Just wondering, this ain't the van we're talking about is it?
This is a discussion on Solar panels for a van within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; Originally Posted by Old SF Guy I can tell you what I have. It's a Yeti 400 Gold zero (x2) and two solar panels. One ...
"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath." W. C. Fields
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Not sure if this has been mentioned before but whatever solar panels you get, you need to be sure that they are mounted at the proper angle with respect to the horizontal and the sun, which changes throughout the year and with your location.
LAT = your latitude in degrees
Summer: (LAT x 0.92) - 24.3
Winter: (LAT x 0.89) + 24
Spring/Fall: (LAT x 0.98) - 2.3
Dates on which to change
to Summer: April 18
to Fall: August 22
to Winter: October 5
to Spring: March 5
Very nice Jacky!
For camping/expedition I'd still go with an Inverter Generator with LP Gas to supplement various pcs of equipment.
Setting up Solar Panels, a Battery Bank and Inverter may not be the most efficient source of power in my opinion.
Good luck and keep an eye on that bozo who lives across the street, I think I see him peering out that upper level window.
Another idea to think about is rather than have your solar panels mounted on the roof, have them connect with a 20-30 foot cord/cable- so you can park in the shade and they can stretch out into the sun. And, you'll be able to set them at a better angle to the sun that way.
Hi Jacky. paraquack and Kauboy's questions really need answering first, then we can run the numbers for an estimate of how many watts of panels you'll need and how many amp hours of battery capacity. If you already have the frig, TV, and laptop you want to run then there should be a tag/plate/sticker on them that lists the voltage and either the amperage or the wattage they consume.
Jacky. I have a 1000 watt solar setup but it is in my home. Not mounted on a van. I’ve learned a lot building and experimenting with this system. My advice? Go with a small Honda inverter/generator. They come in 1000 watt and 2200 watt sizes. They are small, relatively light weight, quiet, and very fuel efficient. Trust me when I say that your roof mounted van system will cost plenty, be heavy (with batteries) and produce little power. Add in the fact that you have to park in the sun which turns your van into an oven, well, I figure the Honda would be a smarter bet. But that’s just my opinion. Just be aware that a 100 watt solar panel will very rarely produce 100 watts power so you are probably going to need more panels than you might anticipate.