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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Installing A Small Marine Solar System > A Small Mooring Charging Panel
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A Small Mooring Charging Panel

With battery technology getting more and more costly and the prices of even "inexpensive" Wal*Mart batteries climbing over $100.00 each, keeping your banks healthy can be a good return on your investment.

Installing a panel in the 30 to 85+ watt range can be cost effective and it can lead to longer battery bank life.

With dockside corrosion issues running rampant in many marinas solar dock side charging is gaining in popularity. This allows owners to "unplug" their boats in thus avoid many potential corrosion issues.

Some marinas charge as much as $18.00 per foot per season for just 30A shore power. That expense for a 40 footer will run you $720.00. Granted, if down South, you'd lose the ability for AC but the savings in electricity charges alone can pay for a very nice array. For boaters who don't need dock side refrigeration or air conditioning this can mean future cost reductions beyond year one. With a large enough array many boat owners are able to fully power DC refrigeration needs while off cruising or while dock side.

Quality panels these days are running under $2.00 per watt making them a significantly better value than they have been at any time in the previous 25 years..

other sizes: small medium large auto
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Jonathan 16-Aug-2017 17:13
I would like to get this set up also. I see a bunch of people asking about iit but no reply. Jon
Robert Kuhn 23-Jan-2017 22:36
Gentlemen, I am an officer in the national training directorate of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. I am preparing a manual to be used for training in seamanship. I was hoping you could allow me to use this photo of the 30-watt panel in the manual. I would, of course, credit your kindness with the picture. Best wishes, Robert Kuhn
Micheal 21-May-2016 19:43
Like others, can you give source for hardware? Exactly what I was looking for
Neil McCubbin 19-May-2016 15:16
Informative pages for a newbie like me installing a couple of 150 watt panels. Thanks
Prices seem to be improving since you wrote (2011 I think)
I am getting quotes of $1.20 US/watt here is Scotland for 150 watt panels with Bosch cells. about $1/watt for Chinese. Prices I see in US are a little lower, but freight is excessive for me
Question on configuration. If I wire in series, the Mornistar Pro Star 25 amp will charge my 12 volt batteries (660 AH of golf cart) and kick in with lower light than a parallel installation. distance is 25ft by wire form panel to controller, and only 2 ft control to batteries, so the lower current of the series set-up for 25 ft has is appeal too.
What do you recommend? series or parallel?
art waters 10-Aug-2015 21:46
I really need some advice regarding the configuration of solar power sufficient to charge three batteries on my boat. I would gladly pay for a phone consultation. Is that possbile? Art (
Ted 26-Jan-2015 19:23
where can I get this set up? rail mounts and adjustable arm plus solar panel, this is exactly what Im looking for???

Dan Johnson 27-Aug-2014 20:01
I agree with this comment -> Where can I find that mounting hardware? It's exactly what I need. What are those clips called? ~Dan
Bill 22-Apr-2014 00:36
How do I get this 30 w pawl?
Guest 12-Sep-2013 12:17
Where can I find that mounting hardware? It's exactly what I need. What are those clips called?

Pete 07-Apr-2012 10:04
Excellent article, many thanks for posting this as it has given me the ideas on how to mount a panel.