Marine Solar Panels: Alternative Power For Your Boat

Having a boat is a dream of many people. Imagine how luxurious life is if you can just sail anytime you want, enjoy a cocktail and revel in the beauty of the ocean. For many people, this remains nothing but a dream.

For those who have their own boats, on the other hand, the costs can be a burden in ways more than one. Running a boat or a yacht can be costly. More so, it can also cause negative impacts to the environment.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2020-05-27 at 20:09 PST - Details / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In this case, it is a good thing that marine solar panels can provide an alternative source of energy.

​Like in the case of other solar panels, the main benefit of marine solar panels is that they can provide sustainable energy to your boats and yachts. It is cost-effective, and more importantly, it is environmentally-friendly.

With marine solar panels, you will be able to save fuel, promote energy independence, and avoid using your generator too much. If you are thinking of investing in a marine solar panel, the following are three of the options that are available, as well as some of their benefits:

Common Solar Panels

This is known for being efficient. Nonetheless, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that they are sensitive to shade as such can lower the amount of charge that it has.


If you are looking for solar panels that are space-efficient, this should be on the top of your list. Although it has a compact profile, it does not fall short when it comes to efficiency.

Amorphous Silicon

If you are budget conscious, this is an ideal choice. It comes with a practical price, but the problem is that it may not be as efficient as the two options that have been earlier mentioned.

How It Is Different From Other Types of Solar Panels

The most obvious difference of marine solar panels from other types of solar panels would be their intended application. They are used by boat enthusiasts as they are installed on sail boats. It can also be ideal for running electronics while on your yacht, such as a sound system. This would prevent the need to use your batteries.

Size is one more thing that makes marine solar panels different. Because they are meant to be mounted in boats and to be brought during sailing trips, they are generally smaller than traditional solar panels.

Examples of Marine Solar Panels and their Features

If you are looking for marine solar panels, the following are some of the choices that can be taken into consideration:

Sunforce 50022

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger
  • Features sturdy and durable aluminum frame with amorphous solar cells ; Includes 12V DC plug, battery clamps and mounting hardware for easy installation
  • Completely weatherproof for added durability
  • Amorphous solar panel works in all daylight conditions; even on cloudy days
  • Built-in overcharge/discharge protection
  • Maintains and trickle charges 12 Volt batteries for your car, boat, RV, electric fence, deer feeder and more

Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2021-06-16 at 16:37 PST - Details / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The compact size of this marine solar panel is perhaps one of its greatest assets. It comes with 5 watts of power, which is decent enough. When it comes to its construction, it is made from amorphous solar cells and the body is made from ABS plastic.

It has a weather-proof construction, which makes it ideal for marine applications. In addition, it also charges in all daylight conditions. Even if it is cloudy, you can be sure that it will charge. To make it withstand long-term use, it also comes with discharge and overcharge protection.

Monocrystalline Solar Panel

HQST 100 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel with Solar Connectors High Efficiency Module PV Power for Battery Charging Boat, Caravan, RV and Any Other Off Grid Applications
  • 【High Efficiency】Compared to other 100W mono panels, this panel uses more cells. High module conversion efficiency. Bypass diodes minimize power drop caused by shade and ensure excellent performance in low-light environments.
  • 【Space Efficiency】39.65x19.61x1.18in size monocrystalline panels come with high-efficiency solar cells that help increase space efficiency.
  • 【Easy Installation】Package includes: PANEL ONLY. For Good Partner Z bracket, please search B06Y5QX9VX. Pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel allow for fast mounting and securing. Compatible with different mounting systems such as Z-brackets, Pole Mounts, and Tilt Mounts.
  • 【Long Lifespan】EL tested solar modules; no hot-spot heating guaranteed. Advanced encapsulation material with multilayered sheet laminations to enhance cell performance and provide a long service life. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades.
  • 【Sturdy】Anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass with enhanced stiffness and impact resistance, withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa). IP65 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental particles and low pressure water jets. TPT back sheet ensures smooth performance over a long period of time.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2021-06-16 at 16:37 PST - Details / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HQST is one of the most popular brands in the market for semi-flexible solar panels. They are wafer-thin, lightweight, and made to withstand outdoor weather conditions, which is why they are ideal choices for sailboats.

In spite of being flexible, they are unrivalled when it comes to durability. In fact, even if you walk on it, it will not break.

Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Off Grid Premium Monocrystalline Solar Panel with 20A MPPT Rover Controller/Mounting Z Brackets Adaptor Kit/Tray Cables Set /MC4 Fuse, 200W-20A
  • Designed for off-grid solar panel system, Caravan, RV, boat, Green house Solar panel system. Cell efficiency: Regular Monocrystalline: 21%
  • Mono-crystalline panels come with high-efficiency cells that help increase module efficiency
  • Rover charge controller brings peak conversion efficiency of 98%, high tracking efficiency of 99%
  • IP65 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental Particles and low pressure water jets
  • Complete kit includes: (1) Renogy 200 watt 12 volt mono Solar panel (2) 20A mppt Rover controller(3)Z-brackets(4)20 feet 10 AWG adaptor kit, (5)8 Feet 10 AWG tray cable, (6)Bluetooth module, (7)10A MC4 Fuse, (8)20A ANL Fuse

Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2020-05-27 at 20:09 PST - Details / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This 2-piece panel can provide up to 200 watts of power for your boat. One of its most interesting features is its advanced encapsulation on the surface, which is one of the reasons why you can expect such to be long-lasting.

It also comes with an aluminum frame that can resist corrosion. It is also stiff and can resist impact, including harsh winds, which can be common when boating.

Read more to find best solar panels for marine

How To Use Marine Solar Panels Effectively

In order to prolong the functional life of marine solar panels and to make sure that it will be efficient, it is important to pay attention to its proper use. The following are some of the things that should be done:

Install the Panels Properly

One of the most important is the proper installation of the marine solar panels. This means that you should have it positioned in an area where there is direct sunlight. You should avoid areas that are shaded in order to maximize the ability of the panels to attract solar energy.

Choose the Right Size

The right size of a marine solar panel will depend on the extent of your needs. You should consider the appliances that will be ran in the boat. Invest in a larger solar panel if you are going to use it more extensively. You should first perform an energy audit of the boat to know your needs.

Pick the Right Wires

A lot of people may ignore the importance of choosing the right wire. Ideally, if the wires are not provided from the marine solar panel package, you should use tinned marine grade wire. This is better than ordinary wires as it will not lose its conductivity even if it is exposed in harsh weather conditions.

Have it Properly Maintained

Once the marine solar panels are installed, it should not be the end of it. You should pay attention to regular cleaning and maintenance. This will depend on the instructions from the manufacturer. By having it properly maintained, it can be efficient and functional for an extended period.


If you have a boat, now is the right time to consider the use of marine solar panels. They can provide the alternative source of energy that you need, such as for running appliances while you are aboard.

It is an investment that can yield significant returns in the future, specifically because of the cost savings that it can deliver. More importantly, it is a step towards being able to help improve the planet as it will allow you to utilize a cleaner source of energy.

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