Using My Windlass Cables to Run Portable Solar Panels

Question:

I would like to dip my toes into how effective solar would be on my boat at anchor in the Pacific NW, given the limitations of how many panels I can install .

To do this, I have a 200W portable suitcase panel that I would like to put on the bow of my boat (I recognize that this isn't where panels would be ultimately located but it's out of the way) and am considering temporarily connecting it to my windlass cables since they run back to the battery and are really beefy. Is this a bad idea? - Scott

Answer:

Nothing wrong with temporarily installing your solar array at the bow of the boat. In the Pacific Northwest, you should get about 50 amp-hours of daily output from a 200 watt solar array.  Would suggest to run your solar wire separate from the windlass circuit as you never want to mix loads and charging circuits, especially at the end of the circuit.  - Jeff

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