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Alternative energy for boats

In conjunction with an established major UK supplier of solar panels, wind generators Aves Marine will shortly be able to supply some of the best there is in wind and solar. All the energy products we sell are backed up by the reliable AVES Marine warranty.


. By supplying a charge voltage all of the time your batteries will always be kept on top form for their best life. 


50 watt semi-flexible solar panel

50 watt semi-flexible solar panel £ 89.99 including Vat

100 watt                                      £129.98         "

2 x of the above 50W semi-flexible panels installed on the deck of a sailing boat.

This image shows two semi-flexible 50 watt panels installed about two years ago on a sailing boat. You should note that in the position they have been installed they get walked and stood on every time the sail is hoisted and lowered and show no degradation as a result.

Solar dual panel controller. Note the network connection for an external meter

The dual battery controller installed on the same boat - this is mounted in the battery compartment of the boat with a network connection to an external meter installed in the boat's cabin. 

The external meter mounted in the boat's cabin connected via a network connection to the solar controller.

Note the battery levels on the two meters showing the charge level on both the engine and domestic batteries. Both are showing 14.2 volts on a day in December when there was no sun at all - see image below. This, of course, would be the accumulated charge from previous days when it wasn't foggy. However it shows just how well the two 50 watt panels have kept the batteries fully charged.

The weather on the day that the image of the controller above was taken.


Why you need a solar controller?

Solar panels, in good condition, output up to around 19 volts in bright sunlight. This is fine for a flat battery as the battery acts like a crude controller drawing maximum current from the panel which results in a drop of voltage to acceptable levels. However, as the battery charge increases and the current  drain drops the voltage across the battery terminals will rise - eventually to the maximum that the panel can produce given the available sun light. Now 19 volts on a 12 volt battery is way above the level that the battery requires and the excess voltage will cause the electrolyte in the battery to begin to gas - eventually this will result in the electrolyte 'boiling' away as the hydrogen and oxygen is liberated. 

How a solar controller works

The requirement for the most basic solar controller is quite simple - keep the solar panel connected so that the battery voltage rises to fully charged status. Once this point is achieved - disconnect the panel so that the battery doesn't overcharge. Then, when the battery voltage falls below the panel output voltage, connect the panel to the battery again. The electronics isn't unduly complected and it s OK to simply disconnect the solar panel as panels with an open output don't suffer any damage as a result. However, our controllers are more sophisticated than this basic concept as they use PCM (pulse code modulation) technology. With PCM they constantly monitor the battery voltages and adjust the time that each battery is connected so that the optimum charge state is produced without subjecting the batteries to an excess voltage.

50 watt semi-flexible solar panel        £ 89.99

100 watt                                              £129.98

Dual battery controller (10 amp)         £ 32.99

Controller with remote monitor           £  69.98

Note... a 50 watt solar panel will provide roughly 3 amps so a 10 amp controller is fine for two 50 watt panels..

You can calculate yourself by using the formulae Current = power/voltage