The latitude, climate, terrain and forest cover your trips will take you through dictate available sunlight. Goal Zero Odyssey The type and wattage of panels you use, along with overall battery storage capacity, must take this into account. Genesis Offroad Batteries are the buffer and ‘savings account’ of photovoltaic systems. Unlike most solar panels you’ll see on the market – the Adventure Kings 110w Fixed Solar Panel comes with a mounting kit so you can mount it on several different surfaces. Simplified versions of all-in-one’s have become popular as well. Among the very best are models from South Africa’s Flexopower, whose models like the expandable Mojave offer nearly 13wsf. Follow his trips and gear at thegeardoctor in Instagram. Say we run them on average for 6 hours a day (fridge cycles 15 minutes/hour, phone / iPad isn’t always on the charger and you’ll turn your lights on only when it’s dark); we’re going to draw 6.1A x 6 hours = 36.6Ah in 24 hour period. Often fragile, and requiring thoughtful framing and mounting to preserve their more delicate construction, some rigid panel makers have begun to innovate with one or more hinged folds to permit these otherwise cumbersome panels to be reduced in size by half or more. Panel type relates to efficiency in two ways: efficiency of solar conversion, and wattage per sq ft. Generally speaking, efficiency is best in rigid panels, followed by flexible models, and finally folding/rollable ones. Each of these Gear Doctor articles will feature products with different functions or targeted uses, and will give a glimpse into the company behind their innovations. Is space at a premium? Need a 12 Volt battery system for your 4X4 setup? Portable solar panels are reshaping how backcountry explorers think about access to electricity. Offline: This content can only be displayed when online. The advent of pliable PV film has meant that storing and/or mounting a large rigid panel is no longer necessary. Consequently, even a modest misalignment with the path of those rays will decrease energy absorption and wattage. Where the amorphous cells, like those used in some solar blankets, really shine is in their weight difference. Their magic lies hidden inside. As a result, these handy systems are increasingly being turned to for added electrical generation while stationary during off-road/overland trips. Panel efficiencyPanel efficiency boils down to how much electricity you can extract from a panel of a given size. As a result, the power storage side of your solar system should have flexibility and a carefully thought out capacity. Install your solar panels on your roof or in your yard. Add our fridge, and we’re going to draw 6.1A in an hour. With unbelievable prices on gear delivered to your door, online shopping is a great way to get your hands on your new camping gear. In so far as shade over the panel is concerned, having the panel in full direct sunshine is critical. Clear, direct sunlight overhead supplies around 1000 watts per square metre. These are the three electrical ratings you’ll find stamped on the compliance stickers of electrical appliances. To help you work out how many watts your panel is actually rated to (and for a bit of trivia), we know that a decent quality panel will is around 18 per cent efficient. 100w flexible panels, and can be quickly locked into 64 different positions using, you guessed it, 15 degree increments. This factors significantly in panel sizing. But, conditions aren’t always perfect – it may be cloudy, you could have a tree cast a shadow over your panels, the kids might throw a towel over it without you noticing, or you could be in a valley and only get 6 hours of direct sunlight. This article explains the different solutions to keeping your fridge running and lights on without bias or attempts to sell any dual battery … This can be done by installing roof racks to your vehicle. This simple 4-piece setup would allow you to run or charge 12 Volt … We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. The Cascadia 4x4 VSS System is the world's first hood solar panel made specifically for the Jeep Wrangler JK. 130watt 12v 12volt Solarpanel Solarmodul Solarzelle solar Poly polykristallin . 1st Outdoor & 4x4, C/o Willow & Kaymor Rd Stikland Bellville 7530 S 33 53 53.9 E 18 39 58.9 Call us now: +27 21 948 2006 Email: info@1stoutdoor4x4.co.za As a rule of thumb after testing numerous panels from leading manufacturers, I suggest buyers only count on 50% of a panel’s rated wattage. This means that one might only benefit from half of the watts a 240w array can produce if a PWM controller is used. We Deliver 12V 4WD Systems to your door Australia Wide! Solar as a secondary source of power is a logical choice. I've had this setup out in the sun multiple times so far. ABOVE The Ranger runs 2WD on-road with a live rear axle, the Discovery all-wheel-drive and fully independent suspension. This also does not consider reflected sunlight off the glass or dirty panels, which reduces efficiency further again. But also realize that the sun’s arc equates to ~15degree change every hour. We stock a large range of reliable 12V Batteries for every type of 4WD setup at the best prices. The most common setup in Australia is a Portable Solar Panel for Camping, although they are used in some smaller off grid setups. The rule of thumb, is to have at least 20 per cent more input that you’ll use. It is truly reassuring to know my groceries are safely stored regardless of utility power.I have fulfil… Attaching a solar panel to a vehicle is becoming more popular. They also perform within a much smaller climate band, basically in moderate to high temperatures. To keep it simple, let’s work on a simple setup of a fridge, a battery and a solar panel. It would appear as though you need a physics degree and a masters in automotive electronics to adequately fit a solar system suitable for your iTechworld battery. On my 79 Series, I also get charge from a fixed REDARC 150W portable solar panel , which is enough to power my fridge and camp lights at night when I decide to stay a week or more at a campsite, without the need of charge from my alternator. What you'll need: Solar Panels or a Solar Blanket; A Solar Regulator - This protects the battery from overcharging. Aussie Batteries & Solar stock a full range of 12V Battery Systems for 4WD's and all your possible 12V power applications. Only a few years ago, consumers had but one option in choosing a photovoltaic panel… So we need to put back at least 439.2 watts of power, over 24 hours, just to maintain our batteries. Solar tops you up during the day and your battery keeps you going at night. How much solar power do I need?First off, you’ll want to work out how much you’re going to draw. This reduces the cost, and allows the consumer to choose the battery quality s/he wishes to use. For example, if you live in Vermont the topography and dense deciduous forests could mean only a fraction of the available light that a friend who explores Nevada can expect. However, that solution offers little margin for extra capacity (or safety), and requires that the battery be a dual function design. These are the types of panels that our family, as well as other homeowners and businesses, are using for large roof-mounted renewable energy systems. If you’re expecting solar systems to have easy interchangeability I have some disappointing news to share. The complexity of MPPT controllers’ electronics drives their performance and their expense. While it’s true that you do not want to risk damage to an all-in-one battery unit rated for 120w input by pairing it with a 200w set of panels, in reality, panels routinely fail to exceed 50-60% of their maximum rated output. Add to your power draw the everything else, or the kids in the fridge every 5 minutes, and your requirements are going to go up. Are you willing to pay to have a controller with the capacity to add more panels? These pre-built systems can be very high quality, and have excellent protective enclosures. READ MORE: Solar 101: Learning the Basics. A waterproof regulator can be attached to the rear of the panel or a non-waterproof, standard or LCD regulator can be mounted inside the vehicle. I’m Nate. The main reason is protection while travelling and reduce storage space required. This Australian brand is staffed by experts with over 10 years experience, both with the products and with camping. Only a few years ago, consumers had but one option in choosing a photovoltaic panel: rigid ones. PWM controllers function by acting as a switch, opening and closing many times per second, so as to mitigate the voltage flowing to the battery. They also can only handle smaller wattage solar panels. With a few tools (e.g., connector-specific crimp pliers) and modest wiring skills, you can re/configure wiring of solar system elements to assure you have compatible connectors. Solar panels are a key part of your setup. A real-world dual battery setup will include a dual battery isolator, a dual battery monitor, all the necessary wiring and more. We got to sit down with the boffins at Redarc, and give you the ins and outs of a solid solar setup, how the sorcery works and what you can do to get the most out of your solar gear. Monocrystalline Panels. : Here is an after the fact implementation of how I power my refrigerator from the sun. Goal Zero utilizes more proprietary friction connectors with its systems. rated at ~15wsf. Due to the forced manual warping of the solar panel to conform to the roof contour, its pulled up a few ripples, taking the wrap with it. Supposedly the red arc should only run solar panels between 9 and 28 v not sute of the reason why or if I can exceed that A new, more unique strategy has been the integration of such lights piggybacking into a modest battery. So with just one charge, one fridge, and some lights (not thinking about everything else you want to run, an 80W panel would be perfect. Do you care if your panels are permanently attached to a vehicle/trailer? If you’re heading off-road for a 4x4 camping trip then you need auxiliary power. The brutal environments in which trailers operate means an onboard electrical system needs proper protections. A vehicle’s starting, or “ignition”, battery is the beginning point for electrical storage. Rather than costing a premium, such bundled kits typically offer cost savings (as well as saving headaches and the very real possibility of buying twice due to an mis-matched initial purchase). Full sunlight for solar panels is considered to be about 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. The amount of power generated by a solar panel is proportional to how much sunlight is shining on it. Some models can also withstand being walked upon or otherwise handling modest impacts and loading pressure. At Unsealed 4X4, we’ll give you up-to-date 4X4 news, reviews and how-to's to keep you in fine form. In the past, the cost difference was enough that for panels smaller than 200w in total, a PWM may have been the better option. They add significant capacity, as well as the potential for security and peace of mind. Be the first to review. A decent panel will put out the rated power or better – not just claim arbitrary numbers to sound the best – We’ve all seen the eBay ads “OnE mIlLiOn MeGa WaTtS!!!!!! Real life outputs will routinely disappoint you using even the best of panels, whether rigid or flexible. Your battery should be placed for convenient access, weight distribution (e.g., low CG) and protection. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W All-Terrain Tire Review, Lightforce Lighting Solutions Long-term Review. Controllers prevent over draining of the battery by again acting as a flow preventer if the battery voltage drops below a safe level. ARB offers a range of 4x4 power solutions including auxiliary battery kits and Redarc solar options to suit a variety of requirements. Throughout the process nothing is used up; the electrons continue to travel around the circuit, equalising themselves out as more are knocked through, charging your batteries as they go. The range of KickAss ® gear have been designed for use with caravans and camping in Australian Conditions. These compact devices can be mounted in innumerable locations and positions thanks to RAM and GoPro mounts. We already have our fridge amp draw (mind you that’s when it’s cycling), but our USB converts 12W ÷ 12V = 1A. Better still, buy matching panels (e.g., Flexopower builds their larger wattage Mojave and Atacama systems by pairing multiples of the same 120w and 79w panels, respectively, rather than making a single larger unit). Outside Van estimated that in ideal sunny conditions, my solar panels can pull up to 30 amps per hour. A regulator is required to ensure that none of the high voltages present at the output of a solar panel during good light conditions can damage the battery/s. Want to know the simple secret? Understanding the basics of solar systems will help you know whether they make sense for expanding the capabilities of your rig and/or trailer. For instance, the ability to operate without recharging for 48 hours is plenty for one person’s habits, but may provide others far too little reserve capacity. All-in-one products have been popularized by the likes of Goal Zero, Renogy and others who have vastly simplified users’ lives by packaging everything but the solar panel into one feature-rich box. The ability to not only have reliable electricity on the trail but to have it in abundance and in a sustainable fashion is reshaping how we spend time in the backcountry. That’s right, panels leech electricity from your battery if something doesn’t stop it! Fully testing your intended configuration (virtually, before purchase, and physically, after purchase) is a key step to avoid frustration. Panel set-up is vital to optimizing solar rays, and places a premium on adaptability. ABOVE Roof-mounted panels are an easy way to have the solar always charging; however it is never as efficient as being able to face a panel directly into the sun. This critical function is the responsibility of charge controllers. That resulting exterior simplicity spells R&D headaches and added costs all to overcome interior complexities that result from assuring a clean exterior package and simplified user experience. What this means, is that the bigger the shadow the panel makes on the ground behind it, the more energy it will generate – a panel at 45 degrees to the sun (with a smaller shadow than at 90 degrees), will not generate as much as a panel perpendicular to the sun. More easily overlooked are winds, potential for theft, stop-n-go travel, and forgetfulness from any manner of camp distractions that mean panels are overtaken by shadows. This product is selling fast, hurry! Companies typically offer systems within which one component is configured to connect to the next. Try again. We use cookies to improve your experience on this website and so that ads you see online can be tailored to your online browsing interests. As my solar panels were a much bigger investment for me, today I want to share what I learnt, how chose I and setup my solar power generation source. You will achieve this by ensuring it is perpendicular, or at right angles to the sun. Some are housed in military ammo cans, while others are handsome works of industrial design artistry. Although I have not seen a calculation for adjusting panel output for the solar capabilities of different regions, it’s not unreasonable to assume that even while in regions with high quality sun (e.g., the Southwest where I live) you will gain no more than 2/3 of a panel’s rated maximum wattage. Water from a remote tank can now be drawn from a simple 12v pump. Flexible, or semi-rigid, panels allow for gentle bowing thanks to a durable base material. Charge controllers, also termed charge regulators, function as voltage and/or current gatekeepers for how electricity reaches a battery. Energy and light from the sun knocks electrons loose from silicon atoms (the most common construction material used) on the top side of the cell to the bottom, creating an overbalance on the bottom of electrons. Regardless of what’s on the inside, most of these products require the buyer to devise a plan for physically securing the unit. If you’re staying in one spot camping, so long as you’ve got food and water, power is the next most critical thing (next to beers, of course!). You’ll also want to keep in mind compatibility with external connections. Solar panel: 120-watt quality panel. Avoid spots that are shaded by things like trees or other buildings. All of REDARC’s BCDC dual input chargers have a built-in MPPT solar regulator, so like any regulator, it requires an unregulated panel on its input. EUR 1.399,00 Neu. Solar power is useful, if the sun is shining, but can’t be relied upon in all locations at all times of the year. Without it your batteries will slowly send electricity out. However, it goes beyond watts per square metre, and for those of us trying to reduce weight from our four-wheel drives, another way to look at it is watts per kilogram. Today, the prices and number of available MPPT controllers has made the difference in cost less significant. This is a great setup as my auxiliary battery can be charged after just a few hours of driving. There’s no one size fits all here, and this is what makes all the difference. Only $219.00 instead of $239.00 Save 8%. Max Power (Pmax) = 120Watt Open Circuit Votage (Voc) = 26.4V NOTE: NOT ROLLABLE - DO NOT BEND MORE THAN 20 Price … Here again, before you hope to chain different brands of panels be sure to check their connection types. Electricity created through solar panels is inconsistent. Make sure you mount the Adventure Kings 110w Fixed Solar Panel something where it won’t get any shade – the smallest amount of shade on most solar panels will reduce it’s ability to charge batteries incredibly. Conversely, if you will be able to reorient the panels to face the sun’s ever changing arc then expect much better efficiency. All of REDARC’s BCDC dual input chargers have a built-in MPPT solar regulator, so like any regulator, it requires an unregulated panel on its input. If you’re serious about selecting a solar power system, and want to be sure of the quality you’re getting, there are several proven manufacturers to consider in the 4×4 market. Shop our incredible range of solar panels and solar blankets from Projecta. Each panel/regulator comes with a set of instructions outlining how they should be connected to the system. 120 watt Foldable Solar Panel Set 2x60 With LS1012E controller,3m 14AWG cable with battery clips(a fuse included) Price R4,550.00 Add to cart More In stock with us Quick view Reference: SP-SEMIFLEX120-BADGER. Going solar… As I live in Australia we have lots of sun most of the year. With a range of solar panel brands on the market, you need to know that the products you are buying will meet your power requirements and are of high enough quality to last. They can be set up any number of ways, can be strapped down through their simple corner grommets (e.g., Nite Ize GearTies), will pack up relatively small, are not prone to breakage, and can endure rough treatment (e.g., dropping them), including accidentally stepping on them, depending upon the surface underneath. That’s a very important consideration for a buyer, as that expensive and heavy power unit (20-80lb typically) could become a lot more costly if it goes airborne and strikes a window, an occupant in your rig, or the trail. The efficiency that is never quoted by manufacturers, however, may be the figure off-road enthusiasts most want to know. Today, modern technology provides more flexibility than ever when it comes to solar setups with a wide range of solar solutions available to suit your requirements. Your average alloy framed monocrystalline or polycrystalline panel that you can bolt to the roof or unfold and face to the sun would be likely to generate approximately 10 watts for every kilogram. Sizing of your offroad solar system should be is based upon your electricity usage, coupled with projected energy uptake from the available rays. [In addition, fixed connections are sometimes made, but typically entail stripped wire held within a fixed set screw or other clamp, such as with an inverter.]. Your solar panels should always be connected through a regulator and then the regulator connected to the battery/s. The benefits such power provides are numerous. Good luck trying to track down a tech from ‘Hectic Solar Panels Are Us!’ on eBay when your panel’s not working as it should. Regulated or unregulated panel When utilising your solar set-up with a dual input DC-DC charger (like the set up I’m going to use in the HiLux), you will need to run the panel directly into the charger, without using a regulator. These four connectors vary by how secure their linkage is, as well as by how weather resistant and how commonly available they are. I picked up two 200W panels from Low Energy Developments on eBay at $174 each (now $161.50), with shipping to Perth ($61). Pat runs you through different types of solar power available, what would suit your 4X4. The calculators above will help you work it out. I have it sitting inside the car under my sunroof inbetween the glass and the roof lining cover. Their costs are not cheap if you wish to have meaningful power levels. In terms of my needs, I actually don’t have a heap. I term this “wattage per square foot” (wsf). 180W folding solar panels. SAE connectors are simple, commonplace and, unlike the other three, rely only on friction to resist separation. Portable Camping Solar Panel Kit by SOLAR PANEL ENERGY Price: R5 235 Ideal for camping excursions in a caravan, motorhome or 4×4. Situated immediately after the solar panel, charge controllers turn electricity from your panels into the electricity your batteries need. The drawback is that you often get a system that does not readily connect to others’ components. Bought a 120w panel and fabricated some mounts for the underside of the HD rhino bar. Add to Cart. Having the capability to daisy chain panels will provide more flexibility than having a single enormous panel. Is it as simple as hinge two panels, build a shell, connect in parallel? Ever run out of battery power when camping, had your beers go hot and couldn’t run your lights at night? When you put that against the amorphous panels, they will generate upwards of 25 watts per kilogram. 4.7 von 5 Sternen (7) Insgesamt 7 Bewertungen, EUR 74,90 Neu. Portable, affordable solar systems have become abundant, and are finally putting buyers in a competitive position to choose. In particular, be mindful of appropriately sizing wire gauge to avoid ‘choking off’ electrical flow (and potentially dangerous overheating). Within the calculator, there are different examples of appliances you may own to tally up your power requirements, from fridges to stereos, and LED lighting. Because I have solar panels (Two REDARC portable solar panels at 80watts each totalling 160watts) I can just get away with that single battery if I only stay somewhere for less than 3 days and don’t park in the shade. They also allow you to charge from their USB ports. As with everything, the poor man pays twice, and when you’re looking to get proper off-grid for weeks at a time, you really don’t want to have to run your 4X4 for a few hours every day to stop the fridge falling over and wiping out your food (or beer). “Panel efficiency boils down to how much electricity you can extract from a panel of a given size.”. Charge controllers can both cap the amount of charge, thus preventing overcharging, and they can optimize the electricity from the panel so as to most rapidly complete the battery’s charge. Many off-road tourers now opt for a combination of dual battery- and solar panel-generated power. Now we convert our amp draw to watts 36.6Ah x 12V = 439.2Wh. Flexopower offers special expertise in the area of mobile solar solutions. Configuring such a system is occasionally handled by trailer manufacturers to take the guesswork and pain out of the consumer’s hands. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of data and cookies. Most people, in fact, rely solely on this battery. Size of ShadowFurther to the efficiency of the panels, is what is known as the ‘Size of Shadow’. The first article in this Gear Doctor series provides a better understanding of how an off-road power grid works. A revolution in off grid solar systems and their paired storage devices have opened a new era for explorers and travelers. Think of water seeking its level between two basins. Renogy, Goal Zero and others have sought to make PV as close to plugging into a home wall socket as possible. To install the solar kits for caravans or RV's, only a few basic tools are required; pliers for twisting/crimping wire, a drill with screwdriver attachment for screwing mounting brackets to panels, silicone gun for applying adhesive, wire cutters for trimming cables to length, and a crimping tool (if your pliers cannot crimp). Sign-up to get our latest reviews and news before everybody else does. Mounting and orientation is critical for reaping the most of a panel’s capabilities. Thanks to these handy tips, you can easily get the best solar panel setup for campers, caravans, 4WDS and recreational vehicles. Experts in 12V Setups for 4WD and 12V 4x4 Systems with Australia Wide Delivery. Sean Michael has been designing, abusing and testing outdoor gear since the 1980’s. To compensate for these losses of available light, systems need to have proportionately higher wattage ratings, and/or optimize energy uptake from indirect and dappled light. However, sunshine is reliable in the desert regions during winter and in monsoon-affected regions during the Dry Season. For instance, Genesis Offroad’s smart system offers accessory cables for remote quick Anderson connectors, allowing ready plug-in options at different points on the vehicle for connecting jumper cables, a fridge, or a trailer’s battery/solar system. Start there, and then you can begin looking at which hardware to equip yourself with. 4.7 von 5 Sternen (6) Insgesamt 6 Bewertungen, EUR 54,99 Neu. While solar panels are simple to set up and use, choosing the right one takes a little more consideration. After that the differences between models are about each individual component, but the variations can be very important to understand. Learn more about how this works. Solar Panels. This off grid system has been working great since may 2013. Besides solar panels and associated items, the product range also includes a full range of DC to AC inverters, DC to DC power adapters for notebooks, deep cycle and high cycle batteries, including AGM batteries, battery chargers, fridges and freezers, power backup units and UPSs, LED lights, and of course connectors and cables. To varying degrees, companies in the off grid solar marketplace recognize that and try to attract your business with pre-configured “kits”, or at least pre-selected components with proper compatibility. Whether you need an independent power source to keep camping accessories running, or a sustainable source of free power for longer stays, ARB offers a range of auxiliary battery kits and Redarc Specifically, they transform a higher percentage of the panel’s electricity into the battery’s storage. A Deep Cycle Battery - Preferably AGM type. Solar panels have dropped in price significantly. ABOVE Beware of valleys in the High Country, as you’ll not get nearly as many hours of direct sunlight. Buying solar panels from eBay is not a new thing; there have been thousands sold in the last year alone, and many more before that. First ask how much you need a controller that is effective across the extremes of low and high temperatures? Solar blankets are very portable, less fragile than normal panels, can be packed much easier and work extremely well as a backup or extra panel as the conditions require it. !”; They use only the highest efficiency ‘A’ grade cells, meaning maximum cell size with minimum imperfections – not from the ‘factory seconds bin’; The portable black blankets (for example from Redarc) use top-of-the-range SunPower cells; You can get on the blower to someone from Redarc and pick their brain. You will also need to take into account future loads that could be added to the system. Something went wrong while submitting the form. The most secure (and similar) are the MC4 and Delphi modules. Taking the guesswork out of matching up components is, for most consumers, a godsend. Where you will travel (and especially camp) sets the context for your system. It’s made worse when panels do not easily move and/or stay propped up. Solar is one of those things that, if you plan on spending a few days at one campsite, or have your fridge running all day while you’re at work, you’re going to need. At their most basic, they resolve the high’s and low’s of power production from panels, helping you enjoy longer periods of consistent power to devices regardless of the time of day or whether you’ve been able to get your panels in the path of the Sun’s rays. If you’re a consumer whose blood pressure rises at the thought of configuring a system, as opposed to buying a simple plug-n-play string of connect-the-dots, then you’re not alone. Solar kits include, at a bare minimum, the solar, or “photovoltaic” (PV), panel itself along with a charge controller (sometimes integrated into the back of the panel) and the wires connecting them.

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