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Go off the grid! Break free from the fumes and noise of fuel-powered generators and the tethers of the plug-in RV camp site. 12V solar panels are a must for the eco-friendly traveller who wants to harness the free energy of the sun anywhere they may roam. Great for powering 12V or small household appliances, and charging batteries, portable solar panels offer real freedom without sacrificing the luxuries on the go. Perhaps most importantly, for those running appliances off their main vehicle battery, solar panels offer insurance against being stranded with a flat battery.

How much power do I need?

Generally, the more power a solar panel can produce, the more expensive it will be. 120W solar panel kits are a popular choice for those wanting to keep things compact or on a budget. A 120 watt solar panel will maintain power to smaller household appliances, such as laptops, electric shavers and radios without draining the battery. If you have greater power demands or perhaps you don't want to invest too much in solar, eBay has a wide range of differentsolar panels, from the ultra portable 10W minis, all the way up to 300W. Within this range, you'll find rigid and flexible panels, suitable for roof mounting, or folding kits that can be carried around and stored away with ease. Many kits come with MPPT regulators/controllers (these ensure the battery receives optimal charging), making them plug and play - simply connect the alligator clips to your battery and enjoy the free energy.

Do I need an inverter?

12V solar panels connect to a 12V battery, which you can run 12V DC appliances from easily enough. However, household appliances utilise 240V AC power and will therefore require an inverter connected to the battery, to convert the 12V power into 240V. eBay has a range ofsolar energy supplies, including connectors, charge controllers and inverters that can assist you here!

Warning: 12V portable solar panels are designed for portable use, such as camping and should not be connected in sequence to a house power supply.

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