah at 13V on a summer day, which is easily enough to run the usual electrical consumers on board.

In addition to the deck, another 488Wp would be possible on the sprayhood and bimini, giving a total rated power of 1,198Wp. Combined with a high-capacity LiFePO4 battery bank and an inverter, this would allow, for example, the operation of an air conditioner, an induction stove and other energy-hungry consumers.

Shipyard: Sunbeam Yachts

Technical data:
Power: 710Wp
Panel series: SP
Weight: 11.5kg
Battery voltage: 12V
Battery type: AGM