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Guide To Trailer Solar Panels

Boondoking is a wonderful experience as it gives you more privacy than you get in camps. Unfortunately, dry camping deprives you amenities such as connection to the grid that are available in regular camps. This can be compensated by investing in trailer solar panels and an assortment of equipment.

How much power is Sufficient?

Setting up solar panels for your trailer should be easy as long as you get the power calculations right. If you intend to power a few LED lights and a small refrigerator, a 75-watt solar panel should be sufficient. For LED lights, 75-liter fridge, and a water pump, you will need at least a 150-watt solar panel. The solar size or number of panels increase with the load.

It is advisable to keep the load at a minimum to reduce cost. Anything you can run at 12 volts DC is recommended to avoid the voltage drop associated with inverters. For instance, you can use 12-volt LED lights for lighting as you will not be in need of much light.

Curved or flat panels?

Most people are stuck for choice when it comes to the choice between curved and flat panels. Apart from the shape, there are notable differences between the performances of the two. With flat panels, you can tilt to the direction with highest light intensity but curved ones cannot. Curved panels have better aerodynamics for the road although flat is more durable. Getting down to price, curved is more expensive.

Before you buy, you must understand that solar panels go hand in hand with a number of accessories to produce useful power. The most basic is a solar battery to store the charge. A charge controller dictates direction of flow and prevents the battery from overcharging. With a charge monitor, you can see and regulate power consumption accordingly. You will also need cables, mounts, a combiner box, and an inverter to get AC power.

Mono-crystalline or polycrystalline?

These are the two terms you will encounter most when searching for your trailer solar panels. Essentially, they refer to the technology used in making solar panels. Mono-crystalline panels have the advantage of higher efficiencies at low light conditions, while polycrystalline occupies less space.

Choosing the Right Battery

Apart from the battery, no other accessory will be up all the time. Lights may be off during the day and fans off during the night but all source their power from the battery. It is therefore advisable to invest in a good battery to support all this. Look for a battery that can run for three days without recharging in case you camp on bad weather. All said, the choice will ultimately depend on the size of your RV and the power requirements. Happy camping!

3 Factors To Consider When Buying Flexible Solar Panels

Flexible solar panels are solar systems that are used for off-grid applications. The solar panels are lightweight, flexible, and portable, and this makes them distinct from conventional solar panels that are bulky and permanently installed on the roof. Flexible panels are used for applications such as powering RVs, boats, irrigation pumps, and even for mobile charging. These solar systems are incredibly affordable and convenient to use. If you are looking to invest in them, have these factors in mind so that you can get the best value from the purchase.

1. The Power Output

The power output of the flexible solar panels determines its applications. Those with high output can be used to power pieces of machinery such as boats and RVs. Those that have a lower output are only limited to applications that require less power. Choose your output depending on how you intend to use the solar panels. Most manufacturers indicate the watts, volts, and amps on the packaging; therefore take a look at the information. Also, check to see that each panel has been tested under the standard test conditions to ensure that it matches up to the power output specifications indicated on the product.

2. Type of materials

Flexible solar panels are portable, and this means that they often undergo a lot of abuse during use. If you choose solar panels with fragile material, they can get damaged as you move them from one place to another. If this happens, they won’t function as well as they did before. Therefore, look for manufacturers with the highest-grade materials for the front and backing. Panels with ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) tend to last longer and withstand heavy use. They are also flexible and can be bent to fit curved surfaces.

3. Manufacturer’s Warranty

Another factor you should consider is the product’s warranty. Most manufacturers offer a warranty of more than a year; therefore, check this out before buying. However, there is always a catch. In the fine print of most products, there are terms and conditions that make it hard for you to return the solar panels. Therefore, read the fine print before buying the solar panels. Look out for red flags which may make it hard for you to utilize the warranty during the covered period.

Flexible solar panels are great solar systems that can be used to power various devices and equipment. However, to enjoy the benefits, you have to invest in the right panels. Don’t use price as the only determinant. Have these factors in mind when buying so that you can get high-quality and durable solar panels that will serve you for a long time.