Enjoy camping? Hate shattering the peace and quiet and scaring local fauna with a generator? Clean and silent solar power is a great way to add a little comfort to your camping experience while being kind to the environment. You can easily make a camping solar energy system yourself, or take advantage of portable solar panel products on the market specifically targeted towards camping applications.
Do it yourself camping solar panels
One of the Energy Matters team spends a great deal of time camping in the bush and set up his own economical portable solar power rig using standard solar panels. With it, he’s able to power his notebook for 12 hours a day, run lighting and power some small appliances, which allows him to continue working for Energy Matters while camping in the great Australian outdoors – and with juice to spare! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
The camping rig is powered by 130 watt solar panel. The cabling from the solar panel leads to a Morningstar solar regulator which is connected to a 100 amp Haze Gel deep cycle battery.
The collapsible frame weighs under 2 kilos and was made from 1 meter lengths of angle aluminium which is available pre-cut from most large hardware stores. A couple of hinges were added for where the solar panel attaches to the frame, some chain with carabiner clips attached to provide stability and easily adjustable angles and a few screws and bolts to put the whole thing together. To make such a frame costs under $60 and is quite stable even under quite windy conditions.