Maximizing Your Solar Harnessing Power

New Zealanders Brian and Marge have been living in their appropriately-name “Kiwi Style” 30′ Isuzu motorhome for the past two years. Recently they decided they’d like to have a solar setup strong enough to remove the worry of dealing with lack of power such as watching TV, powering up laptops, running microwaves, washing machine, etc.

As a quick exercise and a little proof, Keith Levy of The Flying Tortoise (whose awesome off the grid bus I featured on the site here) and friends of Brian and Marge showed the couple the difference in power generated from solar panels lying flat from those angled to directly face the sun. Lying flat Keith’s power meter showed his 85 watt panel producing 2.3 amps. He then tilted the panel towards then sun and his meter jumped to 5.1 amps.

Seeing this the couple set out to put a solution in place where their solar panels could be raised and lowered to face the sun when their motorhome was parked, then laid flat again when traveling down the road.

Brian and Marge’s solar array. Three of the panels can be tilted to maximize their solar harnessing power.

The panels tilt down to avoid damage from the wind when the motorhome is traveling.

“Kiwi Style”, Brian and Marge’s 30′ Isuzu Motorhome.

The solar setup consists of six 120 watt solar panels for a total of 720 watts that charge two 325 amphour AGM batteries.

To avoid power loss, Brian and Marge used heavy duty cabling throughout their solar setup.

The couple now produces enough energy to meet their needs and can do so much quicker with their forward-thinking tilting solar setup. No more energy bills.

Keith Levy’s blog “The Flying Tortoise” is a great source for off the grid solutions and simple living. You can check it out here.

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