By Bob Williams
How to build an energy system that is robust, reliable and up to the rigors of offshore sailing
For the past 30 years we have been able to meet the challenge of designing reliable offshore power systems that are fully sustainable with the use of wind turbines and solar (photovoltaic) panels without reliance on a diesel engine turning a generator or alternator. Today, a typical cruiser’s energy requirements are easily double the average a decade ago, but during that time frame, efficiencies of solar cells have more than doubled with the cost per watt being well below half of prices then.
When we start working with clients to assess their energy needs, we encourage consideration of their passage making lifestyle first, as days offshore are the periods of highest demand. In many cases, due to angle of heel or excessive sea conditions, it is not possible or practical to run an engine or genset to charge the batteries. Heeling or rough seas also can cause air locks or fuel contamination shaken from the tank bottom. The solution is to have a robust alternate source of energy to keep your batteries topped up. Read the full story.