Camping solar panels and solar blankets are the perfect way for endless power when camping in Australia.
Camping solar panels are far more beneficial over camping with generators, using portable 12v solar panels and blankets allow you to camp in remote areas while still being able to bring along those necessities such as 12v fridges, LED camping lights, laptops, mobile devices, chargers and much more.
Camping with 12v Solar Panels means you can get away without dragging along a heavy noisy generator, not only that but you don’t have to carry (or buy) the petrol either!
This not only saves your back, but saves your wallet and your space as well! Plus, they don’t make any noise so you can enjoy the peace and quiet the way nature was meant to be enjoyed.
As folding solar panels and solar blankets get lighter and more efficient, more and more people are camping with them instead of generators. It’s clean, quiet and convenient.
12V Solar Panels convert sunlight into electricity, which then gets stored into a 12v deep cycle battery, which then can be used to plug 12v accessories into such as 12v fridge freezers, camping lights and much more. It can even be used to supply 240v power if you connect it to an inverter, this can then be used to power 240v appliances like laptops and fans.
Camping solar panels are easy to set up, use and maintain, choosing the right one takes a little more consideration.
The Difference Between Fixed vs Portable Solar Panels: 12V Solar Panels can be used in three main ways depending on the type of camping you do. For example, tourers tend to use fixed solar panels mounted on the roof of their caravan, boat or 4WD and park in a sunny spot for the day and move on the next day, they do this so it’s already set up when they rock up, however, if you plan to stay for more than a couple of days this isn’t the best option.
The disadvantages of fixed solar panels fixed to a car roof is mainly their positioning - they are almost always played flat and often not actually angled towards the sun, they lose around 20% of the power they could potentially produce.
Not only this, but to get the most energy out of them your car needs to be parked in the boiling hot sun all day turning your car into an oven. This especially becomes a problem if you have your 12v fridge in your car as well!
You will also need to have your whole 12v setup confined to your car, your 12v deep cycle battery, 12v fridge and everything will need to be in your car. With portable ‘foldable’ camping solar panels, you don’t have this problem.
The solar panels can be placed outside in the sun while your car sits nice and cool in the shade. It can also be angled to face the direct sunlight as the day moves on while a cable runs back to your 12v deep cycle battery. This allows you to ‘chase the sun’ and generate the maximum amount of solar power all day long.
However you will need to allow extra time for setting up and packing down your 12v solar panels as you move around.
Look for folding solar panels with aluminium frame and legs as this ensures your solar panel is sturdy enough to withstand being packed away and set up.
Before choosing a solar panel kit, decide what you’ll be taking on your trip to roughly work out their daily usage. Generally speaking, a 200w or a 300w solar panel would charge the battery during the day and should have enough to last the night of a few LED lights and a fridge, and then be topped up again the next day by the solar panels.
Keep in mind that the location you keep your 12v fridge/freezer will make big impact on how much power you consume from your deep cycle battery, keeping it in a cool shade place will mean the compressor doesn’t have to run as much to keep it cold meaning less power draw from the deep cycle battery, which in turn means more power left in it for other things and means you can top it up faster.
We always recommend going with a wattage a little larger to what you think you might need, so if you think you might need a 200w solar panel, go with a 250w solar panel or even a 300w solar panel, this way you won’t get caught out with insufficient power in your deep cycle battery especially if you get a cloudy day or two on your camping trip.
Good portable solar panels should come complete with a solar regulator, all our solar panels and solar blankets include solar regulators.
Before being connected to a 12v deep cycle battery, the power produced by your camping solar panels will need to be run through a solar regulator, also known as a solar charge controller.
12v Solar panels can produce between 12V and 21V, and this fluctuation in power could cause damage to the battery if left unregulated. A regulator controls the voltage that is put into the deep cycle battery and will switch to a float charge once the deep cycle battery has reached full capacity.
Solar blankets have become really popular in recent years mainly because they are ‘soft’ meaning they don’t have rigid glass panels that could potentially break if you haven’t packed them securely over rough 4x4 tracks, solar blankets are as easy to set up as folding solar panels too.
Some people like to put them over their windscreen which makes them double as a sun shelter keeping the car cool while charging the deep cycle batteries.
Solar blankets also fold up a little smaller and are far more ‘heavy handed’ friendly meaning once they are folded up they can pretty much be ‘thrown’ into the back of the car and away you go, where as glass folding solar panels need to be handled with a lot of care.
Solar blankets can also be angled towards to the sun like folding solar panels, they are also handy for things such as boats as they are soft and can bend around curved boat canopies with things like that.
We sell folding solar panels, solar blankets and some fixed solar panels with free, fast shipping to all Australian metropolitan areas.
Feel free to contact us for more information.