When you go out on a summer camping trip for a number of days, you might want to take your iPad, cell phone or other devices with you. Perhaps you plan on using a LED camping lantern or flashlight. Have you thought of how you’ll keep them charged? How about using solar power? You can set up the best portable solar power system in just a few easy steps.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Best Portable Solar Power System Components
- a deep-cycle battery;
- a power battery box (optional);
- a 140w solar panel;
- a 600w pure sine power inverter.
Here is a quick explanation of how these components will work together:
The battery will be used to store the energy that the solar panel will gather from sunlight. You’ll be storing the battery in the battery box. Although the battery box is optional, its power-indicator feature is handy to have. Once you’ve connected the battery to the battery box, you’ll be ready to go. The battery box will have terminals to which you will connect the item to be charged.
The 600-watt, pure sine power inverter will have terminal connections on one end, and a built-in fan to keep it from overheating. On the opposite end it will have an on/off power switch and a power outlet (sometimes 2, depending on the model). NOTE: you could also use a modified sine power inverter but it won’t provide as much power as the pure sine.
Connect the solar panel to the battery box terminals. The solar controller will show you what level of charge your battery has. If you’re not using a battery box, connect directly to the battery terminals.
As we have seen, the power inverter has 2 terminals. It should come with 2 wires with alligator clips. Attach the wires to their matching terminals, then attach the alligator clips to the respective battery box terminals. The power inverter is now running on the battery, and you can now plug in any device you want to charge.
If you are unsure of any aspect of this operation, watching this video demonstration should clarify:
How to Build a Portable Solar Power System (video)
Apart from using this DIY portable solar power system on your RV camping trips, it can also be a good emergency stand-by power supply at home.