Worst Solar Day

Today is the solstice. If you are “down under” as Reboot is at the moment it is the shortest day of the year. If I was “home” (home is where the IRS thinks I live) then it is the longest day of the year. So, happy solstice! As a cruising sailor today has significant emotional connotations. Long term cruising viability depends on two things: food and power. It is unlikely that one could catch enough food to survive in the long term. So we provision. Power on the other hand represents a set of trade offs. We can use fuel to move or make water. We use it to run the navigation electronics, communications and lights. Reboot has two sources of fuel: diesel and solar. (Some boats also have wind generators.) Since like food we can only replenish diesel in port solar is a very significant source of power. Today is the worst day for solar power generation. (Yes, rainy and cloudy days are bad but they are not cyclical.) The shortest day means least power generation, the longest night most power
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SailboatRacing-Rebootusa60493/~3/EC6tcPn45Sg/worst-solar-day.html

Solar woes

Having solar panels on a cruising sailboat is just about a given. People talk about how many watts of solar they have. But I was reminded that sometimes it just doesn t work out. On my trip from Gladstone to Cairns I was heading North(ish) the entire way. The sails shaded the solar panels. Even on a bright sunny day I did not get much charge. Fair winds and following seas 🙂
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SailboatRacing-Rebootusa60493/~3/lBchZbnRr0s/solar-woes.html