Solar Module Placement

Hello again!

I just got some really great questions about the off-grid systems that the COMET will have, and I thought it would be a good time to share some of these infographics and design concepts I’ve been working on.

Where do you put three 185-watt solar modules on a 16 foot trailer with limited surface area?

Here are some of my ideas:


And how do you maximize solar collection when you are parked, and minimize drag when you are driving? See below:



I’ll post some of my rainwater collection system graphics later, which will explain how that whole thing works!

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6 thoughts on “Solar Module Placement

  1. pamela says:

    I really like that idea, making them raise and lower like that.
    since it’s going to be a DC system, you won’t have to bother with batteries will you?
    oh, here’s something I saw yesterday that I’m hoping to be able to buy for myself. Maybe you could use it too, if you’re out in the woods camping with your COMET.

    I’m not affiliated with those folks, just saw it and thought it would be great to have. For just in case. LOL

    • Hi Pamela, thanks for all the great questions. I will need a battery bank for rainy days, nights and back-up. Without the batteries, I would only have power when the sun was shining. My battery back up should last me about 5 consecutive days without sun before getting too low.
      I think I saw that little BioLite stove on another blog recently, and thought it was totally cool! and it can charge your cell phone! I also think that’s a great idea, for just in case camping situations 🙂 Let me know how it works if you end up getting one!

  2. Stephany says:

    Just a random thought, but have you considered trying a kickstarter project to help with funding?

    • Hi Stephany! I have thought about using a crowd-funding site like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to supplement the funding for the project, and I think that is a great idea. For now I have enough funds to get started (I’ve reached about 1/2 of my funding goal), so I’m going to put the Kickstarter on the backburner until I can get a video made and some more exposure. Thank you for the tip, and thanks for reading! I will let you know when I do launch the Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign 🙂 For now, interested parties can donate to the project via the DONATE page at the top of the website! Thank you!!

  3. Cowcharge says:

    Off-trailer solar panels are an invitation to thieves… Build not only tilting mounts, but rotating ones, so you don’t have to worry about parking orientation. If you really want maximum efficiency, build a solar-powered solar tracking system. And make fairings, so that when the panels are lowered they are more aerodynamic. And you know, you can build 60-watt panels yourself for less than $100…

    • Thanks for the comments, Cowcharge! I was going to do the tilting racking, but rotating racking is a GREAT idea and one I hadn’t really considered. Thank you for planting that little seed, now I’ll be devising tilting/rotating racking for the COMET! I have so much wattage as compared to my minimalistic usage that I wasn’t going to go the tracking route (less weight and electronics that way). I’m definitely building fairings for the roof panels, I’ve worked up a few ideas around that. I was looking into building my own modules, but then I found some panels, last years model but brand new, for super inexpensive, and decided to go with those. Have you built your own panels? I would love to hear about that!
      Thanks for the thoughtful comments and tips!

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