Solar For Camping

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Solar For Camping !

Off Grid Solution in the Desert

Well, I am excited to write this article.

My wife and I, are desert lifestyle lovers in all its aspects.

It is our peaceful haven.


This Article is going to be about solar for camping.

Some solutions about endless energy .

Since the sun is shining all day, why not take advantage of the situation?

I will explain to you, how a basic solar system function,what is available and some suggestions.


It is a project on our bucket list ,to be able to live 24/7 in the desert ,but more Van life than camping.

Is it going to happen ? We will see! Back to our topic.

What I want to say, is that i am a very cautious person and would not like to be
stranded outdoor in the wilderness.

Especially in the desert, where things can go bad very fast!

So, I always want to be prepared, with everything I do.


Basically we will talk about the Solar Power sources you can use for camping purposes.
I mean, camping in a tent or a very small camper.

Something portable, well not in a backpack, but at least in a case .


 2 ways to look at it!

1. If you are crafty and ingenious, you can build your own source.
2. Buy a portable one.

There is a large choice on the market.


Let’s look at the basics of a solar system.

Solar For Camping
Click to enlarge

First, You Have to Capture the sun rays with a “Solar Panel” that comes in different size and voltage, etc. It all depends on the power of your system, then the voltage from the panel(s) goes to the “charge controller”. This device prevent your batteries to get overcharged and damaged over time (Charging Capacity) and keeps them to maximum performance.


The battery !

Bundle up all the energy for a constant power usage .

From there, you can hook up a low power device (12V) directly on the battery.

Ex: Car Cellphone charger or any similar low voltage device .

And finally the inverter, that convert the battery voltage to 120V AC*.
(Same type of Power you get at home) for all your other gears and appliances.

*(Voltage can be different , according to your country) .

Different inverters can be used, to suit your (POWER) needs.
Ex: 250,500,1000W/+


Want to do it yourself?

Here is what you need :

1-Solar Panel(s)
2-Charge controller
3-Battery(ies)
4-Low voltage hook up
5-AC voltage Inverter
6-Right cable with appropriate gauge. More current, bigger the cables.
7-Hardware and tools
8- Some Knowledge,a schematic,and a good explanatory video!!

I do not want to go too much in details . (Probably) in another article)


Here is a suggestion for a DIY Kit with inverter (Batteries not included)*

*Battery suggestion (Down the post)!

 

ECO-WORTHY  400 W/Off-Grid Solar System
4 X 100W Solar Panels
+ 1500Watts Inverter

Solar For CampingSolar For Camping



Now that it is a bit clearer, let’s talk about the power you need !


Inverters!

Inverters come in different size and power output, depending on your needs (always talking about a DIY kit here).

Here is 5 different power Range, Just for your info. Each Manufacturer have their own range, that can be different.

200/400/800/1500/2500 Watts !

Note:(do not always buy the cheapest (low price),
you need a reliable one that is going to provide all the power that it is suppose to).


Well, you probably ask yourself, How much power do I need?

I put a  small list of device and appliances you can use on campground
and their power consumption.

Some items are not relevant , it is more for home usage, at least it will give you a good idea!

Usually the Power (Watts) that is needed for any electric device is indicated on it ,somewhere on the casing.

Solar For Camping
Click to enlarge

Something to take in consideration

The main point is to use the inverter at maximum 85/90 % of its capacity, if possible.

This will prevent overheating, damage on a long run and the breaker to trip or the fuse to blow !

REMEMBER !! Watt+Watt+Watt=WATTS!


Battery:

The Battery power is calculated in Amps per Hour. EX:100 AH. 

It is going to determine how fast your battery is going to discharge, depending on, the inverter Load.

EX:100W,500W,2000W?? (Total of appliances connected)

The More AH, The longer the battery is going to provide maximum power.!



Here Is a Suggestion!

 

Carmanah CMH-AGM-100 100 Amp AGM Deep Cycle
Rechargeable Replacement Battery for PV Solar
and Inverters (No Maintenance)

 

Solar For Camping

Solar For Camping


But again, all that good stuff is for people that want to build their own.

The best and more convenient way for camping, is the portable unit with a set of solar panels that can be installed in minutes!

Same Idea, No Hassle.

The List of appliances is applicable here too, for you to be able to decide which unit you are going to buy. POWERWISE!


Here Is A Good And Convenient Kit 

 

Solar For Camping

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000
Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack
for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Road Trip

Solar For Camping

Solar For Camping


Jackery SolarSaga 100W
Portable Solar Panel for Explorer
(2 panels Recommended)

Solar For Camping

Solar For Camping


 

Pros and cons of solar

 

Pros

-Solar is a proven Technology

-Solar works in many climate

-It is more affordable nowadays then when it started.

-Solar panels have a long life span

 

Cons

-Solar does not work at night (no charging,NO SUN).
 So are relying on a fully charged unit previously charged in daytime .

-Not all the solar panel are good quality.(get all the info needed before buying panels for
 your projects)

-Solar panels,can be bulky and non-attractive.


Conclusion

I think personally solar for camping is the best solution especially in the Desert .(Lots of Sun in daytime,it is going to charge even if it is overcast, but slower) .

It is clean energy, noiseless, no gasoline to carry in the heat (for a generator),endless power for all your needs

It can look expensive at first, just saying. But on a long run if you are an outdoor fanatic. You Will Love your unit!

You don’t pay anymore for Energy.

It is always safe to have a renewable and reliable power solution in the wild.

You know how helpless we feel when we experience a power outage at home .

I Forgot , you can use it at home too 😉 .

So it is a WIN WIN situation.


DIY Solar Power
How To Power Everything From The Sun

Solar For Camping

milk allergy and infants


I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did,please comment below .
It is the tap on the shoulder that we need to continue on.

We tried to give you some helpful and informative advice,
so you can enjoy your camping experience
with all your
family and friend .

Stay safe out there.


Please Share !

Suggestions are always welcome by email

contact@desertandlife.com

 

By Pierre

4 thoughts on “Solar For Camping – Desert Off-Grid Solution !”
  1. Yeah, I agree on so many levels with that. We use what we’re given to the best of our ability. If we’re given tons of sun, we turn that into energy. Which is exactly what I was aiming to learn more of. And your article did an awesome job to that end. Overall, I think the pros and cons kind of summarized it all perfectly. Regarding them, the second con we can avoid by finding a true quality one (the Jackery Portable Power Station with its PowerSaga panels like you suggested), and the third of cons I never been an opposer of. And the first one, well, I can live with that given all the pros. Cheers. 🙂

    1. Hi Matiss,

      I am a big Pro Solar person. I am trying to post some articles to bring people getting more inclined towards it.
      Like i said, CLEAN,SILENT,Provides ENDLESS POWER and FUEL(THE SUN). Perfect!
      You mentionned all the cons can be dealt with, it is my opinion too !

      Thank’s a bunch for your comment.

      Come back anytime : http://www.desertandlife.com
      We are trying to update as frequently as we can..
      If you have any suggestions etc, send me an email: contact@desertandlife.com

      Have an awesome day!

  2. Hi Pierre. What a great article. I am a big fan of camping and I’m doing it from my childhood but to be fair I never heard before about portable solars. It’s a brilliant idea and I don’t understand why I haven’t heard about it before. Winter is not perfect timing for such stuff (and for camping itself) but looking forward for spring to try this solar solution.

    1. Yes, Portable solar is an amazing concept and replaces the noisy,smelly,Co2 diffuser,that is a generator! The other option (the DIY kit) is great too,it is more a permanent and non-portable solution. But again,there are some pretty crafty people out there that can make a surprisingly portable version of it!

      Thank’s a lot for your comment,it is really appreciated.

      Come back anytime : http://www.desertandlife.com
      We are trying to update as frequently as we can..
      If you have any suggestions etc, send me an email: contact@desertandlife.com

      Have an awesome day!

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