As a yachting enthusiast, you're no doubt familiar with the many joys of sailing. The sun on your face, the wind in your hair, living close to the elements and enjoying the sense of freedom that comes with this unique lifestyle. But how aware are you of the many benefits that come with adding yacht solar power to your vessel?
Whether completely solar-powered or only boosted with solar power as an additional, green energy source, sun-powered yachts are fast becoming a hot new trend among boat builders and yacht owners alike.
Yachts boosted by solar power are increasingly in demand these days, both for their lessened impact on the environment as well as their increased energy efficiency.
So, let's dive into everything you need to know about renewable energy or solar-powered yachts.
We already know that using solar power is an environmentally friendly choice and that solar-powered yachts have reduced carbon emissions. But there are many more benefits to adding solar power capability to your yacht.
Solar energy is free and limitless. A solar-powered boat eliminates the cost of fuel forever. Even if your yacht makes use of both fuel and solar power, you will still enjoy significant savings on fuel.
Though solar-powered boats are not completely silent, they are a lot less noisy than generator-powered boats. Reduced noise levels will ensure that your boat causes less disturbance to marine life and will also make for a more peaceful and pleasant cruising experience for you and your passengers.
As long as the sun is shining, solar energy will continuously charge your yacht’s battery, even when the boat is not in use. This energy can then be stored for later use.
Having a yacht with solar power capacity will help ensure that you don't have to miss out on any “land pleasures”. Having a fully charged battery will allow you to play games on a console, heat up food in a microwave and watch Netflix to your heart's content. Not to mention keeping all your devices charged whilst you're out on the water!
Solar panels installed on a yacht work in much the same way as they do on the roof of a building.
Solar panels are made of silicon crystals which have been treated so that the electrons in the crystals move, creating an electric current when the sun shines on them. This process creates electricity. Your yacht’s solar power battery will store any surplus energy so that you can continue to use this energy long after the sun has set.
Solar panels function at their best on very sunny days or in very sunny locations. On partially sunny days or very cloudy days, solar panels will produce less energy.
When installing solar power on your yacht, it's important to buy specialist marine solar panels. These marine solar panels are waterproof and built to withstand conditions at sea. Having the right solar panels fitted on your yacht will help to eliminate some of the drawbacks of using solar power on your boat.
Installing solar power on your boat doesn't have to be complicated. The four main components of a solar power system are:
On a solar power system, the solar panels and the battery work hand-in-hand. The solar panels generate the energy while the battery stores it. You'll find that most marine solar panel systems require charge controllers to ensure the battery doesn't receive a higher voltage than it is capable of handling, which could lead to damage.
The inverter converts DC (direct current) into AC (alternating current). If you're using appliances like microwaves, TVs, or hairdryers on your yacht, you will require an inverter.