Our boat is surrounded by water. We are “off the grid.”
So how do we get power? Run the engine to spin the alternator and produce electricity – like you do when you drive your car. Or run a generator with diesel fuel, or gasoline. Some boats use a wind generator. We have solar panels – two 60 watt panels.
They are mounted on poles on the back of the boat and can be adjusted horizontally and vertically to collect maximum solar rays all day long – as long as we are on the boat and remember to keep adjusting them so they remain aimed directly at the sun.
The power they generate is stored in batteries. We have four Group 31s, but this season, two of them failed – aged out – and could no longer store power. We had to adjust our power usage. So I started buying groceries every other day, relying on the food stores to keep our food cold until we were ready to eat it.
We ordered two new batteries, which were finally delivered by ferry and then by skiff right to our boat. We also added more solar panels: two 100 watt/each sun cells on flexible panels (3/16” thick) that lie on our cabin top.
They are newer, higher tech, and more efficient. Now we have lots of power. This Blue Sky Energy panel maximizes the amount of power transferred from the panels to the batteries. And tells us their status.
Above, it’s telling us that the batteries are full of power – at 10 am on a brilliantly sunny Bahamian day. Fire up the fridge, computer, kindle, toothbrush, etc. Yeah!!!