Clean, green energy for your campervan or mobile home.

There is nothing better than the freedom of jumping in your campervan or motorhome and hitting the road. Here at Off Grid Engineering, we are able to give you the power you require to have all of your creature comforts like a cup of tea or charging your mobile phone. Solar PV technology for campervans and motorhomes has been gaining popularity over the last few years. There are plenty of great products like flexible solar and thin-film panels that are designed specifically for mobile solar solutions along with management systems that can perfectly manage all of your AC and DC power requirements. We provide a range of battery systems that can be charged via solar PV, your alternator, and be plugged into the mains at home or on a site. Here are some benefits of installing a new power system in your mobile home or campervan.

Wild camping

When you really want to get away from things, nothing beats wild camping. Don’t be tied to only camping at sites with electrical hook up by generating your own energy. We can assess how much power you would require and recommend the perfect Solar PV system for you.

Upgrade from Lead-acid to Lithium

Battery chemistry has developed rapidly over the last few years. Lithium technology has replaced lead acid as the battery of choice. Lithium can store more energy, has a longer lifespan, and takes up less space. Upgrade your existing lead-acid leisure battery to Lithium and have more power without taking up any more space or adding to the weight of your vehicle.

Monitoring and GPS

We can connect your system via an off-grid 4G device to the internet. This will enable you to monitor every aspect of your system from how much energy you are using to how much charge is in your batteries. At Off Grid Engineering we will monitor your system to pick up any potential issues such as your battery health for the lifetime of your system. You can also track your vehicle using GPS monitoring and set up a Geofence meaning you will get an email alert if your vehicle leaves a certain area.

Charge your leisure battery whilst driving

When you are driving to your camping spot or visiting attractions use the extra energy generated via your alternator to charge your leisure battery. We can install a Victron Buckboost, this will mean you will always arrive at your destination with plenty of power.

An AC supply

Run standard household appliances and charge your electronic devices by installing an inverter.

Multiple charging options

With our system you will be able to charge your leisure battery from either an electrical hook up on a campsite, from home, or via solar PV panel (providing you opt to install them) this means that worries about not having enough power is a thing of the past.

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How it works.

Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Usable capacity or depth of discharge

The usable capacity of a lead-acid battery is only 50% whereas a lithium batteries usable capacity is between 80% and 100%. This means you will need a larger lead-acid battery to satisfy your demand as opposed to lithium technology.

Weight of battery

Lead Acid batteries are both larger in size and weight. A lead-acid battery weighs 4 times more than a lithium equivalent. This is important as space is at a premium in most campervans and motorhomes, and the heavier your vehicle the more you will spend in fuel.

Ability to cope with high peak demand

Lead-acid technology is designed to release a steady amount of power whereas power demand can vary dramatically in practice. When working at peak, the higher the level of discharge required, the less of the battery capacity becomes usable. For example, the usable capacity can drop to as low as just 8% if the demand is high. This means a lead-acid battery system would need to be substantially oversized to cover peak demand. Lithium, due to its different chemistry is relatively unaffected by a higher load and even at peak power capacity would only drop by a few percents at most.

Charge rate

With lead-acid coping better with discharging in low amounts the same also applies to the charge rate. Lead-acid performs better with a low continuous trickle charge. Charging lead-acid from a high rate generator will burn twice the amount of fuel as lithium. Lead-acid batteries will charge to around 80% relatively quickly (bear in mind only 50% is usable) but it then takes an agonisingly long time to fill the final 20%. When it comes to storing renewable energy from wind or solar PV you need to install around 30% more generation equipment with lead-acid as you do with lithium to cover the same load. Another aspect to take into account is that when not used lead-acid will start to discharge of its own accord as it is not very efficient at storing energy for a long period of time. By contrast, Lithium can quickly charge to 100% and can hold that power for as long as needed.

Cycle life

Lead-acid batteries can cycle from 500 – 1500 times generally whereas Lithium batteries can cycle over 6000 times and still retain two-thirds of their capacity. This means you have to replace lead-acid batteries far more often than lithium batteries.

Cost

Lead-acid is initially cheaper than lithium technology, there are factors to take into account, however. Firstly as the lifespan is shorter it will need to be replaced more often and it also costs more in fuel or require more generation installed to power. These extra expenses mitigate the smaller initial costs. If you are on a very tight budget to complete the project maybe it would be worth considering lead-acid initially, however, if you are looking for long term value for money lithium is the best choice.

Summary

To summarise, it is clear to see that Lithium technology has huge advantages compared to lead-acid. The only time when Lead-acid scores against lithium are for those on a tight budget where the initial costs need to be kept as low as possible. It must be understood, however, that in the long run due to lifespan and running costs it will be less economical. Within the marine and automotive sector, Lead-acid does have a place, like a starter motor for example. As both chemistries are very different, with the new Victron management system it is great to seamlessly link both technologies and get the best of both worlds giving you the most efficient system.

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Flexible solar panels.

Flexible solar panels are an excellent option for boats and barges. As the name suggests they are flexible which means they can easily be fitted without the extra weight of a frame. As they are super low profile there will be no wind resistance. They are also lightweight, a standard solar panel weighs around 20kg whilst a standard flexible panel weighs in at less than 3kg.

Flexible solar panels.

Flexible solar panels are an excellent option for boats and barges. As the name suggests they are flexible which means they can easily be fitted without the extra weight of a frame. As they are super low profile there will be no wind resistance. They are also lightweight, a standard solar panel weighs around 20kg whilst a standard flexible panel weighs in at less than 3kg.

Find out which products we would recommend for your project.

Why Off Grid Engineering is the preferred choice.

Here at Off Grid Engineering we feel our knowledge, experience & passion in all things off-grid sets us apart from our competition. Here are the reasons why we are the number one choice for all Off-grid solar PV projects:

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors, we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have uninterrupted power supply when you need it. The installation electrical systems are best left to highly-skilled, specialist engineers. All of our work will be registered with Napit and is carried out to UK wiring regs (BS7671)

2

Bespoke System

Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to powering their campervan or motorhome. We will design and install the perfect solution for you.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever-changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows.

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors, we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have uninterrupted power supply when you need it. The installation electrical systems are best left to highly-skilled, specialist engineers. All of our work will be registered with Napit and is carried out to UK wiring regs (BS7671)

2

Bespoke System

Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to powering their campervan or motorhome. We will design and install the perfect solution for you.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever-changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on your systems performance both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

GPS tracking and Geofencing

If you rent out your vehicle you can keep a close eye on where your vehicle is at all times using our GPS tracking system. You can also set up a Geofence alert so if your vehicle leaves a certain area that you have selected, you will receive an email alert.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on your systems performance both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

GPS tracking and Geofencing

If you rent out your vehicle you can keep a close eye on where your vehicle is at all times using our GPS tracking system. You can also set up a Geofence alert so if your vehicle leaves a certain area that you have selected, you will receive an email alert.

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