Solar Panels- An Integral Part Of An Expedition Truck

Expedition vechicles usually have a myriad of both gadgets and equipment ticlehat can sap the power from your battery.  A frequent worry is battery failure due to electrical overload.

We usually use on board refrigerators, such as the ARB Freezer/Fridge, and while it’s very efficient, it will still drain power if the vehicle’s engine is off-such as in camp or while we are off hiking or mountain biking.  Dual battery hook ups are great but many of us don’t want to add this configuration to our vehicles, and sometimes even with the additional batteries the drain is just too large.

Most of us at Drive The Globe use a solar panel or multiple panels to supply the necessary power to our battery, instruments and refrigerator.  There are several types on the market but I’ve found the products from ICP Solar to be the best and most versatile.  I have the Sunsei 500.  It does not require a regulator, however if I add an additional panel it would. 

Our current project Unimog is receiving two panels (SE-1500) and each is designed to generate 22.5 watts of power.  In order to protect the batteries (2 deep cell Optimas wired in a 24 volt format) we are utilizing a CC25000 charge controller and a SM25000 solar monitor the later will be visibly monitored from the driver dash area.  These products are all readily available from Sunsei as well.

This is a must for those of us who want to use great equipment but not worry about a battery discharge. Especially since it usually occurs at the most inopportune time.