It is an exceptionally sunny afternoon of March and I am indulging in the confort of solar energy in my van (AKA Karmavan). My phone and my computer are charging and I am typing this article. A quick check at the App VictronConnect tells me that my solar panels are producing 38 Watt of electricity and that my battery is almost full.
Karmavan is still under construction but things are moving forward. Recently, one of my friends, Jean-Loup, an expert in solar energy, finished my electrical set up. For this, we have been working together for over 6 months (Covid quarantaine in between) to define my needs, design the electrical mapping, find the material, order it and finally install it.
The idea was to go 99.9% solar. Hence Jean-Loup installed two monocristallin solar panels on my rooftop adding to 660 Watts. These charge 4 Lithium LifePo4 cells forming a 12V battery of 190Ah. To maximize the production, I can tilt them to two different angles, depending on the light that I want to capture.
Regarding the 0.1% remaining, I can use the electrical grid. An external P17 plug (IEC 60309) allows to connect my battery and charge it if necessary. Yet, if I were to use more energy-consuming appliances (over 600 Watt) I could also do it, thanks to this feature. I am not expecting to use it that much though…
Electricity set up is an important step in the building of my future “house on wheels.” With the insulation almost done, comes plumbing, gaz and carpentry. Slow and steady wins the race!