Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

The DCSolar Power Move - Making Power Portable

by Naomi Copperwait 21 Sep 2022 17:00 BST
Making Power Portable © DCSolar

If you are planning a longer voyage offshore, the question of how to charge your batteries to keep your electronics running is of paramount importance. Instead of running the engine for several hours each day, many boats opt for quieter, greener alternatives such as fuel cells, hydro-generators, wind turbines and solar panels. Solar or Photovoltaic (PV) panels have obvious advantages on a sailing yacht: no additional fuel to carry and no moving parts.

But maybe you only occasionally spend nights away from a marina? Or maybe your batteries just need a little top-up to get through the day. Plastering all available surfaces in solar cells may be impractical or prohibitively expensive. Instead, a portable solar panel might be just the ticket!


SOLARA was founded in Hamburg 1996 and in classic startup style, operated initially out of the founder's living room & garage. The company quickly grew and is now a leading brand in the world of small scale solar for homes, campers and yachts. They boast over 25 years of experience and hold that elusive accolade of German Quality Engineering.

DCsolar Power Move

DCsolar is a trademark of SOLARA, offering PV panels of the same quality design and engineering but at a lower price point due to production in Asia. Mobile solar modules are a key part of their range, including the Power Move which is a 3-panel folding system for easy deployment in a temporary setting.

The system features eyelets around the edge for connecting on deck or to your tent / camper. When folded, the product forms a slim, compact unit with carry handle.

Power output

The power consumption of a sailing boat varies greatly from vessel to vessel, and even from one moment to another, depending on the number of electrical devices in use. If you are planning a long passage it's important to understand the energy use profile of your boat and how you can balance this with power generation. Total consumption can be estimated by adding up the operating power of each device and estimating the hours of usage each day. Alternatively, nothing can beat real life data and recording your energy consumption when out sailing.

That topic is really beyond the scope of this article, but lets look at some ballpark figures for illustration.

Hydro-generator manufacturer Save Marine, quotes a typical daily power usage for coastal navigation of over 1000 Watt hours (Wh). This includes a basic navigation system, chart plotter, nav lights and some domestic elements like a fridge. This can easily double or triple as more navigation equipment / domestic appliances are added. (source:

The DCsolar Power Move has a stated daily output of 440Wh, based on a typical summer day in Germany.

So clearly this mobile solar module is unlikely to cover your daily demand. But, if that's what you need then probably a fixed installation is the way to go. The portable option really comes into play as a method to top up your batteries and extend the time before a full charge is needed. If your current battery capacity doesn't quite meet your typical daily demand and you find yourself running the engine towards the end of the day, then this might just allow you to reach the next charging point without burning extra diesel.

Thanks to its portability, you can easily deploy on deck in a suitable location depending on whether you are sailing or at anchor and where there is sunlight. Look for a spot in the sun such as the coachroof, guardrails, foredeck, or on top of a spray hood or bimini.


The DCsolar Power Move comes with an optional charge controller which regulates the output and offers a simple plug for a cigarette lighter socket.

In cars and campervans this allows the unit to be plugged in directly to the 12V socket and charge the battery that way. In many cases this will also be possible on board your boat as long as you do not exceed the fuses or the wiring for the 12V socket.

Alternatively, you may choose to integrate a dedicated charging socket it in a more rigorous fashion.


Solar power has many advantages on a yacht but a full-blown installation may not be appropriate for all. Portable solar panels offer a simple, cost effective, modular solution with little or no installation required. Adding 1 or 2 of these devices might just be enough to keep your batteries topped up and get you through a day sailing without having to run your engine.

If you have any questions about the DCsolar Power Move, email us at or click the link below:

Shop DCsolar Power Move

Related Articles

Premium Ropes range - which rope to choose?
Product lines, materials, and characteristics of rope vary to cater for specific needs When it comes to sailing, the choice of ropes can make all the difference in your performance on the water. Whether you're a cruiser or a competitive racer, having the right running rigging lines can greatly enhance your sailing experience. Posted today at 11:00 am
What's new in Velocitek's Prism 2 compass?
Latest model integrates user feedback and technological advancements Sailing demands precision and accuracy, and a reliable electronic compass is indispensable for this purpose. Velocitek, a prominent name in sailing hardware, continues to lead in innovation with this year's release of the Prism 2. Posted on 14 Sep
New Ewincher SE model
Affordable and powerful electric winch handle Ewincher has recently introduced their new electric winch handle - Ewincher SE, which stands for Special Edition. At a first glance it's difficult to find the difference from Ewincher 2, but somehow the price is considerably lower. Posted on 7 Sep
Defending your boat
Why fenders should not be overlooked In Spanish, a boat's fender is normally called 'una defensa', which may be a more appropriate name. 'A Defender' Posted on 24 Aug
Fendress Fender Covers
Extend the life of your fenders, and add style too Fender covers are designed to protect the hull of the boat while it is docked. Often forgotten, fender covers save your boat from scratching and extend fenders lives that are constantly exposed to a high volumes of UV and friction. Posted on 11 Aug
A Quick Guide to NMEA
Compatibility communication protocols and standards for marine electronics Anyone who has so much as dabbled in marine electronics will have come across the term NMEA, often colloquially expressed as "Nema". Posted on 14 Jul
Why I want a Spinnaker Snuffer
One of the items on Dave Proctor's wish list at Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dave Proctor. I am a freelance journalist and the proud owner of a classic 27 ft yacht. I have been invited to write a series of articles on my wish list of the things that I would like to buy for my boat. Posted on 8 Jul
Spinlock PXR Cam Cleat
Easy release of high performance control lines - a review by Spinlock Ltd is a British company, based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where for the past 40 years they have been designing and manufacturing their market-leading range of rope control devices. Posted on 1 Jul
Calypso Portable Wind Instruments
New to so the full research has to be done... In the world of sailing, Calypso Instruments offers the possibility to have a low cost, low impact wind meter for small sports boats and day sailors where a full-blown marine electronics package isn't practical. Posted on 23 Jun
Backstay purchase systems for small keelboats
Benefits of different options broken down by We have previously reported on the benefits of composite backstays: to reduce weight aloft and increase performance. An effective control system to finely tune backstay load is equally important, particularly for a race yacht. Posted on 16 Jun