Electricity On Our Sailboat: Our Solar Panels, Inverter and Batteries from Go Power
One of the biggest reasons we decided to move onto a sailboat was to find a simpler, more relaxing way of life. When Jonathan first moved onto SV Empress while I was travelling in Africa, that boat life was a bit more simple than he would have liked!
No electricity means no lighting, no running water, no refrigeration and no way to charge a phone, so almost everything other than eating basic food and sleeping must still take place on land. Luckily our mooring is part of Marathon City Marina in Boot Key Harbour, which has great facilities, but we still wanted to be as self-sufficient as possible on our live-aboard boat.
Fortunately, it was only a couple of weeks until our Go Power Solar Elite Charging System with Overlander Expansion pack arrived, so that Jonathan could at least start to get some kind of power on board. He decided to complete the installation in two parts, initially using only two of the six AGM batteries and two of the three solar panels. This would give him a basic electrical power supply for lighting, refrigeration and gadget charging. Just this was a huge improvement! Stage 2 of the installation will be the full battery bank, 2000 Watt pure sine wave inverter charger and the full complement of three solar panels. Then we will be able to power everything we own directly from the boat itself!
ABOUT GO POWER! AND THEIR PRODUCT RANGE
Go Power! has been a trusted, recognized leader in the business of solar technology for over 20 years. They have been trusted by millions of users not only because of their innovative and cost-efficient products but also because of their commendable customer service.
Their products include high-quality solar chargers, inverters, controllers, and power accessories that offer a durable, dependable, and cost-effective solution for mobile power needs where grid power is inaccessible, unavailable, or unsustainable.
These products are perfect for your home, boats, RV/campervan or even truck!
OUR PRODUCTS FROM GO POWER!
We have a Go Power! Solar Elite Charging System with Overlander Expansion Pack installed on our sailboat and I couldn’t imagine our life on board without it. It’s such a relief to have electricity and make things work. (I honestly believe that electricity is one of the greatest modern comforts!)
The Solar Elite kit is a large solar and inverter system. It is designed for anyone that would like the benefit of solar power to charge their batteries and the ability to use AC appliances when there is no utility power available. This kit contains a 320 Watt solar charging kit and a 2000 Watt pure sine wave inverter system. It includes everything you need to hook the solar and inverter system up to your batteries and install the solar panels on a flat surface.
PROS OF HAVING GO POWER! SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED ON OUR SAILBOAT
1) It’s easy to install - As long as you don’t rush in, complete a thorough energy audit and take the time to learn about how photovoltaic solar panel systems work, you will be well-equipped to make the right choices for your energy needs and budget. Jonathan was able to install our solar panel in just one full day! Click here to learn more on how to choose your solar panel for your sailboat, RV, or home without being an electrician. You can also watch our vlog on how we installed our solar panels here :)
2) It is convenient - We’re now living on a sailboat and we chose to live a simpler and more peaceful life, But there are just some things that we can’t let go of, like comfort. We can’t let go of the modern world’s convenience like having electricity that could power our lights, laptops, refrigerator, and fans! Now that we have them installed, our life on the sailboat feels a lot better (and cooler!).
3) It is clean and renewable energy - We love our planet and we’re trying to lessen our carbon footprint. We’re really happy to have this solar panel because it’s more earth-friendly than a generator and it’s fairly guilt free :)
4) It’s cheaper in the long run- While the initial investment can be a little pricey, the long-term effect is really promising. No more shocking monthly electricity bills for me and Jonathan! :)
5) It’s unlimited- Since we get our energy from the sun, we wouldn’t be affected by blackouts and we can use these panels for years. We always have electricity whenever, wherever.
6) It’s low maintenance- Other than cleaning it a couple of times per year, the cost of maintaining it is almost zero. All we really need is the sun which is right above our heads every day!
CONS OF HAVING GO POWER! SOLAR PANEL INSTALLED ON OUR SAILBOAT
1) The initial investment cost is quite high - This kit alone is already USD 2,700+. But forget the initial investment and look at the benefits in the long run - It would reduce your monthly electricity bills for decades!
2) Power Storage needs to be managed - Aside from the solar kit, you also need batteries to store the electricity you generate. More often than not, these batteries are heavy and large. Aside from buying them, you’ll also need to find a space to store them. Go Power uses 6volt AGM deep cycle batteries which are highly efficient and maintenance free.
We will always be thankful for Go Power! for manufacturing these solar panels. This is one of the boat projects that we enjoyed doing the most. Not only is it beneficial for us, it’s also amazing to see how our beautiful planet has everything we really need! We need to take care of it and it’s going to nurture and sustain us. Allow me to end this post with a quote that really inspires me to do better every single time: ‘Humanity cannot live without nature, but nature can live without humanity.’ ❤