Which type of Solar Panel is best for Marine Installations?

Monocrystalline; Polycrystalline; SunPower®

Which type of Solar Panel is best for Marine Installations?

3 - 4 - 5   Remember these numbers. These are the factors by which you need to divide the rated wattage of a panel to give an estimate of the amp/hr daily yield, at 12v, that a panel might produce dependent on the type of cell.

    • For a panel with SunPower┬« cells, divide the watt rating by 3.
    • For a panel with regular monocrystalline silicon cells, divide the watt rating by 4.
    • For panels with polycrystalline cells, divide the watt rating by 5.


Example: If we have one of each type of panel, all rated at 100 watts, then the one with SunPower® cells will produce somewhere in the region of 33 amp/hrs per day; the one with regular mono cells will produce around 25 amp/hrs a day; and the panel with poly cells will produce 20 amp/hrs or so a day. (Note: This is assuming a good solar day, using a MPPT controller, and with a full time load). So why the difference?

Read more: Which type of Solar Panel is best for Marine Installations?

Marine Cooling, Monitoring, And Solar Solutions (2)

Are you a boat owner, or soon-to-be boat owner, with questions about your vessel's systems? Let us help you find those answers. For example:

    • Want to know how many amp/hours your solar panel is putting into your battery bank? Philippi's PSM System Monitor can help you there.
    • Water-cooled vs air-cooled refrigeration, see "Which Condensig unit should I use" in Refrigeration > Planning.
    • Where does one begin when planning for solar panels on a boat? With "Marine Solar Panels Planning and Installation Guide in Solar > Planning.
    • Can you have air-conditioning on your boat without running a generator, or the engine, or being plugged into 115v power? (Hint: Yes!)

If you don't see the answer to your questions in our website, blog, facebook, or twitter posts, then contact us directly. We will respond as soon as possible.


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