New solar power

New 65w solar panel, solar control and remote meter by Morningstar Corporation.

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Elektra came with shore power, which is great if you can connect to it but being on a swing mooring we don’t have it, last season we found the lack of power a real problem and knew we needed to do something about it.

Electrics are not my strong point, I had thought better not fit myself but get an expert to fit and check it was working correctly. But with all the bad weather though the winter the fitting had been delayed, come mid March I thought Ricky had forgotten me but it turned out he had ordered the solar panel but the first one delivered was broken so after sending back and checking the replacement was working it was early April before the fitting was completed.

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As before in another post, I had fitted a new extra 220ah battery bank, adding the old batteries together to make another 210ah bank, these batteries where wired in along with a new CD car radio

Once fitted and first studied on the 7th of April, we found the panel would run the fridge at least for an hour when sailing (will try longer time but I needed to understand first), we also found we didn’t need to start the engine as last year in order to start the cabin heater. After the first overnighter I contacted my long time sailing friend Philip Kirby to ask what all the meter numbers mean! Phil was great and sent back a large amount of info, most of which went over my head! But from his excellent info I was able to understand the meter numbers, so thank you Phil for your time. Over the weekend 13-14th April I was able to manage the battery banks with the aid of the meter reading.

After an evening and night at anchor, use of the cabin heater, lights, radio and anchor light by 1000hrs next morning both battery banks where back up to full charge.

With the aid of the meter reading I have found the old battery bank will need replacing, I am hoping to nurse them though this season and fit a new set in the winter.

I am glad the new solar panel dose not look to bad when approaching Elektra in a dinghy.

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