Solar power can be seriously useful on a narrowboat and has fast become a big part of my work. My solar installations are well thought out, neatly fitted, really work and look great.
For boaters who spend extended periods out away from shorepower in the Summer months it is a game changer and allows you to moor in one spot and not have to run the engine – Fridge on 24/7, rads off and hot water from your Webasto style heater.
Virtually all my installations use large higher power panels fitted flat, tightly against the roof. The size of system needed depends on power usage and equipment inside the boat and generally I recommend a 2-panel 600 watt system for a typical modern narrowboat. I use my own custom mounting brackets which fix the panels neatly and securely and adjust to work with the varying degrees of roof curves around. This mounting system is a key feature and sets my installations apart from competitors using the popular obtrusive tilting brackets and smaller panels. I only use the very best quality panels and Victron Smartsolar controllers and I won’t fit budget equipment.
For off-grid permanent moorings it’s often possible to fit a large fixed angled system on the bank.
Here’s a youtube video describing a recent solar installation:
Before installing solar it’s a good idea to think about fitting some sort of battery monitoring system. Please call 07922 163072 to discuss and I can give you a good idea of the costs involved. Sometimes I can arrange for the customer to purchase the panels and controller to help cut costs.