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Okay, I read it all, Greg. Really cool! Looks like the solar collectors will power lights and laptops. Maybe even your cell phone and any other wireless device.

Do you think this is applicable to our business? or do you even think it is available for individual users? 

Connie, I find it interesting even thought it is a start to something that is most likely to grow and improve. When it gets to the point of being able to power some LED lights I feel it would really take off in popularity. Technology moves so quickly.

That company is the one that built one of the tents I have and it has been an excellent tent.

This might be some good "Food For Thought" for Trimline to look into also

I already carry a solar panel that I have set up to charge my batteries and theyrefore my LED lights.
However I'm all for the idea let us see how it develops.
Many factors to consider. Are the output of the solar panels adequate to power up the lighting in the tent. If it is just enough power to charge cell phone? Any of us can carry a little battery pack for that. What about the quality of the tent that these panels are designed with? Are they up to the caliber of a Trimline or crafthut?

The tent is a Vitabri. Mine has a vinyl top and sides and has stood up to a number of very intense rainstorms without leaking or puddling. It is about as good as it gets for a quality pop up.

I see numerous questions to be answered in regards to solar panels in the top... will it fold up as easily as the regular tent? Power provided by panels? etc. I'm sure it will be a while before panel technology will power enough lights and what about overcast and rainy days? Waiting to see it evolve but it is a good idea

Has anyone checked prices?

Solar panels alone will not function for the needs.

These solar panel are Photovoltaic. They convert the photons in daylight into electricity.

However the flow of electricity is not stable. Nor will they be producing electricity at the times when you most need it ie. Night or cloudy days. If you were to try and run a laptop, directly from solar panels, without regulating / stabilizing the output of the panels, you would ruin the laptop or many other devices used. Low voltage can be more damaging to electronics than high voltage.

Therefore you also need a storage unit to gather the electricity and hold it for proper distribution. = A battery system. Deep cycle NOT a starting type. About said battery, calculate the loads you are planning on using and get one that has a high enough AH (amphour) rating, so it can easily handle the draw. If it is a lead acid, AGM, GEL get one that has double the AH you need. This is due to damage inflicted upon the battery by continually drawing it down past 50%. Lithium batteries do not have as much problem with the drain down but are significantly more expensive.

To keep from destroying the battery system you need a charge controller.

Depending on the needs of the equipment you are trying to power up, you might need regulators and / or inverters.

Suggest all the equipment be UL listed and weather suitable.

Furthermore invest in very good equipment. The better quality equipment will be more efficient, thereby giving you more usable energy for your devices. Think of a car with a 300hp engine, that only gets 75 Nm (torque) to the wheels VS a car with a 200hp engine that gets 100Nm to the wheels.

Length, gauge, type of conductors, type of connectors for wiring etc, will greatly effect efficiency.

I'm not knocking the setup, just be cognizant of what is needed.

There are even paints that can be applied to create photovoltaic surfaces. Maybe you want to paint your Trimline?

I am all for using Solar panels. I belong to an organization that teaches and disseminates information on sustainable living.

Thanks kindly for taking the time to explain the solar panels. I'll stay with my chargers that are working well for now.

I didn't want to scare you away from Solar panels. They are great. Just wanted people to look at the entire picture.

As more people adapt to them, companies will invest in the technology resulting in lower prices, more efficiency, better quality, greater convieniences.

Wow!  Larry were you Mr. Wizard in a former life.  Maybe you're not old enough to know Mr. Wizard.  He was a Bill Nye guy long ago in another lifetime. Seriously, I'm impressed.  Thanks for sharing your insight, cause in my case, it for darned sure wouldn't happen coming from me!

Kathleen, Yup, I'm ancient enough to remember Mr. Wizard. I don't remember exactly what the chant was, he used, when sending the guy back to his place. That was the cartoon version. Then we also had Don Herbert.

Funny thing is... My dad was also called Mr. Wizard...he was a magician.

Seems like the cartoon chant was something about "Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks that do this is the happiest lot," said with a Germanish accent.  But I was really thinking about Don Herbert.  :)

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