Because there is a growing number of Solar Blankets becoming available – it’s important to know what to look for in a quality solar blanket. The last thing you want is a failing power source when you’re out in the middle of a remote off-grid campsite!
5 Reasons to own a Folding Solar Blanket
1. COMPACT: Store your folding blanket in your rear drawers or even under the seat. Folding down to a size of a newspaper, the solar blanket doesn’t take up valuable space in your vehicle!
2. LIGHTWEIGHT: Solar blankets are incredibly light weight. Our 180w solar blanket for example weighs in at just 5kg! Compared to your traditional folding panels there is a significant weight difference. This can be crucial deciding factor for caravans and 4WDs where weight limits are enforced.
3. HIGH YIELDING: Quality blankets, like our 120w and 180w Baintech Folding Solar Blankets – are made from the most efficient and high yielding SunPower Monocrystalline Solar Cells.
4. VERSATILE: Mount on your roof rack, roll out at camp, place it on your awning, or windscreen. Where you position your solar blanket is virtually unlimited! Chase the sun and place it where you can achieve the best yield and sunstrike for optimal solar output.
5. DURABLE: There’s a reason why we’ve called our 180w blanket the Baintuff 180w Blanket. Folding solar blankets are far more durable than your glass folding panels.
Budget Mid And Premium
Budget isn’t always best. Budget blankets can be great for short trips where you aren’t relying on them to be completely off-grid. However, if you want to travel remotely and for longer lengths of time it is important to invest in a high-quality blanket. Buying mid or premium solar blankets will ensure you have the highest output of power from your solar blanket – you’ll have the confidence that it will keep your essentials running.
Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline
Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency rates since they are made from the highest-grade silicon. Polycrystalline have a lower efficiency rating compared to Monocrystalline, and cost less.
Amps In Vs. Amps Out
You want to ensure you have adequate amps going into your batteries. The more you are drawing the more you need to replace. It can be a common error with users drawing too many amps, and not replacing those amps with an adequate charging source, resulting in a flat battery. A great way to measure your amps and watts is by using the Baintech Watt Meter and Power Analyzer. Once connected and power is flowing through, the watt mater will give you real time readings of:
How many watts will I need?
Firstly calculate the power draw from all your accessories such as lights, fridges, phone chargers etc. If your total draw comes to 5 amps when everything is connected, a good rule of thumb is to double that for the charging source, i.e. 10 amps. The solar blanket thus needs to output at least 10 amps for the duration of the sunlight hours.
A rule of thumb for converting amps to watts for solar blankets is to multiply by 20, i.e. in this 10amps x 20 = a 200W solar blanket would be a good option.
Secondly, it is a good idea to make sure your battery capacity suits the scenario as well. If you are drawing 5 amps continuously out of the batteries during night time, say 6pm – 6am, you will need 12 hrs x 5 amps = 60 amp hours of usable capacity. If you are using deep cycle batteries, you should only draw them down to 50% of their capacity to ensure good life expectancy, which means you need 120 amp hours of battery capacity.