Sourcing parts for a Solar camping setup

by Administrator 17 July 2012

Once I decided on which parts I needed I set about sourcing them. The most obvious place to look is on Ebay for cheap parts, but be careful, I've bought my share of dodgy items there...

Ebay Ireland didn't have too much choice and what they did have was fairly expensive, so I tried and also, I chose Germany as they have a massive solar market, be sure to use a translate function/website to make sense of it if you can't read the German language. (I use Google Chrome's translate function)

There was a lot to choose from, I ended up ordering the following:

  • 2x 18 volt 20 watt solar panels.
  • 1x 12/24 volt charge controller.
  • 1x 12 volt 20 AH deep cycle battery (purchased locally).
  • Wiring, fuse holders, fuses and connectors and other assorted small items.

20 watt solar panel  12/24 volt charge controller for solar panel  12 volt 20AH battery

When searching for the correct items for your solar camping case you must take the following into consideration:

  • Make sure your battery has at least double the required capacity.
  • Solar panels need to output approx. 17-18 volts to be able to charge a 12 volt battery. (34-36 volts for a 24 volt battery)
  • You should match the wattage of the solar panels to the AH of your battery (ie. 20w panel : 20AH battery) I doubled the wattage as we don't have much sun in Ireland.

Later you'll also need parts to connect your devices, we'll get to that later on.

* Please note, I am learning as I go along. If there are any incorrect facts above, please let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks

Part 1: Solar panels for camping (Introduction)
Part 2: Parts for a Solar camping setup
Part 3: Testing the panels and charge controller
Part 4: Assembling the Camping Solar system

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