You’re probably planning a camping trip with your friends or family somewhere out of town. You know consistent power may be hard to get there. Besides, there would be lots of charging to do and lots of picture takings to make. If the weather is perfect, you’ll be out there for days for sure. However, you know you guys won’t last more than a day if there is no way to access some form of power no matter how little.
As you think about what to do, the first idea that pops up is your power bank. But if you know about power banks, you’ll agree they don’t last that long. In fact, they’ll only last as much as the power is drawn from it. If you attach many devices, you’ll be sure it will die out much sooner than a day.
Have You Considered Drawing Power Off The Grid?
Your only way out here is to use solar panels specially adapted for camping. It may be a portable solar panel for backpacking, portable solar panels for RV, or solar panels for camping trailers.
A portable solar panel like the name implies is compact enough and can be carried about for camping purposes. Its portability doesn’t undermine its effectiveness. You can even use it to tap solar power for camping fridges.
In choosing the right solar panel for your outing or camping needs, here are some things that you must put into consideration:
Budget: What’re The Provisions For A Solar Panel?
When you go to get a solar panel, think of your budget. What’s the amount that has been set aside for the acquisition of a solar panel? The folks at SunVival Guide noted that the price of solar panels depends on their size and capacity. Each panel and accessory comes with its unique pricing, and you can compare options based on your budget.
Ideally, a typical portable solar panel for backpacking goes somewhere around $30, while a solar panel for a camping trailer may cost you $110. Portable solar panels for RV are mostly sold for $150. When setting up a solar panel system, you will need its accessories including solar regulators which are also called solar charge controllers, and solar inverters. The duo would allow you to access the energy produced by your solar panels.
Gadgets To Be Used On The Solar Panel
Before you make a choice of your solar panel, make an honest list of all the appliances or gadgets you’ll love to run on your solar panel system. This listing is very important as you will find out that not all of those appliances you wish to use can actually be run on your solar panel system setup in reality.
Most elementary setups would work perfectly for phone battery recharging, lighting up LED bulbs, or using some DC fans. However, when it comes to going the way of cooling up your drinks or foods using a fridge, you’d need a much more advanced solar panel system.
Length Of Use of Your Gadgets
The next thing to keep in mind when thinking of getting a portable solar panel is how long you’d be needing its service? That means, for how long would you be charging phones or using the fridge or using the TV off the grid. Will you be spending a week or two away out?
Depending on the length of use, you will need to calculate the daily usage of your devices by multiplying the total number of amps used by the device per hour and the hours you plan to use them per day. Multiply the answer by the total number of days you plan to be away. This will give you on average the total number of amps needed while off-grid.
An important accessory to your panel would be a solar battery. Its total storage should be higher than your calculated daily usage. This will ensure that you always have adequate energy. Draining your battery’s life will reduce its lifespan.
It is imperative that you buy a solar panel that will exceed your computed power usage daily in order to make sure of a fully charged battery every day.
Weather And Climate Of The Area
Another point to check before getting that portable solar panel is the weather. Will it be cloudy, or will it be rainy, or will it be always sunny? The weather’s state will affect the charging time. While a fuel generator is not affected by a heavy cloud cover and is not dependent on the weather, a solar panel is entirely useless with these.
Choose a portable solar panel with an efficiency rating for energy conversion of about 21.5% to 23.55%. Daily peak sunlight hours are roughly 7 hours. Though, this is dependent on the month and your location. Use monocrystalline solar panels for a camping trailer. They work well in direct sunlight. A monocrystalline portable folding solar panel works well with caravans and allows you to adjust the panels to your ideal position.
In short, solar power is completely free and fuel-independent. Solar panels save you the health risks and dangers associated with regular generators. Just get the right panel and combine it with the right gadget, and you’re good to go.