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How Much Solar Do You Need ?

2 min read

How Much Solar Do You Need ? Everything Caravans

Camping Solar Power Guide - Calculate Your Needs

Discover Your Camping Solar Power Needs

If you're new to solar and unsure about how much power you need for your camping adventures, we've got you covered. Going off-grid with your camping trips presents the challenge of keeping your lights on, your laptop charged, your food fresh, and your drinks cold. Thankfully, solar power is an excellent solution to meet these challenges.

In Australia, we're fortunate to have abundant high-quality sunshine for most of the year, making solar power a popular choice among campers and overlanders to keep their essential appliances running while off the grid.

How Much Solar Do You Need?

When you're just starting with camping or haven't ventured into solar power yet, the first question that arises is, "How much solar power do I need?" The traditional approach involves listing all your appliances, multiplying their wattage by the hours you'll use them daily, and adding it all up. Sounds logical, right?

However, based on our 15 years of experience talking to campers, this method often leads to inaccuracies. It can result in either an excess of power (over-capitalization) or, conversely, insufficient power (underpowered).

Common pitfalls include underestimating the consumption of smaller loads like LED lights or not knowing the true power draw of a DC fridge. But the most significant limitation of this approach is its failure to account for real-life performance factors, such as:

  • Ambient temperatures
  • Solar panel orientation
  • Partial shading of solar panels
  • Overcast conditions
  • Frequency of opening and leaving the DC fridge open
  • Age of the battery
  • Faulty equipment

We take a different approach. Flexopower compiled feedback from real campers and ask three crucial questions:

  1. Which items do you need or want to power while off-grid?
  2. For how long do you need to power these items?
  3. How well did our suggested solar panels meet your requirements?

Over time, we've gathered valuable data based on the feedback of over 2,000 clients collected over a decade. This data has allowed us to create a visualized flowchart to help you determine the right solar panel size for your needs. It's important to note that this is a guideline, and actual consumption can vary based on factors like the time of year, location, proper battery capacity, equipment condition, and solar panel orientation.

Remember, every camper is unique, and there's no "one size fits all" solution. We may not have all the answers, but we're here to assist new campers in embracing solar power, eliminating fear of the unknown, and making informed decisions. We hope you find our flowchart below helpful.