Solar power - bright benefits

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In their brand-new Integrity 440 Sedan, named Adagio, Alan and Margaret Pearce specifically chose solar to run most of the systems, aiming for off-the-grid independence and a greener, quieter alternative.

The system comprises 6 x 150 watt solar panels and a Victron MPPT solar controller – the latest and greatest – to get everything to interface.

Stephen Fowler, electrical designer and surveyor at Benson & Brown Marine said the Pearces were “the ideal clients”, coming well informed and already convinced of the multitude of benefits of solar power.

“We didn’t have to sell the concept to them. All the benefits were already on his list.

“We worked on the design in collaboration with Alan, who had already decided on Victron Energies solar panels. The appeal is this style offers higher efficiency and the accompanying solar regulator interfaces with the existing Victron equipment on the boat.

“The end result is a single display on the helm which shows the condition of batteries, solar array information and what their battery charger and invertor are doing – a one stop monitoring power system.”

Slimline and lightweight, the solar panels fit neatly on the roof, which Integrity custom-shaped to accommodate this arrangement.

“At the factory, Integrity shaped the roof with a deeper lip on the side of the roof so that panels nestle in, imperceptibly. Integrity’s quality components and platform give owners a lot to work with – a great foundation for their specifications,” added Stephen.

The owners’ brief in this case was to reduce generator run time. “They selected equipment that is very efficient and they wanted to be able to stay at anchor or a marina berth indefinitely without shore power connection or running a generator.”

“The lighting and refrigeration on board Adagio are supported by solar. The vessel has been disconnected from shore power for over three weeks. The main benefits are cost savings, it’s quiet and environmentally friendly and it conforms to their ideals. They have the freedom to roam independently wherever there’s sunlight.”

Stephen himself and Benson & Brown are “huge advocates of solar power”.

“We are becoming increasingly involved in installing solar on boats. We have clients with a few houseboats with solar panels four times the size of Adagio’s who don’t want to rely on any generator or shore power.

“With Alan and Margaret’s boat, people can see for themselves the benefits. This has opened up people’s eyes. Solar is phenomenal!”

 

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