Camping and Use of Solar Energy
How to use Solar Energy to meet energy requirements in camping?
Using sunlight as an alternate source of energy for outdoor activities is becoming a reality; thanks to compact and portable solar panels available. A solar camping kit with portable solar panels, an inverter, and solar battery are a must to ensure uninterrupted power supply to meet your small energy needs while camping.
- Portable solar panels are that are 12v can be easily used in your camping kits as they come in foldable designs. They are also compact that you can carry them around with ease.
- The Solar batteries store the energy that has been absorbed by the panels.
- An 12v to 240v inverter is required to convert the DC power to AC power so that it can be used to power up small appliances, power a caravan fridge or caravan washing machine, recharge your phones or laptops, or recharge your camping lanterns.
How many appliances can be powered by portable solar panels?
The energy consumption on outdoor camping sites would usually be minimal. Energy from the solar panels would be just enough for you to run small appliances such as a 12v camping fan or camping fridge and meet your lighting requirements. Heating appliances will require more energy and can drain your solar battery faster.
How to Connect your solar panels?
Basic understanding of wiring solar panels is required to make sure you get the connections right to give you an uninterrupted power supply throughout.
You might want to connect multiple 12v solar panels to give you the required amps of current. Connecting these solar panels can be done in two ways, one is the parallel circuit, and the other is a series circuit. It is essential to understand these nuances before we set off to connect the panels
- Parallel circuits provide for alternate channels for the current to flow. All the household wiring is often a parallel circuit. If one of the circuits is broken, power will flow through the other paths.
- Wiring keeps the voltage constant while you can increase the amps by having additional panels
- For instance, 4 solar panels with 12v and 5 amps each capacity will give you 12 volts and 20 amps of current.
- These circuits will have only one path for the current to flow. It a continuous and closed loop. Disruption in the current flow at one point will stop the power to the entire circuit. Unlike the parallel circuit, here, the volts are additive, and the amps remain constant.
- Four 12v solar panels with 5 amps will give you a total power capacity of 48 volts and 5 amps.
Wiring the circuits in solar panels is an easy task if you are aware that the panels also have positive and negative nodes like in a battery and have the same functionality.
- In parallel circuits connect all the positive terminals of the solar panels and also connect all the negative terminals to help you tap this renewable source of energy.
- A series circuit requires you to connect the first positive terminal of the solar panel to the negative terminal of the next solar panel to get the current flow through the circuit.
Using the appropriate circuit based on your energy consumption patterns while camping.
There are a wide range of solar panels on the market today specially made for camping all with different pros and cons. Check our guide to the best 12v camping solar panels if you are thinking about investing in some for your next camping trip.