Monday, September 26, 2022

5 Best Marine Solar Panels: Sailor’s Choice

Are you a sailor and need a noiseless, uninterrupted electrical power supply source in your boat? Worry no more as this 5 Best Marine Solar Panels article will give every detail you need.

As long as there is sunlight, my picks of the 5 best marine solar panels will provide you with a quiet and consistent power supply.

In this article, I will list my best picks from the 5th to the best. As such, I urge you to read this article to the end to get the best available Marine Solar Panels.

To ease your reading, I will divide the article on 5 best marine solar panels into sections.

To start with is the overview of marine solar panels. After which, I will explain the pros and cons of marine solar panels.

Not only will I discuss the features and factors to consider while buying a marine solar panel. I will also state the specifications and compare my top picks in a table.

In conclusion, I will give details of each product, stating their pros and cons. Finally, the pictures of these products are available for you to view.

5 Best Marine Solar Panels: Overview

5 Best Marine Solar Panels Overview

A solar panel is a photovoltaic device that receives heat energy (light) from the sun and converts it to electricity. The solar panel converts the energy from the sun into direct current through photovoltaic effects.

Generally, the solar panel is very useful as it is a perfect means and alternative power supply.

However, in the marines, the solar panel has its application. Even when the operating principles and aim are the same, the Marine Solar Panels are made so that they can withstand the sea effects, just like the boats.

Nevertheless, sailing is an exciting experience that most people enjoy. But, this excitement could be reduced due to a limited power supply.

On the other hand, having too much electric power onboard while sailing or cruising can bring about a marginal experience instead of a fantastic one.

Hence, the Marine Solar Panel is a category of solar panel used to generate electricity by converting the energy that falls on it from the sun to power a boat while sailing.

Specifically, marine solar panels are an excellent electrical power source for your powerboat.

Furthermore, Solar panels replenish the DC power in your boat’s battery. Some solar panels can produce enough energy to power appliances on the boat.

This will help reduce the amount of money you could spend on fuel.

Also, the marine solar panel is almost perfect for reducing the carbon footprint of commercial boats by decreasing the load on the onboard generator.

In addition, it reduces the noise that could emanate from big generators. Hence, giving a quiet sail.

5 Best Marine Solar Panels: Pros And Cons

5 Best Marine Solar Panels Pros And Cons

Pros

The marine solar panel has a good number of benefits which include:

Electricity Without Cost

Having a solar panel on your boat saves you the cost of buying fuel. However, you generate electricity that is enough for you at no cost. So even when you are far away from land, you still have power.

Although the cost of installation could be high, in the long run, solar power is more cost-effective. All you need is the sun, which is renewable and free.

Hence, it requires no fuel.

No Dangerous Emissions

Some energy sources emit toxic substances that are harmful to the human body. The world is currently dealing with high pollution.

Hence, trying to reduce the toxic substances in the atmosphere is essential.

Unlike other power sources, solar energy does not emit dangerous substances; there is no emission. Thus, solar energy is a clean source of electricity.

Flexibility

In recent times, solar panels come in flexible thin films that can be mounted or installed on any surface.

Because of its flexibility, you can use a curved surface to mount solar panels.

Strongly Built

It is no news that while sailing, you might encounter strong winds, heavy rains, and even the hot sun of the summer. As you sail in the open sea, you are bound to face these extreme weather conditions.

However, the Marine Solar Panels are sturdy enough to handle bad weather conditions. Even when it is extreme, you will be stunned to see that the panels are intact.

Adequate Power

Solar energy gives power as adequate as other sources. Contrary to the misconception of most people, solar energy has been proven to be as effective as other power sources.

So far as you have the right panels that can produce the electricity you require, it will serve you even more effectively than some of the other energy sources.

Noise Free

The marine solar panel has no moveable part. Also, it does not need to be propelled by any mechanical device (turbine).

Thus, it produces zero noise.

Boat Battery Restoration

The Marine Solar Panel can serve as a backup if the battery requires additional charging. Thus, restoring the boat’s dying battery.

However, some marine solar panels can serve as an additional energy source to existing electrical sources. Hence, you can store solar energy for future use.

Might Serve Various Purposes

While the marine solar panel supplies power to the boat, you can use it for all the essentials like the navigation system, all essentials for living, communication, and lighting from the electricity generated from the marine solar panels.

However, some marine solar panels also come with special solar collectors that can capture heat with the help of a single collector.

Cons

Despite how beneficial the marine solar panel is, it has a few setbacks, which include:

It Always Needs Sunlight

The major problem with solar panels is that for them to function, you need sunlight. For regular generators, you can buy fuel, but you can not purchase sunlight on a rainy day.

Hence, the solar panel will generate low power on such days, which might not be enough for you. However, some panels, like the monocrystalline panel, will generate electricity at night and in low light conditions but will not be enough.

Could Be Bulky

The installation of some solar energy systems comes with many gadgets that take a lot of space.

Nevertheless, a few solar panels are multipurpose and require less space. A good example is the flexible solar panel.

Initial Cost Of Installation

The initial cost of installing the marine solar panel could discourage your intentions to have one.

However, the benefits are worth the cost, as you would no longer need to buy fuel.

Extra Expenses Could Be Incurred

Aside from the high cost of the solar panel itself, some marine solar panels do not come with other essentials. As such, you will incur more expenses to get other necessary equipment.

Sometimes, the amount you need to buy the batteries, wires, and mount could be almost the same price as the panel.

5 Best Marine Solar Panels: Features/Factors To Consider

5 Best Marine Solar Panels Factors To Consider

Factors To Consider

To get a marine solar panel that will be beneficial to you, you should take note of the following points:

Type Of Panel

The marine solar panel could either be standard or adjustable. Just as their names imply, the standard marine solar panels are the well-known solar panels found almost everywhere.

On the other hand, the adjustable marine solar panels are flexible.

However, if you want to consider types of panels according to their materials, we will look at amorphous solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and monocrystalline solar panels.

The monocrystalline panels are made from single crystals of silicon, and the polycrystalline panels are made from different tiny fragments of silicon.

In contrast, the amorphous panels have no clearly defined shape as they are so flexible.

Size Of Load

Like other solar panels, the marine solar panel has different power ratings that work according to the load. Buying a solar panel whose power rating is vastly higher than a total load of appliances on the boat will be a waste.

This is because the price of the panels increases with the power rating.

Hence, it would be best if you considered the load. If possible, involve an expert to calculate the load of appliances on the boat and recommend the rating of the solar panel you need to buy.

Price

This is one factor you must consider before buying a marine solar panel. The price of the solar panel and its overall installation is high.

Hence, you should check your budget and ensure you do not go bankrupt in buying the panel.

Durability

Considering the high cost of purchase and installation, you would not need to buy another solar panel or any of its components within a short period.

Hence, you need to ensure that the Marine Solar Panel is durable.

However, checking the panel’s warranty would not be a bad idea. This will aid you in making your choice.

Periodic Maintenance

Some of these solar panels come with components that degrade with time. However, removing debris and cleaning are simple to carry out.

But, you will need a professional when it comes to component checks.

Hence, you should consider the cost of periodic maintenance, availability of parts, and other necessary things. Also, you need to monitor the system to know when it needs possible maintenance.

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5 Best Marine Solar Panels: Specifications And Comparison Table

5 Best Marine Solar Panels Overview
ProductDimensionWeightDesignWattage
Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger47.9 x 21 x 0.08 inches4 poundsFlexible100 Watt
SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit39 x 31.9 x 3.1 inches35.4 poundsStandard100 Watt
BougeRV Solar Panel 180 Watts 5BB Mono, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Cell58.27 x 26.38 x 1.38 inches24 poundsStandard180 Watt
RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel58.3 x 26.2 x 1.4 inches26.5 PoundsStandard200 Watt
DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocrystalline Solar Cell29 x 21 x 1.1 inches10.56 PoundsFoldable220 Watt

5
Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger

2022-05-10 15_26_40-Amazon.com_ Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Fl
Amazon.com

5th on my list is “Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger”.

The Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger is a flexible marine solar panel made from metal. It can meet a wide range of applications where it is inconvenient to mount standard panels.

Also, it is an advanced polymer material that weighs about 70% less than conventional solar panels, making it easy to transport and install. Even so, it is a super-thin lamination, which makes it hardly noticeable.

Furthermore, it is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions of wind up to 2400Pa and snow loads up to 5400Pa. Therefore, it is primarily used on off-grid applications like marine, rooftop, curvy surfaces, and so on.

Lastly, it weighs about 4 pounds and has a dimension of 47.9 x 21 x 0.08 inches.

Pros

  • It is flexible.
  • Also, it is lightweight.
  • Even so, it is easy to transport and install.
  • In addition, it is highly durable.
  • Lastly, it is suitable for curvy surfaces.

Cons

  • You need to purchase a charge controller separately.
  • The product warranty is not specified.

4
SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit

2022-05-10 15_42_07-Amazon.com _ SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit, wit
Image from amazon

4th on my list is “SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit”.

The SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit is a standard solar panel made from glass. It is a product of highly efficient crystalline cells with a conversion rate of 23%.

It is a composition of glass, waterproof EVA film, and a high-quality aluminum frame. Also, due to its waterproof nature, you can use it outdoor for more than 10 years. Although, after 10 years, its conversion rate will decline.

However, the SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit is not only beneficial for charging batteries on boats. They are also useful in various scenarios, including RVs, cars, portable power stations, outdoor generators, fences, security cameras, etc.

Furthermore, it comes with a 12V/24V 30A charge controller with 4 PWM charging stages: boasts, bulk, float, and equalization. This increases the battery life and performance.

Also, it has intelligent protection against overcharging, reverse polarity, short circuits, and currents. It also has 2 USB 5V/2A output ports, which support mobile phones, tablets, or devices requiring 5 volts.

Lastly, it weighs about 35.4 pounds and has a dimension of 39 x 31.9 x 3.1 inches. It is easy to install and offers an 18-months warranty.

Pros

  • It is easy to install.
  • Also, it comes with a charge controller.
  • It has USB ports that support mobile devices that require 5 volts.
  • In addition, it has multiple areas of applications.
  • Lastly, it undergoes a series of tests before leaving the factory.

Cons

  • Its 18-months warranty duration is small.
  • Also, it can only function effectively within 10 years.

3
BougeRV Solar Panel 180 Watts 5BB Mono, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Cell

2022-05-10 15_48_16-Amazon.com_ BougeRV 5BB 180 Watts Mono Solar Panel, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Sol
IMG: Amazon

3rd on my list is “BougeRV Solar Panel 180 Watts 5BB Mono, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Cell”.

The BougeRV Solar Panel 180 Watts 5BB Mono, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Cell is a product of class a solar cell that passes through strict EL test. It has no visible defects and no microcracks.

Despite its compact design, it delivers the same power as other 180 watts solar panels whose sizes are slightly bigger. Hence, you can get power in a limited space.

Furthermore, it is compatible with both on-grid and off-grid inverters and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It is easy to use and mount.

Also, its areas of application include RVs, boats, and other outdoor equipment.

Moreover, it is a product of aluminum that can withstand extreme outdoor weather conditions like a high wind of 2400Pa and snow loads of 5400Pa and have good performance in low light environments.

Lastly, it weighs 24 pounds and has a dimension of 58.27 x 26.38 x 1.38 inches.

Pros

  • Its design is compatible.
  • Also, it is suitable for multiple areas of application.
  • Even so, it is durable.
  • In addition, it is easy to install and user-friendly.
  • Lastly, it has a 25-years power warranty and an 18-months product warranty.

Con

  • You need to purchase a solar charge controller separately.

2
RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel

2022-05-10 15_53_41-Amazon.com _ RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel Hi
www. Amazon

2nd on my list is “RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel”.

The RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel is an industry-standard panel. It has quick-connect cables and can work both in series or parallel.

Also, it has an excellent low light performance in the morning, evening, or cloudy days. Even so, it can withstand challenging weather conditions.

However, it is a product of a strong high transmission anti-reflective coated tempered glass and an aluminum frame.

Thus, this further enhances its durability. In addition, it is easy to install.

Lastly, it weighs 26.5 pounds and has a dimension of 58.3 x 26.2 x 1.4 inches. It has a 25-year power output warranty and a 5-year material and workmanship warranty.

Pros

  • It is easy to install.
  • Also, it is durable.
  • Even so, it has excellent performance.
  • In addition, it has quick connect cables.
  • Lastly, it has enough warranty duration.

Con

  • You need to purchase a charge controller separately for battery charging.

1
DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocrystalline Solar Cell

2022-05-10 15_57_36-Amazon.com _ DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocryst
Pic: Amazon

On my list of 5 Best Marine Solar Panels, the best is “DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocrystalline Solar Cell”.

The DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocrystalline Solar Cell is a foldable photovoltaic cell. Despite delivering 220 watts of power, it is only 2.4cm thick and weighs 9lbs, making it easier to carry.

Due to its less weight, it is easy to transport, hand, and remove. Also, it has a 3m cable length between the panel and controller for most power stations and 12-volt batteries.

It is also useful with RVs, cars, boats, trailers, trucks, etc.

Even when the panel is smaller than a traditional model, the monocrystalline solar cell is so efficient that it gives greater power efficiency. However, it has a one-year warranty.

Lastly, it has a 4-stage PWM charging that increases battery life and improves performance. It has a dimension of 29 x 21 x 1.1 inches.

Pros

  • It is foldable.
  • Also, it is lightweight.
  • Even so, it is perfect for outdoor and emergency life.
  • In addition, it has high efficiency.
  • However, it is easy to install and use.
  • Lastly, it has a PWM charge controller.

Con

  • Its 1-year warranty duration is small.

Frequently Ask Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. How effective are solar panels underwater?

Research shows that underwater solar cells may generate power with efficiency between 55% and 65% at depths up to 50 meters in crystal-clear seas. The system can function at depths of up to 10 meters in seas that are cloudier.

2. Are solar panels on a boat worth it?

The solar panels designed for boats make a good backup source when you are on the sea. These Solar panels help to recharge the boat’s batteries and keep all appliances in the boat operating without needing a gas-powered generator.

3. Which solar panels are best for boats?

(a). Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger
(b). SUNSUL 2 Pcs 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels Kit
(c). BougeRV Solar Panel 180 Watts 5BB Mono, 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Cell
(d). RICH SOLAR 200 Watt 12 Volt 9BB Cell Monocrystalline Solar Panel
(e). DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit (Lightweight 9lb) Monocrystalline Solar Cell

4. Can you overcharge a battery with solar panel?

A battery may be overcharged by a solar panel; however, the charge rate is dependent on the voltage, output current, and voltage of the battery. The amount of power supplied to and from the solar panels is managed by a solar charge controller, which prevents overcharging.

5. Do solar panels drain batteries at night?

Even at night, an excellent solar panel won’t drain your battery. A solar charge controller will stop your batteries from draining. Most people’s solar panels often lose power at night, especially if they aren’t linked to the main power source like a refrigerator or stove.

5 Best Marine Solar Panels: My Final Thoughts

5 Best Marine Solar Panels My Final Thoughts

Your sailing experience can not be as exciting as it should be if there is no power supply. Thus, the Marine Solar Panel gives enough electricity to power the entire boat.

This power could be used for several purposes ranging from lighting, charging of mobile devices, and other necessities on board.

However, the above details have all the information you need to make a good choice of a marine solar panel to aid your sailing.

Hence, I recommend choosing from the 5 Best Marine Solar Panels above. This is because they are selected considering previous customers’ ratings, best sellers rankings, and so on.

Therefore, if you are ready to buy one, click on the “Buy Now On Amazon” button to place your order.

I hope this buying guide is found helpful to you.

Kindly fill out the “Leave A Reply” form at the end of this article to share your thoughts.

Also, check below to read other articles from our website:

5 Best Monocrystalline Solar Panels Under $500

Connecting Solar Panels to Batteries and Inverters

How To Install Solar Panels

Christian Jerome
Christian Jerome
Akan Christian writes for PowerVersity.com. He holds an HND in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. Christian enjoys reading, listening to solemn music, singing, and playing sports. For PowerVersity.com, Christian writes reviews, buying guides, and best-pick articles.

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