Updated & improved for 2021
Another CampervanCulture.com exclusive product to compliment the VW T25, T3, Vanagon Westfalia & all other Expedition Aluminium Front Runner Roof Racks we supply.
Background – Because we too actually use the vehicles you drive we know what will actually work and most of all will last. We use compressor fridges in our vehicles. Some people permanently fix panels to their vehicles roofs and to get the most from the suns power you need to park the vehicle in the sun. Due to this the inside of the vehicle gets super hot and the fridge works overtime and it is actually counter productive to do this as you gain very little. With this set up it allows you to park the vehicle in the shade when in very hot conditions, turn the 4 eyelets on the corner brackets to remove the panel. The kit comes with a 12M lead that allows you to pop the panel in the hot sun while you and the vehicle sits in the cool shade. Because the panel is easily removed you can also tilt it when parked up in the sun to get the optimum angle. The panel can be fitted low down so it is under the top line of the roof rack for protection or slightly higher if you don’t go crashing through trees that often.
The Panels – These twin 100w black framed solar modules with special glass is equipped with top of the range Sunpower cells with rear contact and comes with a noble, black anodised frame to compliment the rack.
The particularly low temperature coefficient and the special circuitry for a high open-circuit voltage allow for more energy yield*) even at high temperatures and low irradiances.
The connection is made at the rear via pre-assembled cables, each 0.9m long, with MC4 standard connectors. Technincal data at STC (standard test conditions) with 25°C ambient temperature, 1000 W/m2 solar irradiance and an AM factor of 1.5.
25% better temperature coefficient than conventional modules, therefore less power loss when heated. This panel is next level and is not to be confused with the sort of cheap low grade panels on offer that re quite frankly junk after a short time.
The rest of the kit – This contains a quality Victron solar charge controller with Bluetooth so you can use your smart phone or tablet as a display, correct grade loom and branch connectors from panel to controller, loom from main battery in the bank, entry gland, corner fixing brackets and fixing bolts with drill bit tip, quickly removable eyelets for bracket to roof rack connection, 12m extension connector to allow the panel to be put on the ground. The loom length is for the battery bank to be situated under the back seat or in the bottom of the wardrobe in a VW T25 Westfalia sized van.
Panel mounting location – When mounting the twin panel option you have two ways in which to mount the panel. If mounting length ways front to back and along one side you will need to use and have a rack of at least twelve slats. If mounting width ways side by side you will need to use just six slats. Because of the selected size of panel it still allows you to move the panel over to one side if needed so you can still walk onto the rack tray from the rear and still use your rack platform for other stuff.