A Guide To Solar Panels For Campers

A Guide To Solar Panels For Campers

Are you going for a trip? Nothing beats having backup power, such as with solar panels

With solar panels becoming popular for off-grid purposes, consider one yourself. 

The good thing is that you only need the sun's energy. 

If you are looking for a guide to solar panels for campers, you have it here. Is having solar panels worth it? Read this article to find out more. 

Solar panels and how they work

Solar arrays function as catalysts, transmuting the meandering electron flow into a utilizable electric stream.

Celestial radiance instigates the emancipation of electrons from their atomic confines, embarking on haphazard trajectories.

This phenomenon, known as the photovoltaic effect, is the genesis of an electric current harnessed for our consumption.

Photovoltaic modules transmute solar energy into electricity that is practical for everyday use.

Semiconductors embedded within each solar array are pivotal in transducing solar luminescence into electrical power.

Upon the solar array's exposure to sunlight, semiconductors, such as silicon, imbibe a portion of this light, precipitating electrons' liberation and unbound movement.

The solar module is engineered with dual electrical contacts, positioned at the apex and nadir of the semiconductor material, orchestrating current generation for our energy needs.

Types of solar panels suitable for campers

Are you going to a camp and need a flexible solar panel? Thankfully, you have three to choose from. 

They include the monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. 

Which is the best fit for you, and which are you settling for? 

To get a more comprehensive picture of portable solar panels, you can check more on solar panels, solar generator kits, and accessories here

In explaining each of the solar panel types, we will major on aspects like; 

  • Manufacturing process
  • Efficiency ratings
  • Advantages
  • Drawbacks

Monocrystalline panels

The name "monocrystalline" means that the manufacturers made this type of solar panel from monocrystalline solar cells

Firstly, before using the monocrystalline solar cells, manufacturing the silicone crystals used in making them in the lab is first of all. 

Owing to the structure of the monocrystalline cells, you can have enough of them in to fill up any extra spaces - this helps to pack in enough of them. 

The monocrystalline cells protect the monocrystalline solar panel as it encases it perfectly. 

If you want a flexible panel with a good rating, you can opt for the monocrystalline solar panels with up to 15 to 20% efficiency.  

Explore our website for top-selling items like the OUPES 100W and 240W portable solar panels.

Advantages 

  • Remarkable Efficiency: These panels are designed to produce an augmented power output.
  • Extended Durability: Their longevity spans up to a quarter-century.
  • Superior Performance in Dim Light: They excel in low-light conditions.

Drawbacks

  • Higher Acquisition Cost: Initial investment is more substantial.
  • Energy-Intensive Production: The fabrication process demands considerable energy and time.

Polycrystalline Panels

Like their monocrystalline counterparts, polycrystalline solar panels are derived from silicon crystals. "Polycrystalline" signifies a multitude, indicating using numerous silicon cells in their construction. These panels typically exhibit an efficiency rate ranging from 13 to 16%.

Polycrystalline variants are less costly yet slightly less efficient when juxtaposed with monocrystalline panels. Nonetheless, their production is generally swifter and more economical.

Advantages

  • Cost-Effectiveness: These are more wallet-friendly compared to monocrystalline panels.
  • Moderate Efficiency: Despite being less efficient than monocrystalline panels, they perform satisfactorily.

Drawbacks

  • Reduced Efficiency: They do not match the efficiency of monocrystalline panels.
  • Higher Material Consumption: This leads to increased wastage.

Thin Film Panels

Solar technology need not be prohibitively expensive. For those seeking an economical alternative, thin film solar panels are ideal. Their manufacturing process is more straightforward and quicker, and involves less hazardous materials, contributing to their growing popularity.

These panels are readily accessible and affordable, thanks to the expedited production process. The materials employed in crafting thin film solar panels include amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide.

Advantages

  • Economical Raw Materials: The cost of materials is relatively lower.
  • Swift Production: Their fabrication is both rapid and straightforward.
  • Featherweight Design: These panels are notably lightweight.
  • Optimal Performance in Elevated Temperatures: They excel in hot conditions.

Drawbacks

  • Potential Degradation Over Time: They may experience a gradual performance decline.
  • Lower Efficiency: Compared to other types, their efficiency is somewhat diminished.

Which is the Ideal solar panel for campers

The top recommendation would be the monocrystalline solar panels. This option can be pricey, but considering the output and efficiency rating, it is worth the investment.

When considering the best types of solar panels, there are things to look out for, which include portability, efficiency, weight, and power output.

You can try out some monocrystalline OUPES solar generator kits like the Mega 2 + 480W, which have high performance and low pricing. 

Also, check out the hot-selling Mega 5 + 2* 240W solar panel. If efficient ratings and sound output are what you want, get the OUPES products.  

With these outstanding products from OUPES, you can charge your devices on the go. Find out more about our services by checking the FAQs section here. 

Quick tips on how to install and set up a solar panel at your campsite

Embark on a journey of self-reliance with these artisanal strategies for assembling your wilderness solar array.

For those diligently contributing to the public coffers, a boon awaits. Seize the opportunity presented by the 2023 federal solar tax incentive. This initiative is designed to alleviate up to 30% of your expenditure on a photovoltaic solar apparatus.

  • Ensure you know your power needs and choose the solar panel to power your appliances.
  • Choose a good place to mount your panels, preferably your vehicle's exterior is a good choice.
  • Ensure you use your solar panels components like the inverter, batteries, and controllers.
  • Use battery cases or build one for yourself
  • Wire up the system.
  • Enjoy your free power and charge up your devices.

Estimating the energy needs of your camper

Before selecting a solar panel for your camper, it is vital to estimate the energy needs as it determines the number and power of solar panels you need.

To make an estimate, establish the starting and running wattage of the camper appliances. You can find this on the labels of your device.

If your appliance power requirements are in volts or amps, you can calculate the running wattage in watts by multiplying the volts and the amps.

Only motor-driven appliances have a starting wattage estimated at 1-2x the running wattage of the device.

Calculate the sum of each equipment's starting and running wattage to determine the total energy consumption.

Solar panel output and availability of sunlight 

After estimating your power consumption, the next thing to look out for is the total output of your solar panels. Remember that sunlight availability determines total power output.

A 240-watt solar panel delivers 240 watts of energy per hour of sunlight for every hour of the sun. If you receive about 5 hours of daylight, this equals 1800 watts of power output.

If you estimate your power consumption to be 2000 watts, you might need at least two 240-watt panels or one 480W solar panel.

Benefits of solar panels for camping

How would you feel having to go wherever you want to and still have power anywhere you are? 

Whether you are camping or need a portable solar panel for your offices and workstations, is it worth carrying a solar panel for your next camping trip?

  • You can freely camp anywhere you want without worrying about power.
  • Charge your solar power station with renewable energy from the sun anytime.
  • Enjoy your trip as a camper.
  • It helps you avoid paying for power anytime you travel.

Conclusion

Solar panels have come to solve any power needs whenever you decide to leave home to lodge somewhere. 

You can charge all your appliances with The OUPES off-grid portable solar panel. For efficient output, try out some of the monocrystalline solar panels today. 

You can check out all our unique products at OUPES by visiting our website. 

Related latest articles

Article
10 Off-Grid Living Communities You Should Consider

10 Off-Grid Living Communities You Should Consider

Related products

Back to blog