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Solar power your adventures

Solar power your adventures

Tips to help you power your next adventure with the sun’s rays.

Whether you’re simply looking to keep your phone charged for emergencies, or wanting to supply power to your fully kitted-out caravan, solar polar is here to charge your next getaway. Hitting the road while relying on solar power does require a bit of research; you want to make sure you have the perfect panels. So, we’ve put together a guide on how to solar power your next trip.

Determine your needs

The first step to powering your next adventure with solar is determining the amount of power you’ll require and how to obtain that. Start by making a list of all the appliances you need to charge while on the road.

Be sure to take into account any power-sucking items that you may need depending on the season, such as air conditioners, fans and heaters. Will you be working from the road? Don’t forget to account for the extra power that charging your laptop and phone more regularly will require.

Once you have a list of the items you’ll need to power on your trip, you can then work out roughly how much energy these require; from there, you’ll know your solar requirements.

Pick your panels

Once you’ve worked out how much power you’re going to need, the next step on the path to a solar-powered set-up is deciding what kind of panels will work best for you. There are various types of solar panels on the market, each with their own pros and cons. The main two types of panels are mounted and portable panels:

Mounted solar panels

As the name suggests, mounted solar panels are fixed to the outside of your caravan and tend to consist of glass panels within a sturdy frame. These panels are a popular option among caravanners as they don’t take up precious space within your van and can charge your batteries or appliances while on the move.

Portable solar panels

Portable solar panels are exactly as the name suggests – solar panels that aren’t fixed to any structure and are therefore entirely portable. There are a couple of different options when it comes to portable solar panels: solar blankets and folding solar panels.

Setting up

Once you’ve chosen the solar panel appropriate for your needs, there are a few more things you’ll need before you can tap into the sun’s power. You’ll need a regulator (also know as a charge controller), a deep-cycle battery and a 12-volt socket or power inverter.

Solar panels work by capturing the energy from the sun’s rays and converting it to electricity via your regulator. This energy is then stored in a deep-cycle battery. This power can then be accessed via your 12-volt socket, otherwise a power inverter can be used if you are needing to charge more power-hunger electronics.

Maintenance

One of the most important things when it comes to solar panels is ensuring that you keep them clean. A build-up of dirt and dust on your solar panels can impact their ability to absorb energy, so be sure to give them a wipe down with water and a non-abrasive cloth every now and then (be sure not to use anything on your panels that could damage or scratch them).

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