*** For Summer 2022 I have a standard 2 panel 750 watt system installed at a fixed price + my travel. It uses quality panels mounted on my low profile stainless steel bracket set, running through a Victron Smartsolar 100/50 controller. Bigger systems are available as multiples on this 2 panel setup.***
Some of my latest solar jobs are on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/four_counties_marine_services/
Solar power can be seriously useful on a narrowboat. My installations are well thought out, neatly fitted, really work and look great. It’s now the most common single job that I do. Solar ties in with other work I do related to lithium batteries and can potentially bring automatic hot water heating in the Summer.
The way I mount the panels is a fundamental feature and sets my installations apart from those with tilting ‘A’ brackets or those using smaller low quality panels. My brackets fit to the panel’s factory mounting points so there’s no sagging and frames don’t require any drilling/modification which is likely to void any warranty.
I use the latest panels, quality mounting kit and installation accessories and only fit Victron Smartsolar MPPT controllers – I don’t fit any budget equipment like many competitors. The Victron Smartsolar controllers connect to a phone or tablet with the Victron Connect App which enables you to monitor how well the solar is working over a day/week/month. It’s incredibly useful. Victron is a first class company to deal with if there’s ever any issues. All their products now have a 5 year warranty providing peace of mind and customer confidence.
I regularly get asked about flexible panels. If a customer fits the panels I will occasionally do the electrical installation but I don’t get involved in the panel installation. I’ve had bad experience in the past and IMO the serious negative aspects out way any positive.
For off-grid permanent moorings without a landline it’s sometimes possible to fit a large fixed angle panel setup on the bank. I’ve done this several times in 2020 and twice installed 1360 watt fixed tilt systems which have worked well through the winter. Last pic on this page shows one on off grid liveaboard moorings on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Before installing solar it’s sometimes useful to install some sort of battery monitoring system. Fitting something like the basic Victron BMV700 Battery Monitor will allow you to get an idea and appreciate how efficient the various equipment is and allow you to do a rough power audit. Please call 07922 163072 to discuss and I can give you a good idea of the costs involved.