ESPcat First Solar Panel

If you are gong to have a an Electric Solar Powered Catamaran, you need to have solar panels.  Well, here is the first one.  first-solar-panel

It’s only tiny at 1.5 watt, it doesn’t amount to much. You blog buddies probably already know that if you charge up a standard, lead-acid battery (car battery) and leave it sitting around for two or three months, it will go dead.  This is because of electrical leakage.  There is always a little bit of leaking going on with this type of battery.  If the top surface of your battery is dirty, then the leakage will be greater.  Even with a clean battery, you still get some leakage.   One way to counteract leakage is to install a tiny solar panel like the one shown above.  This little panel is just big enough to overcome leakage and keep the battery charged up.  A charged up battery lasts longer because allowing a lead-acid battery to run down dead, causes build-up of tiny, lead sulfate crystals on the battery plates.  Eventually, a flat battery builds up so many crystals that it is permanently damaged.

Ok, as solar panels go, this first one doesn’t amount to much but it’s important to me.  Only 27 more solar panels to go!  You can’t quite see the tiny panel but the red arrow below, is pointing toward it. It keeps the starting battery for the port engine fully charged. I bought the solar panel from China for $US2.80, postage free!solar-panel-location

Small beginnings!


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