Best Solar Panels For Marine Use

The best solar panels for marine use need to be suitable for a saltwater environment, and marine type vessels.

Most commonly, people seek to use solar panels for charging marine batteries –  boat and yacht battery set ups (or any other vehicle with DC batteries).

These panels not only need to have the sufficient watts and voltage requirements, but features like water resistance and corrosion resistance are important too.

There are rigid (stiff) and flexible panel options which offer different benefits and drawbacks.

A big benefit for marine vessels with motors, like boats, is that solar is cleaner, and also cheaper in the long term than say diesel fuel.

Let’s have a look at some of the available solar options…

NOTE: you may like to read some of these related guides:

 

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Top Rated List For Solar Panels For Marine Use

Rigid/Hard Solar Panels

200 Watt Rigid Solar Panel Kit (2 x 100 watt panels) – RENOGY 200w Solar Panel Kit – 2 100w panels (on Amazon)

100 Watt Rigid Solar Panel Kit – RENOGY 100w Solar Panel Kit (on Amazon)

 

Flexible Solar Panels

Best 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel –  Windynation 100 Watt Bendable Solar Panel (on Amazon)

 

Foldable Solar Panels

Check out this guide where we explain a foldable solar panel option for small handheld devices like smartphones, radios, GPS’s, and USB devices.

Foldable solar panels (small 6-20 Watt panels) are a good option for sea kayaks.

 

Best Solar Panels For Marine Use: Reviews

Renogy 100 Watt, and 200 Watt Solar Panel Kits

We reviewed the Renogy solar panel kits in this guide.

Why would you get one of these kits?

  • It’s designed to be used on a boat as one of its applications
  • The frame is corrosion resistant
  • You can get either a mono or poly crystalline panel – these types of solar panels are more efficient when in the sun than any other type of solar panel
  • The junction box is sealed against water
  • The solar controller included can handle up to 4 of these panels stacked together, and is 4 stage charge protected
  • You will get a basic starter kit so you don’t have to
  • Panel dimensions are:

Mono panel : 47.0 X 21.3 X 1.4 inches

Poly panel : 39.7 X 26.7 X 1.4 inches

Why wouldn’t you get one of these kits?

  • A rigid solar panel is not bendable, and once installed, it is usually permanently installed unless you disconnect and re-fill any fixing holes

Where Can I Check This Solar Panel Out?

View the RENOGY 100w Solar Panel Kit on Amazon

 

Windynation 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panels

We reviewed the ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel in this guide.

Why would you get one of these kits?

  • It can bend, unlike the rigid solar panel
  • It’s lightweight
  • It can be temporarily or permanently installed – or even hung up
  • It is designed for boat use, in addition to a number of other uses
  • Frameless – no metal to worry about corrosion apart from the mounting points/holes
  • Panel dimensions are 41.7″ (length) x 21.3″ (width) x 0.1″ (thick)

Why wouldn’t you get one of these kits?

  • Flexible solar panels are more expensive per watt than solid solar panels like the Renogy

Where Can I Check This Solar Panel Out?

View the ALLPOWERS 100w Flexible Solar Panel on Amazon

 

Best Solar Panels For Marine Use: Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

What Are Solar Panels For Marine Use

Marine means on the ocean – this can mean boats of different types, yachts, kayaks, and any mode of sea transport or use.

So solar panels for marine use are solar panels you can use on these sea faring modes of transport.

 

What Types of Solar Panels Are There For Marine Use

The main types are:

Rigid/Hard Solar Panels

Flexible and Bendable Solar Panels

 

A small form of solar panel for marine use would be the small 6-20 watt folding solar panels (Goal Zero does quality small 20 Watt panels)), or even the waterproof solar panels from Voltaic Systems.

 

What Are Solar Panels Used For In A Marine Environment

There would be two main uses:

1. Rigid and and flexible panels can be used to charge DC batteries that power boat lights, electronics, pumps etc.

2. Small solar panels can be used to charge USB devices, and small handheld devices like smartphones, tablets, radios etc.

 

Which Solar Panels To Get For Marine Use – How To Choose

It really depends on what you want to charge.

Read this guide on calculating your solar panel size and number for some tips.

But, when choosing the solar panel to get, consider the following:

1. Do you want a rigid, flexible or folding solar panel?

2. What size (in watts) solar panel do you want?

3. Are those solar panels rated for the voltage of batteries you want to charge?

4. Do you want to use the solar panel for any other application like camping, Rv’ing etc.? If so, check what the panels are designed for

If we had a regular boat set up of say 1 or 2 12v batteries, we would probably stick to a rigid solar panel setup – as they are most cost effective and efficient (as long as you are OK with a more permanent installation).

You also get more established companies with the rigid solar panels.

 

What Features To Look Out For, And Considerations To Make With Marine Solar Panels

Read this guide on solar panels for boats for features you might look for in marine solar panels.

 

Solar Panels For Marine Use – Accessories

Read this guide on solar panels for boats for accessories you might use for marine solar panels.

 

Best Solar Panels For Marine Use: Resources

1. https://www.renogy.com

2. http://www.windynation.com/

 

 

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