Dan's next Tarp???

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by DarrenM, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    That is awesome. It looks like it's a bit big to fit into a kayak even when folded up, but I love the idea.

    What I'd like more though, is to build solar panels into the deck of a kayak. That would be very cool.

    ****
     
  3. oldsailor

    oldsailor Paddler

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    It says it "deploys in 5 man hours". I'm gonna want a nap before and after that job!

    Regarding Dan's request for a built-in solar panel... I haven't played with these for a long time but at one time many (mostly solid) panels were wired so that virtually any shadow on any part of the panel drastically reduced its output. Since they included ropes and rigging shadows, I would assume that deck rigging on a kayak might make a big difference. My memory also believes that the flexible panels were those that weren't susceptible to this problem.

    Craig
     
  4. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I think the biggest hurdle is the shape of the panels. I've only seen rectangular panels available for purchase. The vision I have is to utilize the entire deck surface -- basically the boat would look like a stitch and glue kayak, built from solar panels. This would take advantage of every bit of uncovered deck area. I've seen some very cool integrations in some of the solar panel car contests that universities hold each year so I know it can be done but I currently have no knowledge of the processes or the costs.

    Speaking of costs, unlike a lot of electronic equipment, solar panels aren't exactly cheap yet -- but they are definitely less costly than they were a few short years ago. Hopefully, the cost will continue to come down -- it would be interesting to see how people would utilize them.

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  5. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    I love solar power :oops: I hope to cover my house with panels someday...

    I stumbled across that page while searching for a way to power/charge a laptop while in camp. I know a lot of you detest the thought (so you folks can just skip this :D )

    I have 4 or 5 different panels, but none powerful enough for a laptop.
    Just trying to figure out the best way to do this...

    extra battery?
    Bigger panel?
    one of those portable power boxes?

    hmmmm....
     
  6. oldsailor

    oldsailor Paddler

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    My son-in-law works at an outfit that manufactures the sylene gas and the silicon for solar panels and has a radical new - and much cheaper - method for the process. As soon as they recoup the costs for the $1 billion they've spent in a new plant, they should be making panels for much less than now. I guess it's MUCH less.

    There are always stories about fabric that is all solar panels, roofing material and such but they never quite seem to make it to market.

    It would be nice to have a distributed power system. I'd like to think that people will install them on their rooftops and use an inverter system to connect them to the grid. Germany is making great strides in this regard by subsidizing the power generated by such a system. That is, I'm afraid, what it will take in the USA to get people to adopt this idea on any meaningful scale.

    Most long-distance cruising sailors already use solar panels and wind generators. We did that for years and had more power than we could use even with lights, ham radio, stereo, dc refrigeration, etc. Two 35-watt panels and one home-built wind generator made it so we only ran our diesel auxiliary once a week for 30 minutes just to keep it lubed.

    Craig
     
  7. B1200

    B1200 Paddler

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    Hi Dan
    You will have to excuse my ignorance, but if you could build tons of solar panels into the deck of a kayak, what the heck would you power with them? I actually might have a free or almost free solution for you.
     
  8. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Primarily for charging batteries for:

    - GPS
    - Headlamps
    - VHF Radio
    - Cameras
    - Cel phone
    - Sat phone
    - Laptop computer
    - Ipod
    - Blender (for mixing margaritas)

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  9. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    -pump
    -Video cams
    -PSP
     
  10. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    What Darren added as well (except I don't have/use a PSP -- iPod Touch fills that need)...

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  11. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    not that i have an electric pump.... someday I hope to
     
  12. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Me too.

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  13. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    as you'd have full deck solar panels, just make sure the output faces aft at the keel line and that the input can be simply switched from inside to outside hull

    So with the flick of the switch you get free solar jet propulsion.
     
  14. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

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    microwave, boom box, TV... :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  15. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    It wouldn't be too hard to mold a deck that is embedded with chips.

    Those rectangular solar panels that you buy in the store actually consist of about a hundred chiprs connected in an array. There is no reason that you couldn't build that rectangle in the shape of the deck of your kayak.




    May your days be consumed with fog...
     
  16. B1200

    B1200 Paddler

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    Hmm...I guess you are talking pretty extended paddles...anyways, I worked at a VW store for a while. EVERY VW that came in came with a 10 by 14 or so solar panel in a great plastic frame, already wired so that it could plug into the cigarette lighter and keep the batts up while in transport. We ended up with hundreds of them, and I realized that the service manager was tossing them in the trash. My god people are stupid, anyways, when i realized what was happening, I 'procured' several for myself and have since given them away to friends all over who have cars, boats, motorcycles and such that they do not drive much.
    I called, and they still get tossed away. You might befriend anyone that works for a dealership that sells german cars. withouth the frame, you would be left with quite a cool solar panel that weighed next to nothing.
     
  17. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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  18. elmo

    elmo Paddler

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    Wonder if anyone makes a waterproof version of that battery-pack you posted Dan? I could see it being VERY handy for coffee-shop quick-charges, to later top up batteries at one's leisure. :wink:

    Would that count as electricity theft? :lol: