Marine Grade Solar Panels Vs Standard Solar Panels
Posted by custommarineproducts on August 6th, 2019
Five reasons it makes sense to buy marine solar panels instead of regular solar panels.
Marine solar panels come with “potted” junction boxes. This means they are filled with inert silicone to protect the electronics from corrosion in harsh environments. Regular cheaper panels do not have potting and we often see the solar electronics used at sea corroded so much they are no longer functional.
Marine solar panels usually have the highest efficiency cells made. This is because space on a boat is at a premium so power output needs to be maximized. The higher your solar output per cell and per panel, the fewer panels you need to purchase, and the fewer marine solar panels you need to find space to mount on your boat. We use grade A+ cells from Sunpower in Custom Marine Products marine panels, also known as Maxxeon cells.
High quality laminates are used on the flexible marine solar panels which resist going milky or yellowing. ETFE laminates are what CMP uses. Many other manufacturers use an inferior laminate which goes milky and/or yellows within a year or two. It is critical that the laminate covering the cells maintain it’s clarity in order to maximize power production for marine solar panel usage. Delamination is another consideration which ETFE laminates protect against and many standard solar panels do not.
On a boat it is important that solar panels generate significant power even when partially shaded. On a boat there are many moving parts and marine solar panels are often partially shaded. It’s very important that the panels still generate significant power even with a portion of the panel not receiving sunlight.
Blocking diodes are important to make sure power doesn’t flow back into the panels from the battery system, draining the batteries. Many panels do not come standard with blocking diodes. On a boat it is critical to maintain battery power. Accidentally drained batteries can mean problems quickly on a boat. Custom Marine Products panels come standard with blocking diodes.
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