The best solar panel setup needs high quality accessories. This way, you can ensure you're getting the best value from your investment. So, whether you need solar inverters for your fixed solar panels or mounting brackets to install it on top of your caravan, you can trust we have the solar panel accessories you need here at Outbax.
The Benefits of Camping with Solar Power
Solar power is a clean form of energy that’s natural, renewable, and best of all free. Using an adequate portable solar system allows you to travel to unpowered and remote locations without sacrificing items like fridges, LED camping lights, mobile devices and more. Meanwhile, camping in these locations will generally mean you can avoid paying heftier fees for powered sites. Additionally, swapping a generator with some portable solar panels means you don’t have to detract from the peace and quiet you went outdoors to find (simply so you can power your fridge).
What you need to camp with Solar Power
A self-sufficient solar setup requires camping solar panels for compactness and portability, a solar regulator, a deep-cycle auxiliary battery and an inverter if you’re planning to charge 240v appliances such as a laptop or television. The way these products fit together is simple: solar panels gather power from the sun, which then flows into the battery via the solar regulator. Also known as a charge controller, solar regulators are important because they prevent damage to your battery from fluctuating charge or overcharging.
Solar panels come in different forms: mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and thin film amorphous.
Mono-crystalline panels are more expensive but also more efficient than poly-crystalline, meaning out of two panels the same size, a mono-crystalline solar panel will gather more solar power. Amorphous panels need greater surface area compared to mono and poly crystalline panels, though keep in mind the greatest asset of an amorphous panel is that is can be rolled or folded in the form of new-age solar blankets for compact storage when not in use. This isn’t the case with mono or poly crystalline panels, as they are fragile and thus require lamination to glass for adequate protection.
Calculating your Solar Power requirements
Calculating your equipment’s power usage is key to creating a solar power system that’s tailored to you. Without a basic understanding of how much power your equipment is using, you could end up purchasing the incorrect battery, solar regulator or wrong-sized solar panel. If any one of these products is too small you could end up with a flat battery earlier than expected, or worse, a damaged solar regulator or battery. To calculate your usage, keep in mind most devices will have its power draw on the label that’s on the product, after which you need to work out how long per day you will operate the equipment to calculate it’s overall power draw.
Here’s an example of a basic setup: to run a medium-sized fridge that draws 4amps and some LED camping lights that draw 0.25amps each, a 120W folding solar panel kit coupled with a 100amp deep cycle battery and solar regulator would cover your needs and then some
How much power do Solar Panels gather?
How much power your panels gather depends on their size, how they’re used and the amount of sunlight hours in a day. To start off with, the biggest misconception of solar power is that ‘all sunlight is created equal’. While the output of a solar panel is dictated by sunlight, other factors including geographic location, ambient temperature and time of year have an influence over how much power is on offer for your solar panels to gather.
If you're a bit unsure what to get for your new panels, give us a call at 02 888 10 333 and our friendly team of experts will be happy to help out.