Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A touch of the sun…

Only a very minor touch, though.
A 30 Watt solar panel!
Prices are falling quite dramatically now, less than £2 per Watt, and everyone seems to be sporting some sort of solar array these days, so we thought, let’s give it a go.

One reason I’ve been reluctant to go this way was where to fit it. As most Continuous Cruisers will know, roof space can be at a premium in the winter when you come across a good cache of firewood. Then I had a brainwave. A thin enough panel of the right size will fit between the hatch slides, an area you can’t use for anything else. When cruising with the slide open it covers the panel, but the proportion of amps from the panel compared to the alternators would be minimal then anyway. You just have to close the slide when you turn the engine off.

The whole lot, monocrystaline panel, controller, cabling and glands cost just £90, which equates to around 100 hours of engine use for charging batteries. On a really good day we might get 25 Ah out of the panel, about 20 minutes on the engine. So we just need 300 good days to break even. About 10 years, then…

After our long weekend in Llangollen mooring basin we decided to head back down the canal this morning. Last night we didn’t get a lot of sleep, the wind was howling around the roof ventilators and the boat was rocking from side to side driving rain rattling on the windows and roof. But this morning it was calm and relatively dry as we got ready to move off.

A sprinkling of snow on the higher groundSAM_7621

We filled with water before we left the basin, so just had a loo to empty and a bag of rubbish to dispose of before we cruised past the last of the winter moorers and into the first of the narrows.

Horse-drawn trip boats James Brindley and William Jessop laid up for the winter.SAM_7624 The horses have the winter off.

Another boat out of the basin overtook us on the services, so they acted as interference for us through the constricted channel. I had to pause to collect a couple of logs on the offside, though.

Not this one, although I was tempted…

When you’re heading towards Llangollen you keep your eyes to the fore, missing the dramatic scenery opening up behind. You have to wait till the return journey to get the full effect.SAM_7626



NB Anna, an Anglo Welsh Bond Class boat, leads the way.

We pulled over at Bridge 44W, opposite the Sun Trevor Inn, where we’d stayed overnight on the way up. We had TV then, but tonight nuthin, nada. Don’t know why. We’d intended to stay here for a couple of days, but unless I can sort it out we’ll be moving on, I guess, to where we can get reception. Lots of soap drama over the coming week, I fancy…

Have a jolly happy Christmas out there.
Locks 0, miles 2

1 comment:

Tom and Jan said...

25 amps out of a panel that small. I doubt it Geoff...... Maybe 5 amps on a sunny day! You only have to cruise for another 50 years to recover the cost :-)