The French Windelo shipyard engineers its catamarans for minimum environmental impact right from the start: The hulls are made of basalt fiber with foam cores from recycled PET bottles, and the vessels are powered by efficient electric drives in addition to the wind. These and the electrical loads on board are powered by a custom SolbianFlex solar array.
The early involvement of our design team in the planning process meant that the mounting areas and deck superstructures could be optimally matched to the solar system from the very beginning. In addition to the salon roof, the two forward deck areas are being used, where light conditions are typically very good.
All solar panels are fully walkable – cells of the mechanically highly resilient SR series are used in combination with a textured surface that provides very good grip with boat shoes, even when wet. Pre-mounted adhesive over the entire surface ensures quick and easy installation. This adhesive also provides additional sealing for the cables, which are invisibly routed through the deck directly under the modules.
Multiple synchronized Victron SmartSolar MPPT controllers ensure optimal energy yield, and the modules’ string layouts and bypass diodes have been optimized for the expected shade – mainly from the main boom and rig. A total of 36 bypass diodes were integrated directly into the laminate of the modules.
With 3,321Wp, the system delivers about 13-18kWh per day in the Mediterranean in summer – more than enough to power all consumers on board. Combining a large battery bank with our powerful solar array, electric cooking can be done with ease, the electrical system provides all the amenities owners are accustomed to on land. By using renewable energy sources for propulsion and electric loads, the ecological footprint is also kept low during operation – a consistent continuation of the sustainable production of Windelo catamarans.
Panel series: SR
Battery voltage: 48V
Battery type: LiFePO4