A Satisfied Customers Blog
by Murray Stapleton
While solar power has been around for a long time now, for most of us it was so expensive we couldn’t really afford it, And if we could afford it we found it too confusing to figure out what we needed and how and where to get it. Most of us just threw our hands up in the air and decided it wasn’t for us.
However, in the last few years all that has started to change as the price of solar has dramatically dropped. Suddenly solar prices were reasonable and the average person could actually afford it for their homes, van or RV. But that still left the problem of how to get it installed. If you paid someone else to install it the costs would skyrocket and most people didn’t know what to buy or how to install it. So it still remained out of reach for most of us.
One company set out to change all that and to an amazing degree they have succeeded. Itechworld came into existence around 10 years ago and they have revolutionized solar power. I know at least a dozen people who own iTechworld solar panels and they are all totally satisfied with them. What makes them unique is the fact that you can order a complete kit for a very low price right off their website.
In fact, they are so popular and so good that my standard recommendation for most people on a tight budget is to order a 120, 140 or 160 watt kit from itechworld.com.au, depending on their budget and power needs. If you have a little more money to play with, and are willing to do your homework, I think you’re better off to spend a little more and buy higher system.
How much solar do i need
You can’t go wrong with an iTechworld solar panels but you still have to make a few choices. What size of solar panel do you need? This is the most common question out there. The easy way to work it out is to find out how many Amps you are taking out of your battery over a 24 hour period. In my case I take out around 50-60 Amps per day. The next thing to do is to work out how many Amps per day your solar system will put in. My two iTechworld 120 Watt Hard Frame Roof mounted panels put approx 13 Amps in every hour. Now we have to multiply that by how many hours of peak sunlight the solar panels get. Here in Kalgoorlie at this time of the year we are getting around 6 hours.
13 Amps x 6 Hours = 78 Amps Per Day
This gives me almost 20 amps to play with.
My recommendation is very simple; buy all you can afford. Why? Because you need to plan for the worst weather conditions, not the best. You will run into storms and clouds and if you don’t want to run out of power you must have more solar than you need in good weather. If you buy all you can afford, even if it seems like too much, you’ll be ready for bad weather and able to add extra electrical devices you didn’t even know you wanted.
For most people, 120 watts is the sweet spot with enough power to meet your needs for the least amount of money. Start there if you can afford it and if you can’t then get a 120 watt panel to see if that’s enough and if it isn’t you can add a second 120 watt panel when you can afford it.
Where to mount the solar panels?
A lot of people mount their solar panels permanently on the roof using the iTechworld mounting corners. The issue with this is that if you want to keep your van cool and park in the shade the solar panels will not produce as much power as they would when out in the sun. The alternative to mounting is to have a portable folding solar kit that can be taken out and placed away from the van when you are parked up. Not mounting them on the roof has lots of advantages:
- It makes installation so much easier that most people can do it by themselves with a little guidance. All iTechworld portable kits come with Anderson Plugs and alligator clips for easy connection.
- You don’t have to drill holes in the roof which is a very scary idea for a lot of people and eliminates the risk of leaks.
- You can park the van in the shade and move the panel out into the sunshine, keeping it much cooler in the summer.
- It’s easy to tilt the panels, you just lean them up against something like the side of the van.
- It’s easy to turn the panels to always be facing the sun. The combination of tilting and tracking the sun with your panels will give you a lot more power into your battery at the end of the day.
What are the disadvantages of not mounting the panels.
The main disadvantage is you can’t use them while you’re traveling and you can’t use them in the city. It’s also a hassle to have to store them away every time you need to run into town. We each have to measure the pros and cons for ourselves.
In conclusion iTechworld genuinely have a solar panel to suit any situation. I would always recommend them and the helpful team at the Rivervale store to any of my fellow grey nomads. Their experience and expertise is second to none. I have always found Ian or any of the other boys at the store to be knowledgeable and helpful.
Read more of my blogs on Tumblr - Murray Stapleton
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