Originally Posted by adams1x
Just wondered if anyone leaves their rib on the water, I am not connected to electric to charge the battery and wondered about a small solar panel to allow the bilge pump to stay on auto and the batteries to always be topped up... any suggestions?
If you search you'll see the topic has been discussed before. In brief:
- a small panel won't do much other than replace the self discharge from the battery, certainly not enough to run a bilge pump.
- the size of panel you need will depend on the size of boat, if it is covered or not, the weather, the frequency of use etc.
- some pumps use power even when it is dry to "test" for water.
- when its under the biggest need, it will be cloudy and charging least.
- a panel big enough to cope with heavy demand will be too big to leave rigged on the RIB when underway.
- some panels are particularly sensitive to shadows (even a thin shadow can stop the whole panel working) so consider where it is mounted and if yacht rigging etc, might cast a shadow.