Solar Sails! Plug into your sails to charge your electronics.

Started by Doug SC, Jun 02, 2023, 10:57 AM

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Doug SC

In the not so distance future are sails could replace our solar panels. Scientist at MIT have found a way to attach a mega thin coating to fabrics turning it into a solar panel. It should be come as fast as printing newspaper. they coated a dyneme fabric as their test fabric. They say it would only add about 44 pounds to a roof and generate the same energy as 8,000-watt traditional solar installation.

Timm R Oday25

Wow.Now, I would finally be on board with the solar for home use. Cost of material,installation, return of investment  and life expectancy are the tough questions that need to be asked .


In the last couple weeks I have managed to drop both a hatch cover and a small solar panel off the boat onto the driveway. Neither did well with impact. The solar panel is chipped and crazed but still working. The hatch cover is cracked all the way through an outside corner. My big solar panel has a tether to avoid this from if they figure out a fabric based panel that does not have this 'oops' failure mode I am all for it!

PS I do have one flexible panel that is glass free. 
Big dreams, small boats...

Norm L.

Solar panel sails are one of the goals of commercial shipping in the move to reduce emissions. Sail assist to tankers and bulk carriers and some auto carriers is the biggest area of growth in 2023-4 based on a count of new ship construction.
The Japanese having gotten into sail assist in the 80's have been at the front of a lot of this new technology.

As the computer and power source for the computers necessary to control 2-4 telescoping mast and trim the sometimes com-plex sail arrangements would sink any of our boats it may be a while before it shows up at West Marine.