Boat Electrics

Alternative Energy Sources

4 Modules 17 Lessons Intermediate

About this course

Course Structure

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1 Lesson


An introduction, why it makes sense to install renewable energy sources on a boat.

Why Solar and Wind Power?

In this lesson, we explore good reasons why it might be worthwhile to install alternative energy sources on your boat.

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8 Lessons

Solar Power

Solar is by far the best and cheapest way to generate energy on boats.

Turning Light into Electricity

How do solar panels work? And what current and future technologies are out there?

Efficiency Ratings and Real-World Output

What are common ways to rate solar panels and what efficiency can be expected in a real-world scenario on a boat?

Shading and Hot Spots

In this lesson we will look at the problem of shading and hot spots and how these affect the efficiency of a panel.

Solar Charge Controllers

We take a look at different types of solar charge controllers and their properties when charging batteries.

Installation Options

We take a look at various mounting and installation options for (semi-) flexible and rigid panels on board.

Wiring Sizes, Cable Connections and Deck Seals

We take a look at the wiring requirements for solar panels and the practical implementation of the wiring.

Looking Forward

A look into the future of solar technology.


A summary of what we have learned so far about solar power on boats.

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6 Lessons

Wind Generators

Wind generators can help top up your batteries, but they need quite some wind to be effective.

Output of Wind Generators

We take a deeper look at ratings and efficiency of wind generators.


We look at noise issues, as these are considered one of the main issues with wind generators.


The spinning blades of a wind generator can become a serious danger. Proper mounting and installation is crucial when operating a wind generator.

Speed Control and Battery Charging

We look at options to regulate wind generator speed and battery charging.

Installation of Wind Generators

In this lesson we look at various options for mounting wind generators on a boat.

Maintenance and Disassembly

Wind generators are not maintenance free! In this lesson you will learn about common points of failure and what to look for when disassembling a unit.

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2 Lessons

Water Generators

Water generators can help to generate energy when underway, but they typically only make sense on performance sailboats or catamarans.

The Idea behind Water Generators

A brief overview of technologies and use cases.

Propeller Shaft Generators

A look at shaft generators and cases in which they might be worth considering.