Our Solar and Electrical Setup on our Sailboat
We are so excited to have created a bonus video for you all about our solar and electrical setup on our sailboat, SV Minnow! We have gotten several questions about our battery bank, solar panels, solar panel installation, and all about our electric setup, so we created this video and blog post to answer those questions. Enjoy!
Here are the parts we used along with links to them on Amazon so you can check them out.
Solar and electrical supplies we used!
100 Watt Solar Panels http://amzn.to/2C4PymD
We used 3 of these flexible solar panels on our bimini. They give us essentially unlimited electricity during the day and leave our batteries fully charged by the time the sun has set.
30 Amp Charge Controller http://amzn.to/2Ciu4j2
This may not be one of the fancy ones, but it has worked great for us. We installed it above our nav station so we can easily see it every day without having to go check on it in a hard to reach place. Having it in a highly-visible location has helped us monitor our electricity and make sure everything is running as it should.
Solar Cable Extensions http://amzn.to/2Cjt3av
These are the cable extensions we used to have the cables reach from the solar panels to the charge controller.
Charge Controller to Battery Cable
These cables have the correct end pieces to connect our charge controller to the batteries.
Branch Connectors http://amzn.to/2CjpKTr
We used these to connect each solar panel into the main cable that ran to the inside of the boat to the charge controller.
Wire Running Kit https://amzn.to/2uUDfq5
Someone recommended we buy one of these and we have loved it! I don't know how we would have run the cables through the tight places in the boat without it. We'd HIGHLY recommend having one of these aboard!
Interstate Deep Cycle Group 27 Battery https://www.interstatebatteries.com/products/srm-27
We have three of these, two of which are used for our house batteries and the third is the emergency battery. Although it makes for a much smaller battery bank than most (roughly 85 amp hours of usable battery), combined with the products below, it has been a great setup for us so far!
Products that make our limited battery bank work!
Potek 500 Watt Power Inverter https://amzn.to/2ErjA09
We use this inverter every day to charge our devices. Since it is so affordable, we also have a spare on hand. It is very quiet, effectively charges our laptops and such, and hasn't had any issues. We just plug it into the cigarette lighter and it's good to charge any of our devices!
Luminaid Light https://amzn.to/2GGG3Zn
This is the the most versatile and sturdy go-to light that we use every day. It has a nice warm light with high, low, and flashing options. It can also be charged with a cable for added flexibility. We absolutely love this one!
Luci Light, Warm White https://amzn.to/2JnZrfv
We use this and the Luminaid every day all around the boat. It has a beautiful and relaxing warm light and is bright enough for some nice ambient lighting in the boat.
Suaoki Collapsible 18 LED Solar Lantern https://amzn.to/2EpGW6D
This is by far our brightest light and is great when we're in the galley preparing food or working on projects that need bright light. With its multiple collapsible options, it works well for directing the light exactly how you like best. Suaoki sent us this lantern for us to try, and we've been quite enjoying it!
Luci Light, Multicolored https://amzn.to/2H2dbOt
We use this one for the red and green lights at night so we don't lose our night vision. It works great for those and could be fun at a party as well. The only downside is having to click the button many times to get to your desired color or to turn it off.
Luci Light, Clear https://amzn.to/2qc7uDm
We like using this one for directional light. It's best facing down so the little LEDs don't blind you. ;)
Suaoki Portable Charger https://amzn.to/2qdoWXQ
This allows us to charge devices at night and helps us harness some of the extra solar charge we would typically lose each day after our batteries are full. Suaoki sent us this portable charger to try, and it has been such a huge help in increasing the amount of things we can do that require electricity in the evenings after the sun has gone down.
And that's it! That is how we fully power our traveling lifestyle aboard our sailboat with solar power. We hope you found it interesting or helpful! Let us know what products you use to make your cruising electrical setup work best!
The Amazon product links above are affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase the item within 24hrs (it costs you nothing extra) we get a little bit of the proceeds. If you enjoy what we do, shopping through these links is a great way to help support our filming and uploading costs.