What size of solar panel should I get for camping?
Posted On: 02 February, Author: Zero Carbon
You should select a solar panel that is big enough to provide electricity for few days like 3-5 days or more on daily basis. This power would be used to run fridge, laptops, electric heaters or charge cell phones and tablets. The battery storage should also be enough to meet at least one week’s needs. So, to answer a question, what size of solar panel should I get for camping can be answered as per the following calculation. A solar panel with minimum 100-watts capacity to 160 watts would be best during camping.
Should I get fixed or portable solar panels for camping?
Before choosing size of solar panel you can also be confused regarding fixed or portable solar panels. Let us help you to select the best and efficient solar panels. Our suggestion is you should use portable solar panels as they are quite easy to move and you can turn the face of solar panels towards sun. You can easily set it up for your travel or camping needs.
While the fixed solar panels are placed over the boat or floor of caravan to absorb the sunlight. However, you should make sure the vehicle or boat is near to your stay. You can charge up batteries, cell phones, laptops even during drive. It takes almost no time for set up during camping because they are fixed. The only risk is if your vehicle is far from your stay or you are walking away from your caravan then arranging lengthy wire would not be a cool option.
How much power do you need during camping?
Well, another important query is the quantity of power or solar electricity which you need during travel or camping. Basically this would totally vary on your camping style and persons. If you try to use less gadgets, then there is nothing to arrange such as high capacity solar panels.
If you charge up batteries carefully and you run fridge or heater through them then you can save the electricity. Similarly, if you run fridge etc. through solar panels directly then they will definitely consume more power.
Why do we need solar panels for camping?
Converted vehicles should have electricity supply for basic activities. However, when the electrical needs turn to other ancillary devices (refrigerator, television, etc.), a second source may be necessary because when you are not at the port or your truck or motorhome is not parked near an electrical source, the only resource is the battery.
It means there should be something that can charge up batteries for electricity to meet up camping needs. These factors would have impact when you are looking for a solution regarding what size of solar panel should i get for camping? This will come in your mind but do not delay your tour just because of electricity or energy needs. We are giving you a powerful energy source without doing much hard work that is in the form of solar panels.
Is generator best energy source during camping?
Using a generator can be a solution to be self-sufficient in electricity, however, often the groups are bulky. The generators require fuel and above all, they are noisy. Faced with the few possible alternatives, the best compromise between profitability and comfort is therefore the solar panel.
Is solar panel best for motorhome during camping?
If your all friends are on motorhome or big bus and you do not want to spoil party’s enjoyment, then you should arrange electricity sources in advance. Suppose weather is cold and that’s why using electric heater is must then following information will assist you to manage these needs.
While answering what size of solar panel should i get for camping, you can also see some best solar panels for motorhomes. To calculate the power of solar panel you need for camping, you will figure out the amount of power you need for basic use.
Allow a margin, at least 15%, to take into account losses during battery storage and when converting 12 V direct current to 220 V alternating current. Once this quantity to be produced has been defined, it remains to determine the power of the photovoltaic panels that you are going to choose.
For a 12 V system, it can give an output between 9 Ah and 36 Ah.
Of course, this production is maximum if the panel is exposed to the sun, & also forms an angle of 35 ° with the horizontal in a region where the solar balance is maximum. Hence, we can say solar panel is best and most efficient choice for motorhome or caravans during camping.
What is composition of solar panel kit?
Solar panel kit consists of Photovoltaic panels, an electronic regulator and an inverter. Photovoltaic panels transform solar energy into electricity. If you need more power, head to polysilicon or monocrystalline silicon panels for the most efficient working. The batteries should also be able to store enough energy without heavy loss.
An electronic regulator adapts the production of the panels to the batteries in order to prevent overheating and preserve their longevity.
An inverter which draws continuous 12 V electricity from the batteries to supply 220 V AC devices, like in a house would be ideal.
These things are necessary to know when you are going out for camping. What size of solar panel should i get for camping also depends on the consumption or needs. If you are out with a bunch of friends then obviously you would need big capacity solar panel.
Camping is quite healthy hobby and nowadays, we would say there are lucky people who can enjoy such types of activities. Hold on! Let me ask, have you ever experienced special activities such as slacklining, climbing trees, boating, fishing, etc. that you can’t do in the city?
Camping is held in the mountains, on the banks of rivers and lakes, so you can experience nature’s unique play. Even if you don’t make a reservation, there is a campsite where you can rent / use tools and give lectures on tips. In this way you can feel free to play. To perform all activities definitely you would need electricity and sources to produce it daily without grid arrangements.
Is solar energy production during camping dependent on weather conditions?
Some persons prefer to have camping in summer and some would prefer autumn. May be you like a winter season for camping, and you want electric stove or electric heater during travelling. The generator is not available and you want full capacity solar panels for journey. It is not a true statement that in winter you need a different solar panel and in hot season you would need a summer solar panel. There is no concept of winter or summer solar panels.
Now you would see efficient solar panels in the market which are smart enough to meet your energy needs regardless of whether condition. Camping in nature allows us to experience seasonal changes and characteristics with all five senses.
You can relax and you are surrounded by beautiful flowers that bloom in a warm climate. The high altitude campsite is cool even in the middle of summer, and you can see the night view unique to high places at night. Do you want to spoil all camping pleasure when there is no electricity to charge up phones? Can you imagine a journey or travel without selfie or group photo?
For example, you are completing some assignment and your laptop charger is dead what can you do in that situation? Obviously, you would forget the pleasure of camping and it will be a bad trip for you. Similarly, you should have clear picture about, what size of solar panel should I get for camping?
Watching the bonfire swaying in the clear air without any insects will heal your body and soul. By feeling the spring, summer, autumn and winter at the campsite, you can have more fun in each season.
Do solar panels produce constant output during camping?
The maximum output (W), which indicates the amount of power generated by a solar cell panel, is the value that produces the most power under certain conditions. For example, during actual usage conditions, a solar cell does not produce same output throughout the day. The amount of power generated will drop in the morning, evening, cloudy and rainy days. Therefore, we expect that the average output per day will be about 3.5-5 hours afternoon.
Can a Higher Wattage solar panel charge more?
If it is a linked type solar power generation system that connects to the electric wires of an electric power company, the one with a higher wattage (W) will generate more power. But what about independent storage solar systems (off-grid solar systems)? In fact, even if the wattage is high, most of it can be wasted. Your batteries would also play a role in saving reduce electricity or transmitting it into electric gadgets.
What is the operating voltage to charge 12 v batteries during camping?
Let’s suppose you want to use a 200 W solar panel and an 85W solar panel to charge a 12V battery respectively during camping. Which one can charge more? At first glance, it seems that 200W can charge a lot.
When charging the battery, be sure to check not only the wattage (W) of the solar panel but also the voltage and current values.
By the way, when charging a 12V battery (storage battery), the optimum operating voltage of the panel is about 17-18V.
At open-circuit voltage, it is about 20 to 22V.
Even if you use a solar panel with the optimum voltage, some loss (about 20%) will inevitably occur when charging the battery.
Do we see a margin in voltage due to temperature during camping?
Solar panels have the property that voltage drops as the temperature rises during camping. If the surface temperature of the panel is close to 80 degrees, it may drop by about 3-4V.
Therefore, even when the temperature is high and the sunlight is strong, such as in the summer, there is a margin in the voltage which charges the battery and maintains balance.
The extent of the decrease varies depending on the type of solar panel (crystalline, amorphous, compound, etc.). So, now your query about “What size of solar panel should I get for camping” is fully answered and it would make your camping a memorable journey.