Angled Solar Arch Windage

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by SPC, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. SPC
    Joined: Jul 2020
    Posts: 12
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Raleigh NC

    SPC Junior Member

    I am designing how to fit out a solar arch for a catamaran with a 16ft beam. Standard panels (for houses, industry, etc.) are around 1 meter wide. So, four panels laid flat will fit nicely with about a foot and a half on either side, but five panels would be wider by about 2.5 inches on either side.
    I wondered about tilting the ones on the edges down to fit, which would add about 16 to 18 inches vertical (think like a spoiler on a car). How would this affect the way the boat handles in the wind?
    Being a catamaran, there is already quite a lot of windage, so it would be wise not do add much more, though it would be at the far back of the boat.
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,287
    Likes: 1,314, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Can you post copies of any sketches / drawings you have made so far, and / or a photo of the relevant area of the catamaran for reference?

    I am thinking that for best overall efficiency the panels should be flat - if you tilt the panels on the sides then they will be less effective when the sun is overhead.
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 7,138
    Likes: 1,505, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    It would be no different than adding the same amount in a sail. A one meter wide panel by two meters long tilted on 45 degree angle is a 2 sqm sail area on each side.

    Personally, I wouldn't do it because it'll look odd.

    Oftentimes, there might be other stuff on the sides of the panels. On mine, there is a marine antenna and the extra space on the sides might come in handy. For me, I put in some less than ideal panels because I expect in 10 years for some serious improvements in them and mine could see hail, so also fewer panels is risk reduction. On my boat, we have power coming from outboards, though, so solar isn't all there is... If you have an onboard generator; it is good to use now and then as well. I consider the solar cells to be maintainers when the boat is at anchor away from shore power.

    I jist anchored my panels this week to the roof and they are 1.5" above it only. I still think they are ugly as sin on the boat.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.