TONY BROOKS

Tech­ni­cal Con­sul­tant

Canal Boat - - Ask The Experts -

‘If yours is a hol­i­day boat it’s prob­a­bly a good time to think about adding some so­lar charg­ing’

The days are length­en­ing and soon it will be the main cruis­ing time, so if your boat is a hol­i­day one and you don’t use a shore­line it’s prob­a­bly a good time to think about adding some so­lar charg­ing.

A min­i­mum of a 40-Watt panel and a rep­utable so­lar con­troller will mean that when you leave the boat for more than a cou­ple of days with the mas­ter switches off the do­mes­tic bat­ter­ies will end up well charged.

This helps ex­tend their life, pay­ing for the panel over a few years. But if you use an elec­tric fridge, such a small panel will not sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the need for en­gine charg­ing when out on the cut. If you want a longer time be­tween en­gine run­ning then I would sug­gest well over 100 Watts of pan­els.

Do any en­gine charg­ing re­quired early in the day and let the so­lar take care of the long, low rate of charge needed to fully charge the bat­ter­ies. This uses less diesel.

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