Monday, October 23, 2017

Solar Panel Upgrade

Our new solar panels are installed!  The condo building shades the panels for almost half the day. Even so, the new panels can fully charge the batteries with both refrigerators running. I expect that we won’t have any trouble keeping the batteries charged in the Bahamas. 
We have had quite the solar panel saga this summer. We had the arch made and installed to hold the panels. We then waited for Alex Miller from SeaTek to install them. Alex lives in Marathon, FL and installed our new lithium ion batteries in March. He said he has family in Virginia and would be willing to drive up to Maryland and install the panels as part of a visit with his family. Alex set a tentative date in September for the installation. Just as George contacted Alex to firm up the date, Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida. Irma hit Marathon really hard. We felt terrible for everyone affected by Irma as well as the other hurricanes this season. 
We didn’t hear from Alex after Irma and decided not to bother him. In the meantime, George started looking into other options. He found a local company that was willing to sell Sun Power solar panels to us but had never done an installation on a boat. George eventually decided to email Alex to ask a question about controllers. Alex wrote back immediately and said he was still planning to come and do the installation. Although his boat and business suffered some minor damage, he said he would really appreciate our business.  Alex set another tentative date. George texted him a short while later to firm up the date and learned that Alex had just broken his hand.  It happened while he was helping to clean up the harbor in Marathon!  It was clear he couldn’t make the trip so Alex had all of the equipment, along with instructions, shipped by UPS. It all arrived last week. George and Ray installed everything themselves and did a fine job. I think we are going to be very happy with the results this winter. 

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