This small system can run a Maxxairfan, a small DC Refridgerator, LED lights, Cellphones, Laptops, and a water pump for the kitchen, with energy left to spare.
What you’ll need for this system
- 200 Watt Solar Panel
- 10 AWG Solar Cable – 20′ of Solar Cable with MC4 connectors on one end
- Solar Disconnect – Main Switch to disconnect the Solar Array
- Solar Cable Entry Gland – Entry gland with MC4 connectors and wire already attached
- Solar Panel Glue on Mounts
- 100A LiFePo4 Battery – (Recommended Option)
- 100A LiFePo4 Battery – (Budget Option)
- 200A AGM Battery – (Budget Budget Option) Important– If using AGM batteries you’ll need twice the capacity since these batteries should not be discharged below 50% capacity.
- Main On/Off Switch
- Battery Monitor and Shunt
For everything else needed to complete your project, please visit our Installation Components Page. There you’ll find all of the fuses, breakers, busbars, wires and tools you’ll need for this project.
For detailed instructions on how to build and install this system, please read our Solar System Installation Guide.
This design uses a 500 Watt power inverter, feel free to use a smaller inverter or skip the inverter altogether if you don’t need to power A/C devices. If you wish to install a larger inverter, you’ll need to recalculate your cable and fuse sizes. Read our Guide to Wire Selection or Guide to Fuse Selection.
If you wish to plug in at a campground, you can install this 800 watt Inverter/Charger. An Inverter/Charger has a built-in battery charger and transfer switch, which allows you to plug into campground poles or normal household outlets.
A DC-DC charger is not necessary, if is nice to have and sometimes it’ll save the day when there’s not enough sunlight. A DC-DC Charger let’s you generate power on demand, whenever you’re engine is running. If you’re planning to do winter vanlife, or you want a backup charging method, do yourself a favor and install a DC-DC Charger.
Solar Charge Controller
We recommend installing the Victron 75|15 MPPT Solar Charge Controller for this solar system. You can however, choose any charge controller you want as long as it’s specifications meet or exceed the Victron 75|15.
This design uses two 200 Watt solar panels. These are “12 Volt” solar panels, which have a Voc of around 20 Volt, plus or minus a few volts. Check the back of your panels for a Voc rating, make sure it falls between 18 to 24 volt. Anything higher is not compatible with this design.
The solar panels are to be wired in series for this design. If you wish to wire them in parallel you’ll need to fuse each panel accordingly and recalculate solar cable sizes. Read more about When to Wire Solar Panels in Series or Parallel here.