Vanlife, Skoolie, RV Solar Power System Elements
Your Solar Setup can be the most complicated and confusing part of your Build. There is a lot of conflicting information out there, and there are a lot of variables. Our goal is to simplify it as much as possible, show you what you actually need to make it work, and help you avoid spending too much on what often is (but doesn’t have to be) the most expensive part of your Bus, Shuttle, or Van Conversion.
Read our Solar 101 Tutorial for an in-depth look at what each component does and how it all goes together. (Scroll down on this page for a lighter version of the same.)
If you just want a Basic Solar Setup that will meet your needs, without breaking the bank, check out our Simple Solar Tutorial for the easiest System yet, and the specific Solar Products used to build it!
Are you wondering“How much Solar do I need for my Van, Skoolie, or RV? Our Solar Cheat Sheet will help you size it all up and build a Solar Shopping List.
Looking for Solar Setup Instructions? On a tight budget and need to do it one step at a time? Use our Step By Step Solar Tutorial to put it together piece by piece.
A basic Skoolie, Van or RV Solar Power Setup consists of Solar Panels, a Charge Controller (Solar Charger), Batteries, or a Solar Battery Bank, and an Inverter. Additionally, you’ll want Shore Power and Engine Charging components, as well as distribution elements such as a Breaker Box and Fuse Block As we go through each Item, please click on the images to see our recommended products and to compare options.
RV Solar Kits
Power Up: Many people try to find an all inclusive RV Solar Panel Kit to avoid the pitfalls (and math) of designing a Basic Solar Setup It is important to note that most RV Solar Kits are not complete. You’ll have to add elements from the sections below to make it fully functional, and they often come with certain items that you will need to upgrade.
The two Kits that we feature here are good “starting points” for your Solar Power System but you can typically save money and time by putting one together piece by piece The good news is that you can still skip (most of) the math by using our Simple Solar Tutorial or Solar Cheat Sheet to see what you need and what sizes to get.
From The Driver’s Seat: Your Skoolie, Van, or RV Solar Setup is often the most expensive part of your Build, but it can be done “step-by-step” to spread out the costs over time, and you can start small and scale up so you don’t over purchase from the beginning. See our Step By Step Solar Tutorial for details.
Skoolie, Vanlife, RV Solar Panels
Essentially, you will choose between 3 installation types of Solar Panels (Rigid, Flexible, and Portable) and 3 construction types ( Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin-Film). There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but typically Monocrystalline is the best bet See Our Solar 101 Tutorial for more info.
We currently use Alrska Solar Panels due to their their quality, efficiency, and their unique design. Click the images below to compare Solar Panel Cost and check out different sizes.
From The Driver’s Seat: The most common misconception about a Basic Solar Setup is that the Solar Panels Power the System. This is why people ask, “How much solar do I need…” or “How many Solar Panels does it take to run…” To clarify: It is actually The Batteries that power your Solar Setup. Solar Panels are merely the means by which you charge your Batteries using the power of the sun. You can also Charge The Batteries using the Engine Alternator and Shore Power. (Scroll down for more.)
The power your Solar Panels draw from the sun will vary greatly. A Solar Charge Controller basically balances it out and optimizes your Solar Battery charging.
The Renogy Wanderer (PWM) has been around for years, and can work if you’re on a very tight budget and have 300w or less in total Solar Panels. In most cases, however, an MPPT Charge Controller is a better solution (See Solar 101 for more info.)
Tech Tip: To properly size your Charge Controller: Divide the Input Wattage by the System Voltage, and multiply by 1.2 for safety. If you have 400 Watts of Solar Panels charging a 12 Volt system (400/12) you get 33.33 Amps. Multiply by 1.2 and you need a 40 Amp Charge Controller. 600 watts on 12 volts, x1.2 = 60 Amps. We explain this more in the Solar 101 Tutorial, but if that math makes your eyes roll, check out the Solar Cheat Sheet for the easy answer.
Back Of The Bus Bonus: Want to save some money, time, and space? Check out this combo Solar Charge Controller and DC-DC charger. Now you can charge your House Batteries with one device that works both with your Solar Panels and your Engine Battery! Click the image for more info. This item is featured in our Simple Solar Tutorial, and is what we use in our current Solar Setup.
Often refered to as “House Batteries”, your Battery Bank is the “heart” of your Skoolie or Van Solar Setup You’re going to choose between one of three 3 Deep Cycle Battery types “Flooded Lead”, “Sealed Lead”, or “Lithium Ion”.
Lithium Ion Batteries: Also known as “LiFePO4”, these are the top of the line and best choice, not only for Skoolies and Vans, but just about any off-grid electrical application If you’ve spent much time on our site, you know that we are all about Saving Money in the Build Process, so when we suggest the most expensive option as our preferred, there’s a reason Lithium Batteries can be completely discharged without damaging the LiFePO4 Cells, and they will have much longer life. Additionally, Lithium Solar Batteries tend to be more stable, have a higher energy density, and better voltage capacity.
If you’re on an extremely tight budget, there’s nothing wrong with using AGM Batteries (we just swapped out a set that we’d been running for 4 years). Scroll down for some options in AGM, but click on the images below to compare prices. If there’s any area in which it’s worth the upgrade, this is it.
While Battle Born is the “OG” of Lithium Batteries and comes with a great reputation and customer service, we currently use the Redodo 300ah fetured below. Companies like Ampre Time and Chins are also putting out good quality / low cost products and getting great reviews!
Connecting Solar Panels Together
Connecting solar panels together is a simple and effective way of increasing your solar power capabilities. Going green is a great idea, and as the sun is our ultimate power source, it makes sense to utilize this energy to power our homes. As solar power becomes more accessible, more and more homeowners are buying photovoltaic solar panels.
However, these photovoltaic solar panels can be very costly so buying them over time helps to spread the cost. But the problem then becomes how do we connect these extra solar panels together to increase the voltage and power output of what’s already there.
The trick here when connecting solar panels together is to choose a connection method that is going to give you the most energy efficient configuration for your particular requirements.
Connecting solar panels together can seem like a daunting task when you first start to look at how it should be done, but connecting multiple solar panels together is not that hard with a little thought. Wiring solar panels together in either parallel or series combinations to make larger arrays is an often overlooked, yet completely essential part of any well designed solar power system.
There are three basic but very different ways of connecting solar panels together and each connection method is designed for a specific purpose. For example, to produce more output voltage or to produce more current.
Solar photovoltaic panels can be electrically connected together in series to increase the voltage output, or they can be connected together in parallel to increase the output amperage. Solar pv panels can also be wired together in both series and parallel combinations to increase both the output voltage and current to produce a higher wattage array.
Whether you are connecting two or more solar panels, as long as you understand the basic principles of how connecting multiple solar panels together increases power and how each of these wiring methods works, you can easily decide on how to wire your own panels together. After all connecting solar panels together correctly can greatly improve the efficiency of your solar system.
Connecting Solar Panels Together in Series
The first method we will look at for connecting solar panels together is what’s known as “Series Wiring“. The electrical connection of solar panels in series increases the total system ouput voltage. Series connected solar panels are generally used when you have a grid connected inverter or charge controller that requires 24 volts or more. To series wire the panels together you connect the positive terminal to the negative terminal of each panel until you are left with a single positive and negative connection.
Solar panels in series add up or sum the voltages produced by each individual panel, giving the total output voltage of the array as shown.
Solar Panels in Series of Same Characteristics
In this method ALL the solar panels are of the same type and power rating. The total voltage output becomes the sum of the voltage output of each panel. Using the same three 6 volt, 3.0 amp panels from above, we can see that when these pv panels are connected together in series, the array will produce an ouput voltage of 18 Volts (6 6 6) at 3.0 Amperes, giving 54 Watts (volts x amps) at full sun.
Now lets look at connecting solar panels in series with different nominal voltages but with identical current ratings.
Solar Panels in Series of Different Voltages
In this method all the solar panels are of different types and power rating but have a common current rating. When they are connected together in series, the array produces 21 volts at 3.0 amps, or 63 watts. Again the output amperage will remain the same as before at 3.0 amps but the voltage output jumps to 21 volts (5 7 9).
Finally, lets look at connecting solar panels in series with completely different nominal voltages and different current ratings.
Solar Panels in Series of Different Currents
In this method all the solar panels are of different types and power rating. The individual panel voltages will add together as before, but this time the amperage will be limited to the value of the lowest panel in the series string, in this case 1 Ampere. Then the array will produce 19 Volts (3 7 9) at 1.0 Ampere only, or only 19 watts out of a possible 69 watts available reducing the arrays efficiency.
We can see that the solar panel rated at 9 volts, 5 amps, will only use one fifth or 20% of its maximum current potential reducing its efficiency and wasting money on the purchase of this solar panel. Connecting solar panels in series with different current ratings should only be used provisionally, as the solar panel with the lowest rated current determines the current output of the whole array.
Connecting Solar Panels Together in Parallel
The next method we will look at of connecting solar panels together is what’s known as “Parallel Wiring“. Connecting solar panels together in parallel is used to boost the total system current and is the reverse of the series connection. For parallel connected solar panels you connect all the positive terminals together (positive to positive) and all of the negative terminals together (negative to negative) until you are left with a single positive and negative connection to attach to your regulator and batteries.
When you connect solar panels together in parallel, the total voltage output remains the same as it would for a single panel, but the output current becomes the sum of the output of each panel as shown.
Solar Panels in Parallel of Same Characteristics
In this method ALL the solar panels are of the same type and power rating. Using the same three 6 Volt, 3.0 Amp panels as above, the total output of the panels, when connected together in parallel, the output voltage still remains at the same value of 6 volts, but the total amperage has now increased to 9.0 Amperes (3 3 3), producing 54 watts at full sun.
But what if our newly acquired solar panels are non-identical, how will this affect the other panels. We have seen that the currents add together, so no real problem there, just as long as the panel voltages are the same and the output voltage remains constant. Lets look at connecting solar panels in parallel with different nominal voltages and different current ratings.
Solar Panels in Parallel with Different Voltages and Currents
Here the parallel currents add up as before but the voltage adjusts to the lowest value, in this case 3 volts or some voltage value very close to 3 volts. Solar panels must have the same output voltage to be useful in parallel. If one panel has a higher voltage it will supply the load current to the degree that its output voltage drops to that of the lower voltage panel.
We can see that the solar panel rated at 9 volts, 5 amps, will only operate at a maximum voltage of 3 volts as its operation is being influenced by the smaller panel, reducing its efficiency and wasting money on the purchase of this higher power solar panel. Connecting solar panels in parallel with different voltage ratings is not recommended as the solar panel with the lowest rated voltage determines the voltage output of the whole array.
Then when connecting solar panels together in parallel it is important that they ALL have the same nominal voltage value, but it is not necessary that they have the same ampere value.
Connecting Solar Panels Together Summary
Connecting solar panels together to form bigger arrays is not all that complicated. How many series or parallel strings of panels you make up per array depends on what amount of voltage and current you are aiming for. If you are designing a 12 volt battery charging system than parallel wiring is perfect. If you are looking at a higher voltage grid connected system, than you’re probably going to want to go with a series or series-parallel combination depending on the number of solar panels you have.
But for a simple reference in regards to how to connect solar panels together in either parallel or series wiring configurations, just remember that parallel wiring = more amperes, and series wiring = more voltage, and with the right type and combination of solar panels you can power just about any electrical device you may have in your home.
For more information about Connecting Solar Panels Together in either series or parallel combinations, or to obtain more information about the different types of solar panels available, or to explore the advantages and disadvantages of using solar power in your home, then Click Here to order your copy from Amazon today and learn more about designing, wiring and installing off-grid photovoltaic solar electric systems in your home.
Installing your own small, remote off-grid solar system
A typical residential-size solar system installation will involve properly sized and installed AC and DC electrical wiring to reduce the risk of electrical fire, a proper grounding system to prevent shock and lightning damage, proper battery installation and venting to prevent gas explosions, and a properly installed solar array to maximize performance while avoiding roof damage.
In almost all of my past articles I have described many different types of solar power systems, but did not go into detail on how to install them yourself, since most systems should be sized and wired by licensed solar professionals. However, the Backwoods Home website continues to receive many e-mail questions related to smaller do-it-yourself solar projects for remote weekend or vacation cabins in areas not served by power lines. If this is your situation, and you are willing to stick to the basics, I will show you how to install a very simple battery-based off-grid solar system just to power a few lights, and possibly a DC well pump or freezer.
Otherwisedon’t try this at home.
I am staying with all 12-volt DC equipment which has a limited shock hazard and allows using many of the electrical components you can find locally. However, a word of warning. Just because everything will be the same low voltage wiring as used in your car or boat, this still does not mean there are no safety concerns.
Any deep-discharge battery contains hundreds of amps of stored energy that can easily melt heavy gauge wire or electrical components if not sized and installed properly. I have seen electrical cable the size of your thumb quickly glow red and melt due to an improperly installed battery. This glowing cable could easily ignite any nearby walls, floors, or roofs.
This means if I say to use a specific type or size component, there is a really good reason. You should not assume you can substitute anything you have lying around that is “almost the same.” If you want to really simplify the equipment selection, all of the components required are available in pre-packaged solar lighting kits of various sizes.
The first decision we need to make is system size. If you only need to power a few lights in two or three rooms in a remote cabin, then you can get by with one or two 12-volt batteries. If you want to also power a small DC freezer or DC well pump, then you will need two to four 6-volt batteries. Do not, under any circumstances, use standard car or truck batteries, as they have very thin lead plates to reduce weight and they will not last long under daily cycling.
Normally in this application I would recommend using either 12-volt RV/marine batteries or 6-volt golf-cart batteries. These are available locally and are fairly inexpensive. However, if you purchase the sealed GEL or AGM version, this will significantly reduce any risk of vented explosive gases or the need for battery maintenance. Sealed batteries cost almost 40% more than the same size open cap batteries that require watering, and they do not last any longer. However, since you will not need to build a special battery room or vented enclosure, this will be an advantage in a smaller cabin installation with limited storage space. Regardless of battery type, the battery bank should be insulated in colder regions since battery charge drastically drops when it gets below 35 degrees.
The size and number of solar modules needed depends on the capacity of your battery bank and where your off-grid cabin will be located. If possible, you want the solar array to face south. In my geographic area, most mornings are foggy and late afternoons are blue-sky sunny, so I favor a slightly southwest orientation.
A solar module produces the best year-round performance with a tilt angle equal to your latitude. A lesser angle will improve summer output, and a steeper angle will do better in winter. For most of the United States, this is from 37 to 42 degrees. If your cabin will only be used for part of the year, you should use the tilt angle that will produce more energy during that part of the year.
Your solar array can be mounted on your cabin’s roof, on a nearby pole, ground-mounted on a raised frame, or mounted on a nearby storage shed. Solar modules are fairly lightweight so your main mounting concern is wind uplift, not caving in your roof. Any mounting system should use only stainless-steel bolts or lag screws penetrating into rafters or blocking, since a strong wind will easily pull out any screws that only penetrate sheeting plywood.
Most of the 12-volt solar modules sold today are smaller than 100 watts. The current market trend is for larger modules, which require a nominal 24 volt output. One deep-cycle 6-volt golf-cart battery or 12-volt RV battery will store approximately 1 kWh of electricity when discharged 50%. As a rough estimate, this means you will need about 200 watts of solar array to recharge one battery in one day, assuming five hours of direct sunlight.
This is typical for most summer months, but for many parts of the northern United States, you may only receive three hours of direct sun during short winter days. This means you will need to increase the solar array to battery ratio, or simply reduce your power usage during periods of cloudy weather.
There are many design problems associated with multiple “parallel” wired solar modules and batteries, so it is much easier to use larger-capacity solar modules and batteries than smaller ones. Keep this in mind when purchasing batteries and solar modules. Ordering larger unit sizes will work out better in the long run than buying the smaller and cheaper brands typically found locally.
You need to understand that the same watt size electric loads at 120 volts AC require 10 times the amp current at 12 volts DC. Watts for a given load do not change regardless of voltage, so two 100-watt light bulbs that require 1.7 amps at 120 volt AC (200 watts/120 volts), can be wired using a #14 size wire which has a 15 amp rating. However, at 12 volts DC, this same load will draw 17 amps (200 watts/12 volts), which exceeds the #14 wire’s 15 amp rating.
In addition, these two 100-watt light bulbs would only operate about five hours before draining your deep-cycle battery (5 hrs x 100 watts x 2 bulbs = 1 kWh). So right from the start you need to use only the most efficient DC lighting and DC appliances you can buy, and do not base your wire sizing on 120-volt AC loads.
Just because we are using low voltage DC power does not mean we do not need fuses or circuit breakers. Each wire supplying a load in your cabin must have a properly sized fuse or circuit breaker to prevent overload and possible fire.
Normally you will find a DC rated fuse or circuit breaker to be physically larger and more expensive than the same amp size AC device. It is also much harder to find a local supplier for DC rated circuit breakers. However, we are in luck since the Square D “QO” line of AC circuit breakers are also dual rated for up to 48 volts DC, but this only applies to the “QO” line by Square D.
I am not aware of any other low cost circuit breaker typically found in a local builder supply that is also rated for low voltage DC service. I suggest using the eight circuit Square D “QO” subpanel and single-pole 10 or 15 amp “QO” circuit breakers for all your load wiring. You may be tempted to use lower cost automotive type DC fuses, but these are not approved for residential wiring. Your local RV or boating supply store will have a great selection of 12-volt DC lighting fixtures that should easily meet all your lighting needs. These are also available in weatherproof designs for outdoor lighting applications. Purchase DC light fixtures that include an internal on/off switch, since DC rated switches are hard to find and make wiring installation more costly.
An on-demand RV or boat 12-volt DC pressure pump can provide pressurized water to a kitchen sink or shower from a storage tank. This generally simplifies plumbing costs and the high electrical demand for a deep well pump. This tank can be refilled from rain water, a nearby creek, or spring. Easily accessible drain valves should be provided at all low points for quick system draining to prevent freezing when not occupied. Obviously, this water is not suitable for drinking or food preparation without proper treatment, but you can always drink bottled water you bring during each visit and avoid the cost of drilling a well or additional solar cost to power a well pump.
For an off-grid remote cabin, having an electric refrigerator or freezer greatly increases the size and cost for the solar power system. The most obvious solution for shorter periods of cabin use is to bring along a high quality ice chest full of ice. I have found that the better insulated models can hold ice for up to four days.
The RV and boating industry offer several 12-volt DC and propane-powered refrigerators and freezers, but most have a very high daily electrical load. You may want to review my article in Issue #102, (Nov/Dec 2006) which provides much more
information about DC powered refrigerators and freezers. If you are willing to spend 900 to 1,500, there are several excellent 12-volt DC refrigerators and freezers designed specifically for off-grid solar homes which require much less solar power to operate.
SunFrost and SunDanzer offer a good selection of low energy 12-volt DC refrigerators and freezers for off-grid solar applications. Although expensive, these super-efficient models will save thousands of dollars since you can get by with a much smaller solar array and battery. If you will be using your off-grid cabin for longer periods, the solar refrigerator should be your most important appliance purchase.
Wire your lighting and DC appliances using the same wiring procedures and materials as specified by the National Electric Code (NEC). My only exception is to upsize the wire size to reduce wire resistance, since we are operating at 10 times the current required at 120 volts AC. The table in Figure 1 gives the NEC amp rating for the most common size house wiring, followed by my suggested wire size for all 12 volts DC wiring:
If your wire run is longer than 50 feet, I would go to the next larger size wire even though the load is still small. Also, use only copper wire. Aluminum wire is less expensive, but it has a lower amp rating than copper for the same wire size. All aluminum wire connections require special anti-corrosion joint compounds, so keep it simple and stay with all-copper wiring, and solid copper wiring devices and connectors.
You can keep the wiring simple by locating your circuit breaker panel near the front door, and use the circuit breakers for switching loads on and off that do not have internal switches. This is because the 120-volt AC wall switches you buy in any hardware or building supply cannot be used on DC electric service. Due to the constant flow characteristic of DC electricity, it’s not unusual for AC switch contacts to “weld” together from the arcing or even melt when used in DC wiring systems.
Since your simple DC electric system will serve only a few DC lights and DC appliances, you will not have any perimeter wall outlets since most electrical loads will be wired to terminals installed in each device. However, if you do need to “unplug” an appliance, they do make a wall receptacle and plug designed for low voltage DC service. The two prongs of DC outlets and plugs are rotated 90 degrees in reference to a standard 120-volt AC outlet to prevent accidently plugging an appliance into the wrong voltage service.
Solar and battery wiring
After mounting your solar array modules, proceed with the interconnection wiring. Larger wattage solar modules sold today come with prewired male and female connectors with several feet of wire. Smaller modules still have an electrical junction box on the back, so you can use standard flexible PVC waterproof conduit and conduit connectors between each module’s junction box.
Remember that these solar models will be wired in “parallel” since you are using a 12-volt battery system. This means your wiring may require separate wire runs for each module back to a central roof-mounted combiner box. You will also need a solar charge controller which controls the rate of battery charging and prevents overcharging. You should not connect any solar module directly to the battery without a charge controller in between.
If you are using sealed GEL or AGM batteries, it is critical to use a high-quality charge controller that includes a “GEL/AGM” switch or jumper that switches to a lower charging voltage. This will prevent damaging your new battery bank since the standard wet cell charging voltage setpoint will damage sealed batteries.
If you need more than four solar modules, this makes it harder to wire them all in parallel, so you may want to consider using a charge controller that allows using a higher-voltage solar array with a 12-volt battery.
This means you may be able to wire your solar modules in series to reduce the parallel wiring and have a 24 or 48-volt solar array, supplying a 12-volt battery bank. This will all depend on the model solar charge controller you purchase.
Most likely you will be installing two to four solar modules under 100 watts each, but on larger systems you can add a solar combiner box. This is like a fuse or circuit breaker panel, but is made for mounting outside next to the solar array. When you have multiple solar modules, you wire each separately to this nearby combiner box which has separate terminals to make this wiring easier.
Finally, be sure to include a fuse in the positive wire between the solar array and charge controller, and between the charge controller and the battery. On systems this small, you can use a two-pole Square D fused-disconnect, and use each fuse separately for each wire which allows using a single disconnect to break both connections to the charge controller.
You may be building your off-grid system where it will never have an electrical inspection and the low 12-volt wiring will not electrocute anyone, but this is no reason to not use safe wiring practices, and this includes grounding. The National Electric Code requires all professionally-installed roof-mounted solar arrays to include a ground-fault circuit breaker and separate grounding wire connecting each solar module directly to an earth-ground.
Many grid-connected solar arrays produce over 400 volts, so any electrical short to frame could actually electrocute someone, or the electrical short could arc and cause an electrical fire. Smaller 12-volt DC solar systems like this and designed for boat, RV, or camping applications do not usually include this added safety device due to the much lower voltage, and I cannot recommend leaving it out of your solar array wiring. However, if you decide your small solar array has very limited safety risk, it is still important to provide a good array ground to reduce the risk of lightning damage since you are bolting large metal objects high up on a roof in an open area.
Every solar module has a predrilled and labeled hole in the frame for a ground wire, and you should use a bare solid-copper ground wire to connect each module. Do not just connect the ground wire only to the array mounting rack and assume this will ground the entire group of modules. Aluminum quickly corrodes when bolted to other metals which makes a very poor electrical connection.
Without cutting the bare copper wire, connect to each module’s grounding point using a stainless-steel sheet-metal screw, then route down to a standard 8-foot copper-clad ½-inch steel groundrod driven next to the cabin’s foundation. You also need to add a separate bare copper wire from this same groundrod to the grounding buss bar inside the main circuit breaker panel and array fused disconnect. For a system this small, a #8 or #10 bare-copper ground wire meets code, but the code also requires ground wires smaller than #6 to be in conduit to prevent damage to the smaller wire. It’s usually easier to just use the larger #6 wire and forget the conduit.
Testing and setup
Never, never connect any wiring to a new battery until you have checked each wire separately with a volt-ohm meter to make sure there is no short, and that all positive leads are connected to only the positive battery post, and all negative (-) leads are connected to only the negative (-) battery post.
When using multiple 6-volt batteries or multiple 12-volt solar modules, it is very easy to end up with the wrong voltage output, so also check to make sure there is no mismatch of voltages. A typical 12-volt solar module will actually measure between 17 and 21 volts when in full sun and not connected to any load, so don’t let this higher voltage concern you. However, if you measure over 21 volts, then you have a problem unless you are using a solar charger designed for these higher input voltages.
I do not recommend installing a 120 VAC inverter on a system this small due to limited solar and battery capacity, and added complexity of having two separate sets of wiring. Keep it simple and buy a DC powered radio or TV if you must have entertainment.
Now you are ready to turn on each circuit breaker and start enjoying the benefits a little solar electrical power can bring to almost any remote application.
Solar Panel 15 Watts
Our Spartan Camera 15 Watt Solar Panel helps you decrease maintenance trips to your trail camera, leave less scent in the field, and save money on battery replacements. Charge your Spartan GoLive or Spartan Ghost directly to keep the internal rechargeable battery up and running without any external batteries or connect it to a battery box to ensure uptime on any Spartan Camera all year long.
Bracket for 15W Solar Panel
Spartan Camera Quick-Aim Camera Mount
GoCam Solar Kit With Battery
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- AA batteries
- board lithium battery
The solar power panel is great but was not compatible with my Spartan cameras I ordered. Had to order new connection from solar power to my GoPro ATT Spartan camera. Should of bought a ghost live camera. But u live and learn. Thanks
Solar panel does it’s job
Great panel. Charges my cameras just fine. Only reason I gave 4 stars is because I wish they were smaller in size.
Use this product ! Even under the Canopy of the trees it charges the camera’s on board lithium battery. Have not had to replace the AA batteries in the camera yet after one year.
Glad to hear that our solar panel’s direct solar connection to the GoLive M has made it possible to use your trail cam all year long. Thank you again for another 5-STAR rating and review.
Not what I thought I was purchasing. I figured when I purchased the solar Panel it would have came with what I needed to connect to my cameras minus the batteries. Not to mention again no directions come with any of the items one purchased from Spartan! Also hard to make contact with support staff when you call and it’s at least 24 hours later before one gets a return phone call and by that time I am working on something away from my cameras therefore it’s difficult to walk through the problem.
Zamp Solar. About The Company
Zamp Solar started selling solar kits on Ebay in 2010. In a year with hard work and high quality products, Zamp grew out of their startup garage set up and set up shop in a 2,500 square foot building. They recognized a need for solar in the RV community and built up a large network of RV dealers to sell solar in the RV market. Zamp specializes in easy to use and high quality solar panels and kits.
Zamp Solar. What Is It?
Zamp Solar is a USA company. A high quality American company where products, Zamp designs and handcrafts their panels in Bend, Oregon. Whenever possible, Zamp tries to use locally source materials from the aluminium to wire.
Zamp solar kits are the best kits for 12 Volt battery systems. The solar kits have everything you need to charge or maintain any traditional 12-volt battery bank or rechargeable lithium ion battery energy storage.
Zamp is a top supplier of US-made off-grid solar panels and accessories. They make high quality and easy to install and use Solar Kits. Their solar kits free you from need of electrical connections or loud gas generators.
Zamp Solar. Why Buy It?
Zamp makes the best solar panels on the market. Based in Oregon, Zamp Solar work to make the best solar products. They offer the most versatile and high quality solar products for 12 volt battery charging.
Made in the USA, Zamp Solar has their own production plant. This allows them to control quality and be consistently innovating by introducing new features, such as their Omni-Mount frame. Not only is the Zamp panels the best the market by they are the easy to install and use.
Zamp solar panel features and qualities:
Anti Reflective coated glass:
- Provides durable protection from harsh weather conditions
- Increases light transmission, allows for maximum light absorption
Anodized aluminum Omni-Mount Rail system:
- Let’s you pick a best mounting location for your needs
- Sturdier and more versatile than traditional frames.
Zamp Solar Deluxe Solar Kit:
- One connects panel to roof cap
- One connects roof cap to charge controller
Zamp solar kits comes in different sizes. If you need to figure out which size kit is best for your RV or number of batteries check out the Zamp Solar Sizing Chart Each kit is also expandable with a corresponding Solar Expansion Kit.
Zamp Solar Flexi Deluxe Kit
The Flexi Deluxe includes everything that is in the normal Deluxe Kit the main difference is that solar panel is a Flexi Panel. Only half and inch thick, the 100 watt Flexi Kit can be expanded up to 300 watts and like all Zamp solar panels can charge any kind of 12 volt battery, including lithium.
The panel does flex, it’s recommended you have minimal flexing to avoid micro-cracking.
- Generates 5.62 amps
- 30 Amp. 5 Stage dual battery PWM charge controller
- 3 port roof cap
- 100 Watt Zamp Solar Flexi Deluxe Expansion Kit
Zamp Solar Panels. What Size Do I Need?
10′. 14′ RV with (1) 12 volt Battery
15′. 20′ RV with (1-2) 12 volt Battery
21′. 30′ RV with (2) 12 volt Battery
31′. 40′ RV with (2-4) 12 volt Battery
40′ RV with (4-8) 12 volt Battery
- (2) 230 Watt Portable
- 170 Roof Mounted Deluxe Kit (2) 170 Watt Expansions. 510 Watt Total
- 680 Watt Roof Mounted Deluxe Kit Optional Expansions. 680. 1020 Total Watts
Zamp Solar Portable Solar Charging System
Set up in less than 5 minutes and power everything you need from light to fridges. Ranging in output of 45 watts to 230 watts, Zamp Portables can charge any kind of 12 volt battery, including lithium.
Is your RV Zamp Solar Ready?
Over 40% of RV come Zamp Solar Ready. Whether your RV has a Zamp Solar portable kit plugged into pre-installed sidewall port or the addition of a roof mounted panel. Zamp Solar Portable Charging system has a charge controller in the back so it can charge your battery directly with alligator clips, or can be plugged into your RV Zamp Solar Port (shown in picture below).
With the largest variety of panel sizes, you will find the perfect amount of power for whatever adventures you plan going on:
45 Watt Zamp Solar Portable Charging System (2.5 Amps) The smallest of the portable kit. This is ideal for small RVs like over-the-cab truck campers.
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Open Dimension: 21.6 x 19.9 x 1.5
- 8 Amp Solar Controller
- Weight: 27 lbs
- Open Dimension: 21.6 x 21.5 x 3.1
- 10 Amp Solar Controller
- Weight:32.75 lbs
- Open Dimension: 32.4 x 21.5 x 3.1
- 10 Amp Solar Controller
- Weight: 34 lbs
- Open Dimension: 39.5 x 21.5 x 3.1
- 15 Amp Solar Controller
- Weight: 47 lbs
- Open Dimension: 39.5 x 28 x 3.1
- 15 Amp Solar Controller
Need more info? Call us at 888-467-5447 or email us at email@example.com