A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO OFF-GRID ENERGY FOR CAMPING
There is nothing more liberating than going for an extended outdoor camping trip. Not only is camping a great source of healing for the mind and body, but it is also a great way to get away from life’s trivialities. However, in our quest to find absolute peace and serenity by enjoying the flora and fauna of unexplored regions, we often about setting up a reliable source of energy. In this regard, off-grid energy is an excellent way of enjoying complete freedom from traditional systems.
Considering this, we are going to talk about why it is time for campers to switch to portable energy systems to save time and bank on some amazing features and advantages. First, it is important to understand the differences between off-grid energy and on-grid energy.
WHAT IS OFF-GRID ENERGY?
Off-grid energy or portable energy is the means of using electricity that is completely independent of any infrastructural requirement. Renewable power sources such as wind and solar power can generate energy to power a slew of necessary utilities such as charging your mobile devices, cooking food on the go and using the air conditioning unit.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OFF-GRID & ON-GRID ENERGY?
An on-grid power infrastructure, also known as a grid station, transforms solar energy into electricity using a series of utility grids connected to one central station. It is commonly used in commercial buildings and residential properties. On-grid energy is advantageous because users will not need an additional battery pack to store unused energy.
In essence, on-grid systems are reliable because they drive power from the initial grid system to meet users’ daily requirements. But a general drawback of this system is that it will stop working if the main utility system breaks down. And without any backup, there will be no electricity generated.
Off-grid power systems are the opposite of on-grid utility. They offer independent power production without the need for a grid system. For camping, outdoor adventures or simply living off the grid, this source of power can be exceptionally useful. With a portable battery to store off-grid energy, users will be able to independently consume power at their convenience.
Off-grid systems are quite prominently used by campers, travellers and, especially, by people who drive RVs and want to seamlessly use different appliances.
WHY USE OFF-GRID ENERGY FOR CAMPING
Portability and Convenience
One of the greatest strengths of off-grid energy is portability. This feature benefits campers and adventurers who prefer to spend time in the great outdoors. Its portability offers great convenience too as it is possible to access off-grid energy almost anywhere.
Investing in portable off-grid energy devices can help users save costs. Instead of spending money on electricity fees at campsites, the devices can help users harness renewable energy such as wind and solar at zero cost.
Another excellent advantage of portable off-grid energy is it can help the environment. Climate change is a serious issue, and this can be tackled by lowering the amount of carbon footprint generated. In addition to the clean nature of renewable energy, it is easier to manage and measure exactly how much energy one consumes against how much energy one actually needs.
TOP 3 WAYS TO OBTAIN OFF-GRID ENERGY FOR CAMPING
Portable Power Station
Campers can consider a portable power station as a giant power bank. They come in a variety of capacities ranging from 200W to 2,200W. An average portable power station is a size of a microwave. They are useful when it comes to supplying backup energy to power campsite appliances and electronics. Moreover, portable power stations store and utilise clean energy without any noise or emissions. Power stations also come with additional outlets such as USB ports and DC chargers.
One of the best things about a portable power station is that it can be carried around safely. Depending on the output of the portable power station, the product comes in different weight capacities ranging from 7 lbs (3.17kg) to 20 lbs (9 kg). As they are portable, it is easy to store them in a tent or at a camp base.
A portable power station can be used to charge multiple devices and run different appliances at once. When charged to their full capacity, portable power stations are excellent backup units.
While portable power stations are great for powering your appliances, charging them up to their full capacity may require a longer time, depending on the source of power.
Portable Solar Panel
Using portable solar panels is a great way to harness clean energy on the go, especially for frequent campers. It can be carried and stored in a car, tent or backpack.
They are simple to install, and depending on their size, a portable solar panel can deliver energy up to 300W. In many cases, it is good to be equipped with an inverter, to help ease the process of charging up devices using solar panels. Some benefits of portable solar panels include:
One of the best things about solar panels is their versatility. They are excellent to be used on the go, especially for camping trips. The setup only requires it to be positioned in a fixed and suitable location.
Solar panels are primarily used as a source of supplemental power, which means most campers use them to power their backup batteries to charge different appliances and mobile devices.
Quality solar panels are designed to be portable and are made with weather-resistant materials. Most panels are also water-resistant. In addition, the panels can be mounted on any roof or on higher grounds.
As with any power system, there are limitations. Some of these limitations for portable solar panels include:
One of the major drawbacks of solar panels is that they will not be able to provide constant energy. The effectiveness of solar panels will decrease in gloomy weather such as during heavy rainfall, snow or cloudy skies.
Adverse Environmental Impact
While solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy, some solar panels are manufactured with toxic materials and chemicals that are harmful to humans as well as the environment. Some lethal chemicals and substances commonly used to produce solar panels include silicon tetrachloride and cadmium.
Portable Wind Turbine
A portable wind turbine is an excellent way to harness clean and renewable wind energy. The blades are engineered to catch and convert wind energy into electrical energy.
The captured energy may be stored in a generator and then converted into electrical energy. A portable wind turbine is great for powering up electronics and appliances, especially in an outdoor setting. Some benefits include:
Source of Organic and Free Energy
Portable wind turbines harness clean and renewable energy, free from emissions. In addition, the wind is free, and it is an abundant source of energy. Even if it is a rainy day, it can still power up electrical appliances if there is wind.
Great for Outdoor Activities
Portable wind turbines come in a variety of sizes. The best products come with less maintenance and detailed instructions on how to quickly set up the product.
Portable wind turbines come with considerably fewer moving parts, which means users will not have to worry about the product breaking down haphazardly.
However, the one limitation of a portable wind turbine is its inconsistency.
While wind turbines work great in areas where the wind is plentiful, users may have to depend on another source of clean energy if there is not enough wind blowing to generate power.
THE BEST SOLUTION TO CLEAN AND PORTABLE OFF-GRID ENERGY
If you are looking for a way to stay connected conveniently and environmentally friendly while on a camping trip, consider using off-grid energy.
A portable wind turbine like Texenergy’s Infinite Air 5T can provide instant off-grid power on the go. In addition, it is suitable for camping as it is lightweight, with a weight of 429g. It can operate in extreme temperatures from as low as -20ºC to 40°C, and it is also water-resistant, making it one of the best gear to have on a camping trip.