Solar Panel Mounts


Our solar panels are our primary source energy  aboard Helios, a fact we are increasingly aware of as we aren't able to connect the boat to shore power while we are at the marina in Whangarei (they use 240 volt and Helios is wired for 120, and there are rigorous electrical safety check requirements for foreign vessels to hook up at all).

Two of our five solar panels are mounted vertically to the lifelines on either side of the cockpit. To maximize their efficiency they need to be rotated ninety degrees so they are perpendicular to the sun's rays. 

We had an ad hoc arrangement last season: we used two spare lines to suspend the outside edge of the panel from the stainless steel tubing supporting the bimini (just above Dominic's head in the photo). It was a functional solution but not great; we an occasional flapping solar panel if the winds threw a surprise gust our way.

Now we have an upgrade! Dominic fabricated and installed a sliding vertical support with dual articulating attachment points. Check it out: 

ps. Looking back at when the solar panels were first installed.