On December 12th will begin the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge; a tough race, among the most demanding and dangerous around the World. The teams will be rowing more than 3000 miles from San Sebastian de la Gomera in the Canaries, to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda.
The Atlantic Ocean, crossed on a rowing boat which is the only protection the team have against many perils: swelling seas, sharks and hurricanes to name a few.
The space is reduced to a minimum thus the overall necessity is to exploit every inch available.
In the past years Solbian has performed many installations for the Talisker teams and for similar competitions, but the company has never received a request such as the one from the team Nuts Over the Atlantic.
The group of athletes wanted to maximize the available space on the boat surface, placing the race logos -usually reproduced on stickers- on the solar panels surface.
A real challenge for Solbian, considering also the complex shapes of the modules and the power requirement.
Panels of the SP series were chosen once confirmed the total peak power of 500 watts, with the high efficiency SunPower™ cells and rear cables for a complete integration.
Thanks to the partnership with the Turin-based start up ILOOXS, it was possible to reproduce the graphic elements requested, respecting size, proportions and resolution. In 2017 the two companies have developed a technology that allows to cover the panel’s surface with colored pigments, a process resulting in a minimal loss in terms of efficiency. The solar cells can be hidden behind an image, a drawing, or a logo as in this case, allowing a full integration with the surface underneath.
With this layout, made of different panels and diversely oriented, the choice in terms of charge controllers fell on Genasun products, which can boost lower-voltage solar panels up to charge higher-voltage batteries, and which offer the highest efficiency in the market. Each regulator manages a specific area of the boat, in order to optimize the installation in terms of power distribution and to reduce the effect of possible shadows.
In the end, all solar panels have been completely integrated, yielding a total power of 578 Wp that, on boat like this one, has never been reached before.