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Sunreef Solar Panels Help Owners Harness the Sun

The ultra-thin, flexible Sunreef solar panels can be flush-mounted and can power myriad onboard systems.

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Sunreef solar yacht
At present, this solar-panel-system technology is exclusive to Sunreef models. Courtesy Sunreef Yachts

Sunreef’s solar-power system is the marine market’s first composite integrated photovoltaic technology. This is a fancy way of describing solar panels that are incorporated into a yacht’s curved surfaces.

The Sunreef solar panels are designed and built by the company’s in-house photovoltaic laboratory, using third-party solar cells that are up to 25 percent efficient. They are built ultra-thin and flexible and can be flush-mounted. Critically, they don’t use glass. These essential features allow the builder to make the panels integral to a yacht’s hull, mast and superstructure, even when complex geometry is involved.

“It took us a lot of time and effort to get to the results we enjoy today and actually seamlessly implement solar panels [into] the yacht’s design,” says Nicolas Lapp, Sunreef’s research-and-development strategist. “Another challenge was to make sure [the] panels can be smoothly removed in case any maintenance or repair is needed.”

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From there, Sunreef had to scale up panel production to meet the yard’s demands, a task it accomplished through time-honored R&D efforts.

Sunreef’s photovoltaic technology is impressive, but it’s also proprietary. “The only way [to get it] is to buy a Sunreef yacht,” Lapp says.  

How It Works

Sunreef Yachts’ solar panels weigh 0.37 pounds per square foot. The weight savings are measurable compared to other photovoltaic panels that can weigh 1.64 to 3.1 pounds per square foot.

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A protective film helps with panel abrasion and bolsters shock resistance.

Power is stored in custom lithium-ion batteries with nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry that are purportedly 30 percent lighter than their competition.

Take the next step: sunreef-yachts.com

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