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  • Writer's pictureRichard Davis

Maximizing Solar Panel Density

Updated: Feb 15

I am attaching the Excel Spreadsheet that I developed to maximize the number of solar panels that I could fit on the hardtop of my 58' Hatteras.

The prices and models of panels may not be valid any longer, but you can use the workbook to put in your own dimensions and panel specs to help you determine what panels will fit in your available space, and the potential volts and amps produced by the panels in order to help you determine controller size/number and best value. This is just a guide, but it produced the desired results on my own yacht installation.

Start on the Available Cell Area tab and put in your length and width of available space in inches (sorry, we are Americans, and we are fighting the metric system till the death :)

Then I recommend putting in your own Cell Specifications on the Cell Specs tab.

Manually input the Brand, Model, efficiency, Pannel Cost, Weight, Wattage, Volts, Length and Width.

The play around with the panel Layout section. I was going for 6 panels, in a 3x3 layout, but if you only need 3 panels you would enter 1 and 3 or 3 and 1 depending on your panel orientation.

The fit L(Length) and fit W(Width) will let you know approximately which configurations will work for your installation.

The highlighted row is what I actually installed on my personal Hatteras. My length was a hard number, but I could go with a slight overhang on the Width. No one even notices the 5/8 of an inch overhanging each side of my hard top.

If you find this useful, please drop us a comment. If you can modify it and make if better, please upload it back to this blog.

Solar Panel worksheet
Download XLSX • 26KB

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