Use the calculator below to estimate what the best combination of solar panel and battery might be for your needs. For more information about solar power for camping, see our Solar Power Guide
Power usage varies hugely between different models and manufacturers, so please check the appliances you are going to use. But as a general guide:
A small (30L) modern efficient fridge might average 1.5A. A medium (50L) modern efficient fridge might average 2.5-3A. Older, larger and inefficient fridges can go as high as 10A. If you use your fridge to cool things down (not just keep cool things cool), or use it in very hot weather, then these values can go up considerably.
Most lights designed for camping will use between 0.2A and 1A depending on their size and power.
USB chargers for phones and tablets will typically draw either 1A or 2A depending on what charger you are using. Phone batteries range from about 1.5-3Ah in total; iPads and other tablets from 7-11Ah in total. So if you are planning a high tech holiday don’t forgot to factor this in.
A normal car stereo will probably average 5-10A, maybe a bit more if you crank it up. If you have a high powered amplifier, though, that figure can go through the roof so do check your equipment.
12v fans generally use only 0.5A or less.
A 12v TV will typically draw about 5A.
A 12v hairdryer might draw 10A. (Warning using a 240v one through an inverter will draw 100-200A and kill your battery very quickly!)
A 12v oven runs 6-10A.
12v kettles use about 18A and take half an hour to boil – use the stove!
50-60A – very very draining on your battery.
4-6A but only when running the water.
- Ideally you want to keep your daily power deficit to zero
- Ideally you want your battery charge at the end of the night to stay above 50% to keep it healthy
- If you do want to run on a daily power deficit, the battery % milestones will tell you on which night you should expect your battery charge to drop below that value.