Solar Winter

Risa’s solar panel is on her stern, she is parked bow to the south, which compounds the poor angle of solar radiation. Further reductions are caused by shadows of not only my backstay, but by those caused by the boats around me. With all these factors, I was down to about 4 hours of OK output on a sunny day.

As fall progressed, sun light hours became fewer and cloudy days got more and more frequent.

By the end of November, with a string of cloudy days, the batteries were down 100+ amp hours. A run down to plug her in, then another to unplug and coil the wire up was needed. Then several weeks later, a week of clouds and rain made another plug her necessary. I became concerned that I would not be available at some point over the winter to run down and plug her in, so I made the difficult decision to shut down the monitoring system when snow was forecast, realizing that snow could not only make the solar panel useless, it also could make getting onboard impossible.

I’m planning to restore the monitoring in March.