Off Grid Solar Power – How to Calculate Your Needs

Are you trying to figure out how much power you’ll need from an off-grid solar power system? This video shows you how to calculate your energy needs to figure out exactly how many watts you need from your panels, what size of inverter and battery you should buy.

Solar Sizing Calculator Link:

You can also check out how we installed our 300 Watt system in this video:
and this blog post:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
Instagram: @exploringalternatives

Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.

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26 Replies to “Off Grid Solar Power – How to Calculate Your Needs”

  1. 3rd

    Man thank you SO MUCH for making this video…This is by FAR the most helpful video I've ever watched on anything camper van/van life related and I've been researching for about a year. Your explanations were easy to follow incredibly thorough and VERY WELL thought out. You just gave me an incredible boost in confidence. I hope I can find a good deal on a van soon as financially I'm not able to quite afford what I'd need. I'm 6'4 and need to be able to stand in the van and I'm not sure it's gonna be possible based on most of what I've seen so far. But man this was great 👌🏽

  2. Paolo Martini

    Thanks. The quality of the DC/AC converter can be important because of the output wave.Especially for some devices.

  3. Tad Eley

    I'm glad you added that bit about the inverter, I hadn't thought of that before. Thanks for the links as well.

  4. Finding Mark In Maine

    Great vid, makes it easy for a solar novice like myself to begin and determine what I need for a setup (currently in vehicle shopping mode for conversion to camper)

  5. ferkemall

    Yes good straight forward vid when the power cuts come i will know how to work it all out thanks for your time on this ! /UK

  6. Neder Rosenberg

    These electronics need almost nothing, let's talk about powering up a house, running electric heaters, electric stoves, electric eater heaters, your electronics can be charged from your lighter, your camper can do that for a week without starting it, what the he'll are you gonna gain by solar power for these little nothings, how about 5000w system?

  7. Mr.Poseidon

    Gotta remember. Before you start ask yourself if your going to be parking in the shade or out in the hot sun? Shade means NOT good for solar. If your panels mounted on your roof of rig and planning on staying in the shade then you won’t get the full potential of power input. Myself I’m a fisherman so in the sun is all I live with unless a cloudy day :). No trees on the beach ☹️ So roof top installation is awesome for that. If your not planning on installing panels on roof of your rig then a long cord about 25 to 50 feet should do the trick to run from your solar panels to your generator. Also solar panels should always face the sun and tilt toward it for full potential and your set! So remember ask yourself are you in the shade or in the sun. Good luck to all 😁

  8. cyberpine

    Anybody know why rigid panels have the space/ventilation requirement and flexible panels do not? Ive had this idea of using a rigid panel as the lid on custom vent opening on my van, but it would require the panel sit flush on weather stripping and the bottom would be visible from inside the van.. is the rigid panel emitting something? can I insulate and cover the bottom of a rigid panel? If the answer is panels get very hot, so does my roof. I have to wonder if the gap requirement is more about rigid panels not being as sealed and concerns with water pooling and shorts.

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