FPB 78-1 Solar Energy Update

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FPB 78-1 Cochise has been anchored to the dock in Fort Lauderdale the past five days; we have yet to connect the shore power cord, the genset has not been used, and the batteries remain full.

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These ten solar panels, six forward and four aft, make this wonderful state of affairs possible.

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Conditions are far from ideal for solar generation. We are aligned with the path of the sun, the least efficient angle to reduce structure shading of the panels, it is mid-March so the days are only halfway to their longest, and the days have been partially sunny with moderate cloudiness.

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Solar output has averaged between 375 and 600 amp hours per day (at 24 volts).

We have been doing nothing extraordinary to reduce our power consumption. On the contrary, we have been a touch sloppy on turning electrical items off when they are not in use. In fact, Linda is using the washer and dryer as per normal. Weather has been temperate, and we have not needed to run the air conditioning.

An important part of this equation is the window film recently applied to Cochise’s windows (about which we will have a post in the near future).

This bodes well for the summer spent further north.


Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 20, 2017)




5 Responses to “FPB 78-1 Solar Energy Update”

  1. Gene Says:

    All of the solar capacity designed into Cochise, (and FPB’s in general) is–for me at least–very near the top of an already impressively long list of features. When I look at Wind Horse she almost seems naked now by comparison. The entire evolution from Wind Horse to Cochise is actually pretty fascinating.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Geno:
    Wind Horse had four of the panels that could be rotated and angled.

    Gene Reply:

    I was not knocking Wind Horse–more of a commentary on how much FPB’s have evolved and how well you are integrating solar into the boats DNA.

    Speaking of…it has been almost a month since you teased us with pictures of 782 heading for water…key word there being teased. Waiting three or four days is teasing. Making everyone wait a month is just mean =)

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Gene:
    We will eventually get photos of 782.


  2. Trevor Says:

    If you guys want to catch some good tennis the Miami Open is underway.