Another addition to our electrical system is a 100W solar panel from GrapeSolar. Manly to extend our off-the-grid or not-driving-to-charge-the-battery time. After calculating the consumption of all our electrical devices we should be able to add another 2-4 days under good sunny conditions.
The GS100 is the cream of the crop when it comes to solar panels. It boasts 18.3% module efficiency and is composed of 32 back contact solar cells. Compare that to standard crystalline modules with 14% to 16% efficiency. This panel has a very small footprint and fits into places other panels can only dream about. As for weight, this baby comes in at a mere 14.5 pounds! Another distinct advantage of the GS100 is its width of only 20.7 inches. The mono-crystalline, back contact cells on the GS100 means there are no grid lines blocking the sun’s rays. It also means you can expect outstanding performance in both high heat and low light conditions.
To regulate the power coming from the panel to our battery-setup I installed a Morningstar SunKeeper SK-12, which is one of the smallest and most reliable battery-chargers I could find and fits perfect in the small battery compartment of a Delica. Also it constantly measures the temperature of the battery and adjust the charge accordingly.
To run the heavy-duty wire form the panel to the battery I used a waterproof plug from the marine industry. That makes it easy to remove the roof rack when we need to load DinoEvo in a shipping container. Also the plug has still a few more connections available in case we want additional lights up on the roof rack.