Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coolest camping gift ever for father's day if he likes to camp and catch NASCAR from his tent

This is the 2 kilowatt flexible fabric photo-voltaic array that has to be one of the coolest solar gadgets in field shelters ever.  This thing is made by OK Solar Power Film and is sold to the military with a pretty hefty price tag, but not as much as you might think if you combine some ingenuity and purchase the thin film direct from the manufacturer.  There are a lot of pretty cool DIY solar PV thin film videos on You Tube which show how to make a solar panel with multiple cells soldered together by the tabs from one cell to the next.  That film is housed under glass and aluminum frames in your typical rectangular panel because of the practical implication and fragility of the PV film if not housed in something that keeps it from easily tearing.  This configuration looks pretty sturdy for the PV film sewn into the flexible cover.  I would think anyone could modify this with a standard tarp and apply the same principle of a DIY panel using clear (package tape) on the back side of the PV film cells to stabilize them, and a clear dimpled film or tape (which can better catch the light) for the top to provide a lighter than glass design application for the PV panel that goes on this configuration.   Clear mylar film can be purchased relatively cheaply from a Dupont supplier if you wanted to go to the trouble of manufacturing your own version of this PV tarp cover for your field shelter.  But why go to all that trouble making one for your custom needs, when OKSolar will ship you one like this in about 7 weeks of your order.  Their standard size is 22x40 feet which generates 2 kilowatts enough to power almost any modern low voltage amenity you would need or take in the field to stay in touch, powering your electronics.  This thing isn't light enough to pack this on your back, it comes in at a pretty hefty 1560 lbs of weight with all the poles and everything you see, but easily vehicle packed.  If you'd like a quote for OKSolar to build one for you, join our blog or click on this link to request a quote.

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