Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Walker Bay
    Age
    77
    Posts
    9,705
    Thanked: 1393

    Default Solar blankets - anyone using them

    They probably have to be draped over a car which means moving the car each time to follow the sun and there are bound to be shadows from snorkels, aerials etc.

    Prices though seem good compared with the traditional foldable panels.

    I see Camp and Climb has a new one 200W for R4 895 - just over 11 amps.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2021/06/07 at 04:01 PM.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Paul Dold For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Only for the super rich it seems.

    Absolute madness to pay such prices.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Die SwartKat For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Pretoria East
    Age
    48
    Posts
    811
    Thanked: 1477

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    With the sun oven, I don't always adjust it. Sometimes I position it with the reflectors facing the sun in the middle of the day so it evens out. Maybe it follows the same principle?

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Emmie L For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Walker Bay
    Age
    77
    Posts
    9,705
    Thanked: 1393

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    But if you want a fold up you pay for the convenience. Can't compare to glass panels.

    The conventional fold up panel 200W will cost close to R8 000.
    So the blankets are much cheaper.

    https://flexopower.co.za/collections...solar-panels-1



    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Only for the super rich it seems.

    Absolute madness to pay such prices.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2021/06/07 at 08:41 PM.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bronkhorstspruit
    Age
    45
    Posts
    243
    Thanked: 20

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	snomaster 200watt panel.jpg 
Views:	340 
Size:	364.9 KB 
ID:	617838
    I use my Snomaster 200watt panel whenever I am early at a campspot.
    Jan van Gerve
    0834639340
    2011 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D4D 4x4
    2014 Toyota Etios 1.5 HB

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to janvg For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lonehill
    Age
    48
    Posts
    6,074
    Thanked: 676

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    i use two 150w flexopower folding panels. Not sure if this is considered a solar blanket. I also put them on the ground not on the vehicle. the very flexable panels I dont really like as I dont believe they are optimal wrt charging due to the different angles to the sun but possibly I am wrong.

    They are expensive but not really for the "super rich" ........they are worth it. much easier than glass panels and less worry about breaking and possibly distroying a holiday.
    Last edited by BruceT; 2021/06/09 at 03:00 PM.
    BruceT
    ZS6EBT

    Defender 130 Puma

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BruceT For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Melkbosstrand
    Posts
    63
    Thanked: 59

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Only for the super rich it seems.

    Absolute madness to pay such prices.
    Out of interest, do you have a solution that would be cheaper for 200W off the shelf?

    I have a solid frame foldup with two glass panels @ total 160w and similar PWM controller which cost about R1k less than this. It's awkward and more than twice the weight.

    If I'd known these existed at this price point at the time I bought the 160w panels and how awkward they were going to be, I would seriously have considered these.

    BTW, they are on special now for R4405:
    https://www.campandclimb.co.za/produ...l-blanket-200w.

    Don't mean to be rude, and would be very interested to know what the alternative might be.
    Last edited by CraigWatt; 2021/06/13 at 07:17 PM.
    1995 Defender 110 300tdi (nick-named Alfie)
    1978 Mercedes Benz 450SL
    2000 Volvo V40 T4 (on the market - What offers?)


  13. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to CraigWatt For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigWatt View Post
    Out of interest, do you have a solution that would be cheaper for 200W off the shelf?

    I have a solid frame foldup with two glass panels @ total 160w and similar PWM controller which cost about R1k less than this. It's awkward and more than twice the weight.

    If I'd known these existed at this price point at the time I bought the 160w panels and how awkward they were going to be, I would seriously have considered these.

    BTW, they are on special now for R4405:
    https://www.campandclimb.co.za/produ...l-blanket-200w.

    Don't mean to be rude, and would be very interested to know what the alternative might be.
    No offense taken.

    Horses for courses I suppose. For me, solar blankets or foldable panels are faaar more of an inconvenience as opposed to fixed panels.

    According to me

    Cons:

    - Always need to find a suitable place to stash them making sure they will not get damaged with other camping gear.
    - When folded up they're probably just as bulky and space robbing than a fixed panel.
    - permanent installation (which is what many of our members prefers) not possible.
    - Much more prone to theft.
    - Damn near impossible to angle them if the watt budget is tight and every watt counts
    - Cannot just leave them on your vehicle and go for walk in windy conditions. Probably have to peg them down in the ground or tie them with ropes - a huge hassle
    - Most of the time you probably need to spread them on the ground making it much more prone to risk of damage from other vehicles or even animals
    - Very very expensive for the watts you get.

    Pros:

    - Well they fold.
    - Less weight
    - Anything else?


    Serious and honest question, what exactly am I missing that makes them so great?

    You wont believe how versatile and "flexible" my rigged panel setup is. No comparison in my mind.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to Die SwartKat For This Useful Post:


  16. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lonehill
    Age
    48
    Posts
    6,074
    Thanked: 676

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Some of your cons are actually benefits and Im not sure where you got some of your cons from as they are not accurate at all.

    My foldable panels are about half as thick as my glass panels and far smaller than equivalent glass panels when foldered up - I would hazard a guess as being at around 60% in size of the glass panels and 30% of the weight.

    Having used glass panels for years and a combination of permanently mounted and loose panels on everything fromroof racks on the vehicles to racks on off road caravans I see no benefit of the glasss panels over the flexable type unless you are watching every watt - the glass ones do perform SLIGHTLY better than the flexable ones watt for watt.

    I now use the foldable ones, I am far less worried about damaging the foldable panels and they are 100x easier to pack than the glass ones. Permanently mounted glass panels (BTDT) have many negatives, the biggest one being, you always have to park in the sun which is not always possible, with loose panels you can park in the shade and move the panels into the sun - this benefit is increased when camping in heavily tree'd areas. If you dont have to park in the sun your fridges use less power as they are in the shade.

    The foldable panels can be stuck in between pretty much anything, whereas the glass you have to either mount them permanently and park in the sun or find a place to store them where they wont get broken and wont damage anything else that is packed next to them. Very few people I have traveled with have permanently mounted panels and I have broken a few over the years with low hanging branches when they were permanently mounted to my roof and bumped one a little too hard against a stump while at Kubu causing it to break.

    But having said all that I have also seen the flexable type panels glued to a roof of an offroad caravan, and while I dont know if this is optimal wrt cooling under the panel, the owner swore they worked perfectly. He had bonded them to the roof using sikaflex so I guess that is also a massive advantage; no holes and less weight.

    The only benefit to those not counting every little watt that I can think of regarding glass panels is they are far cheaper than the foldable panels. Thats it.

    Below is a picture of mine (150w each) while being used in Blouberg Nature Reserve in December. Note how cloudy it was. The sun moved across the the front of the landy, so I had to move them twice a day (when we didnt drive) and this would mean I would have 100% battery capacity by the time the sun went down. So we never had to worry about power or conserving it. I havent had them blow over yet, but there is a strap on the leg that I suppose you could peg or put a rock on if you were concerned about that. I have also dropped them with no damage.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by BruceT; 2021/06/14 at 09:51 AM.
    BruceT
    ZS6EBT

    Defender 130 Puma

  17. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to BruceT For This Useful Post:


  18. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,444
    Thanked: 8423

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    No offense taken.

    Horses for courses I suppose. For me, solar blankets or foldable panels are faaar more of an inconvenience as opposed to fixed panels.

    According to me

    Cons:

    - Always need to find a suitable place to stash them making sure they will not get damaged with other camping gear.
    - When folded up they're probably just as bulky and space robbing than a fixed panel.
    - permanent installation (which is what many of our members prefers) not possible.
    - Much more prone to theft.
    - Damn near impossible to angle them if the watt budget is tight and every watt counts
    - Cannot just leave them on your vehicle and go for walk in windy conditions. Probably have to peg them down in the ground or tie them with ropes - a huge hassle
    - Most of the time you probably need to spread them on the ground making it much more prone to risk of damage from other vehicles or even animals
    - Very very expensive for the watts you get.

    Pros:

    - Well they fold.
    - Less weight
    - Anything else?


    Serious and honest question, what exactly am I missing that makes them so great?

    You wont believe how versatile and "flexible" my rigged panel setup is. No comparison in my mind.
    uuumm, just about all your cons are in fact worse with rigid glass panels.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD - PROFFESIONAL DUMBASS
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  20. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    uuumm, just about all your cons are in fact worse with rigid glass panels.
    Not in my mind.

    - Damage on a roof, its because you drive like a mampara or probably where you shouldn't and failing to keep a proper lookout

    - Permanently on the roof (read semi permanently in my case) I can have mine off the roof and angled on the ground in half the time you take to take yours out of the vehicle, out of their canvas bags.

    - When not on the ground and folded up in the vehicle (in my case on the roof) chances of yours being stolen due to a vehicle break in are much more than mine. Mine cannot even be seen on the roof unless you know exactly what to look for.

    - Parking in the sun? Why? My parking in the sun is for short stops only. My 15 extension cable is ready for deployment in less than a minute. Much quicker than it will take the average person to locate a set of jumper cables.


    Like I said, horses for courses.

    My setup is tailor made and specifically designed for my needs, which puts me in a far better position than the guy that just shoves his glass panels in the back of the load bin, and dare I say in Craig's case with his foldable panels. My setup is designed to present as little hassles as possible.

    I will out solar you every time when it comes to:

    - practicality
    - convenience/ease of use
    - affordability
    - reliability

    Because this is MY setup.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  21. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,444
    Thanked: 8423

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Not in my mind.

    - Damage on a roof, its because you drive like a mampara or probably where you shouldn't and failing to keep a proper lookout

    - Permanently on the roof (read semi permanently in my case) I can have mine off the roof and angled on the ground in half the time you take to take yours out of the vehicle, out of their canvas bags.

    - When not on the ground and folded up in the vehicle (in my case on the roof) chances of yours being stolen due to a vehicle break in are much more than mine. Mine cannot even be seen on the roof unless you know exactly what to look for.

    - Parking in the sun? Why? My parking in the sun is for short stops only. My 15 extension cable is ready for deployment in less than a minute. Much quicker than it will take the average person to locate a set of jumper cables.


    Like I said, horses for courses.

    My setup is tailor made and specifically designed for my needs, which puts me in a far better position than the guy that just shoves his glass panels in the back of the load bin, and dare I say in Craig's case with his foldable panels. My setup is designed to present as little hassles as possible.

    I will out solar you every time when it comes to:

    - practicality
    - convenience/ease of use
    - affordability
    - reliability

    Because this is MY setup.

    You only present YOUR use case. Obviously nobody can argue with that.

    For me, rigid glass in aluminium frames would be my worse nightmare. Imagine what would happen if I draped those over the bow and console of my boat, at night.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD - PROFFESIONAL DUMBASS
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  23. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    You only present YOUR use case. Obviously nobody can argue with that.

    For me, rigid glass in aluminium frames would be my worse nightmare. Imagine what would happen if I draped those over the bow and console of my boat, at night.
    Hahahahaha.

    But this is kinda my point.

    With a little bit of planning, (as with everything in life) you could get your setup (whatever this is) to perform just as well if not better than to just go the expensive route.

    The perceived (to me at least) pros is not worth the cost which can be eliminated with a well designed thought out product/setup.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  24. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Okahandja, Windhoek
    Age
    69
    Posts
    4,890
    Thanked: 1160

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    3 x 80 watt glass panels get quit heavy lately, so I changed it to 3x 80 watt semi flexible panels, fitted/framed in a canvas bag. A bit cheaper.
    Last edited by JLK; 2021/06/14 at 11:14 AM.
    Johan Kriel

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JLK For This Useful Post:


  26. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,444
    Thanked: 8423

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Hahahahaha.

    But this is kinda my point.

    With a little bit of planning, (as with everything in life) you could get your setup (whatever this is) to perform just as well if not better than to just go the expensive route.

    The perceived (to me at least) pros is not worth the cost which can be eliminated with a well designed thought out product/setup.
    mmmm, it's not about expensive - more pricey isn't automatically more expensive. If something meets MY use case better and it costs more that doesn't make it more expensive.

    Something that doesn't meet my needs is very expensive, no matter what it costs. Especially if I have to change courses midway, sell it, and then buy the right tool for the job.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD - PROFFESIONAL DUMBASS
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  27. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  28. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Polokwane
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanked: 930

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    I used to lug around two set, 2 x 120w and 2 x 150w, "fixed or solid" panels!

    I now use 2 x 200w foldable panels.

    There is a huge difference between the two setups and its well worth the money spend!

    No comparison as far as weight, size and easy of use is concerned.

    Foldable panels are monocrystalline which helps a lot!


    .
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2021/06/14 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Jeep Grand Cherokee 2002 4.7 V8
    Conqueror Courage 2016

  29. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DC Polokwane For This Useful Post:


  30. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    mmmm, it's not about expensive - more pricey isn't automatically more expensive. If something meets MY use case better and it costs more that doesn't make it more expensive.

    Something that doesn't meet my needs is very expensive, no matter what it costs. Especially if I have to change courses midway, sell it, and then buy the right tool for the job.
    Agreed 100%

    Therefore, do proper planning and research and get what suit your needs.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  31. The Following User Says Thank You to Die SwartKat For This Useful Post:


  32. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lonehill
    Age
    48
    Posts
    6,074
    Thanked: 676

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Not in my mind.

    - Damage on a roof, its because you drive like a mampara or probably where you shouldn't and failing to keep a proper lookout

    So the discussion has gone from "only for the super rich" and pricing to being less practical.



    Sometimes traveling through thick bush it is unavoidable and its not about driving like a mampara or where you shouldnt. Goes back to what fluffy was saying, its about meeting requirements. We fortunately or unfortunately, dont always do the usual game park wide open road type trips. There are many tracks where driving through tunnels of trees and bushes is unavoidable.


    For me its not about the time it takes to unpack, although I am not sure which would be quicker to set up in the sun. Its about ease of transport and storage more than anything else. Mine dont come with canvas bags and are just held closed with velcro when folded. Where i use my panels there is generally no one else around for them to be stollen but yes you right they could be stollen. They are also packed away at night due to the possiblity of damage from wild animals, but I did the same with my glass panels too.
    At Mupungubwe we got back to the campsite after a game drive to find a family walking away from our campsite, with our chairs. When I confronted them they said, "oh sorry we though they had been left behind" ........ So Unfortunately nothing is safe in campsites where others are nearby.

    No one can convince me that glass panels are better than fleaxble panels for "overlanding" or off the tar travel, whether you are towing or not and whether mounted to a roof or not if they are required to be moved in any way - (carried and placed in the sun, packed away or remounted).
    Last edited by BruceT; 2021/06/15 at 09:04 AM.
    BruceT
    ZS6EBT

    Defender 130 Puma

  33. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceT For This Useful Post:


  34. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
    So the discussion has gone from "only for the super rich" and pricing to being less practical.



    Sometimes traveling through thick bush it is unavoidable and its not about driving like a mampara or where you shouldnt. Goes back to what fluffy was saying, its about meeting requirements. We fortunately or unfortunately, dont always do the usual game park wide open road type trips. There are many tracks where driving through tunnels of trees and bushes is unavoidable.


    For me its not about the time it takes to unpack, although I am not sure which would be quicker to set up in the sun. Its about ease of transport and storage more than anything else. Mine dont come with canvas bags and are just held closed with velcro when folded. Where i use my panels there is generally no one else around for them to be stollen but yes you right they could be stollen. They are also packed away at night due to the possiblity of damage from wild animals, but I did the same with my glass panels too.
    At Mupungubwe we got back to the campsite after a game drive to find a family walking away from our campsite, with our chairs. When I confronted them they said, "oh sorry we though they had been left behind" ........ So Unfortunately nothing is safe in campsites where others are nearby.

    No one can convince me that glass panels are better than fleaxble panels for "overlanding" or off the tar travel, whether you are towing or not and whether mounted to a roof or not if they are required to be moved in any way - (carried and placed in the sun, packed away or remounted).
    And here I am, not as set in my ways and always open enough to be convinced.

    I get what you're saying, I just think I have achieved the same as you for a fraction of the price you paid. As long as you're willing to admit that glass panels are not the gloom and doom you make them out to be, we are on the same page.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  35. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Skelmbos
    Posts
    307
    Thanked: 111

    Default Re: Solar blankets - anyone using them

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post

    Below is a picture of mine (150w each) while being used in Blouberg Nature Reserve in December. Note how cloudy it was. The sun moved across the the front of the landy, so I had to move them twice a day (when we didnt drive) and this would mean I would have 100% battery capacity by the time the sun went down. So we never had to worry about power or conserving it. I havent had them blow over yet, but there is a strap on the leg that I suppose you could peg or put a rock on if you were concerned about that. I have also dropped them with no damage.

    Hi Bruce

    A bit off-topic question but I had to ask. I see you have these yellow blocks under your rear wheels?
    What is the idea behind it? To prevent it from rolling forward/backwards?

    Just curious,
    Thanks.

  36. The Following User Says Thank You to GroenHoender For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •