Xc45 sailing yacht bimini – 458Wp SP series

Solar panels on sailing yachts should always be mounted as unobtrusively as possible so as not to detract from the design. In addition, shade plays a major role, as rigging and sails result in constantly changing light conditions.

The bimini is an obvious choice here – it is usually the least exposed to shade and has surfaces that are large enough for a properly dimensioned solar system. This is where our solar panels can fully show their strengths with their low weight and flexibility. A variety of mounting options ensure optimal integration with high wind resistance.

On this Xc45, a system was to be realised that would provide sufficient power to operate all electrical components in summer. With two refrigerators, lighting, instruments and autopilot, this resulted in a demand of approx. 120Ah / 1.5kWh per day.

Since this yacht’s bimini is usually not folded away, our Velcro flaps are an ideal solution: They ensure optimum integration with maximised wind resistance. Velcro sewn to the module on the top and bottom, on all four sides, are joined with flaps made in the same colour as the bimini. This closes the solar panel all around, minimising the surface for wind to attack. Slim, waterproof junction boxes are placed on the module in such a way that the cables can be routed as concealed as possible while keeping the connectors easily accessible.

Attention should be paid to the stainless steel frame at this stage: the modules should only be placed on the free areas in between to prevent damage to cells. In addition, it makes sense to separate port and starboard in order to maximise shade tolerance.

Two variants were developed – v1 with SP series cells and 458Wp, v2 using the SR series with 432Wp. The v1 system delivers approx. 140-200Ah daily in summer – sufficient to operate all components on board. Since even the solution with the SR series delivers a little more than needed, the customer decided to place only the four aft panels of this solution. These are located behind the main boom and therefore work most efficiently of the six planned solar panels. GenaSun Step-Up MPPT controllers allow maximum shade tolerance – even when 3/4 of the array is covered, they continue to deliver energy.

Technical data:
Power: 458Wp
Panel series: SP
Weight: 8kg
Battery voltage: 12V
Battery type: AGM