Solar Panels on Narrowboat Charlotte II

Andrew recently bought Charlotte II from the 'Bruce Wake Charitable Trust' in Upton, who had done a fantastic job fitting her out and maintaining her. Charlotte II is Andrew's first narrowboat and he plans to liveaboard all year round.

Concerned about being reliant on shore-power or having to run the engine to keep the batteries topped up, Andrew wanted to fit solar panels, but didn't want them to detract from Charlotte's sleek lines.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

I don't want to rely on shore-power or need to run the engine to keep the batteries topped up. I want to fit solar panels, but donn't want them to detract from Charlotte's sleek lines
Andrew, Narrowboat Charlotte II

After meeting with our expert, Chris Betteridge, we decided to start with 300W of panels, which should produce up to 2000Wh of solar power during summer. Knowing that the panels may fall a little short in the winter, we made sure that the system can be safely expanded to 500W by fitting a 30A Steca PR3030 charge controller.

To meet Andrew's requirements to fit panels that were as unobtrusive as possible, we opted for the new FLEX-100 flexible monocrystalline panels. Since Charlotte II is an ex-charity boat that had been modified for disabled access, there are a lot more fittings on the roof than normal, so finding the right place for the three panels was a little tricky. Eventually, we managed to locate the panels so that they were relatively symmetrical and we were able to run the cables to the electrical area with only one hole in the roof! Normally, we would have used Sikaflex 252 to bond the panels. However, since Andrew is thinking about having the boat repainted in the next 6-12 months, we opted for a slightly less permanent adhesive* and used 10-pence piece sized 'blobs' down the long sides of the panel. This means that the boatyard can more easily remove the panels for repainting when the time comes. After the paintwork is complete, Andrew plans to use the Sikaflex to fit the panels permanently.

(*we used Evo-Stick 'Wet Grab' in this case)

The overall result is a solar system that blends well with the narrowboat, but still offers great performance.

Equipment Used:

  • 3 x FLEX-100 monocrystalline solar panels
  • 1 x Steca PR3030 solar charge controller
  • 3 x 5m 'clever-clip' solar cable sets
  • 10m twin-core 4mm solar cable, 5m twin-core 6mm solar cable, 1 x 30A inline mini fuse holder

Tell us about your project

Our Off-grid experts will come back with recommendations

Please leave your details and our experienced team will be in touch soon to assist you.
Please complete all required fields.
x
Can we help?
Leading Edge
Off-Grid Power Requirements
Please complete this form with your specific requirements and we would be happy to put together a bespoke off-grid power system. We will recommend a solution using our own British made wind turbines, best-in-class solar panels and deep-cycle batteries.

Contact Information

Once we have assessed your requirements, our experts will call you to discuss the equipment you'll need to achieve your goals.

What Is The Application?

Please tell us as much as you can about your use case. We understand that you may not be able to answer all questions. We will call you to discuss your requirements in any case.

Device Name
Voltage
Power Draw (W)
Peak Power Draw on Startup (W)
Standby Power (W)
Hours Active Per Day (W)
Days Per Week In Use (W)

Voltage Preference

Do you have a preference for the system voltage?

Outputs Required

Do you have a preference for the systems output?

Site Location

Please tell us a little bit about the site location

Other Details

No. of days autonomy required

Is there anything else we should know?

Leading Edge
Sign Up To Receive Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with Leading Edge innovations and offers by joining our mailing list. Occassionally we send informative newsletters, offers and promotions that we think you'll find useful or interesting.

Your Details

Please provide your contact details so that you can receive our newsletter. We will send this occassionally with information about our latest innovations and offers.