Perhaps the most important piece of the "green" road trip puzzle is the solar array you will find on the top of our roof.
We fit as many solar panels as possible onto the limited space provided by the roof of the
International ESTAR (2010).
A system comprised of 24, 330W 'sunpower' cell flexible solar panels.
They are all framed with aluminium and we're able to slide 2/3rds of the panels under the main roof panels to drive.
When they're deployed, we use a tracking system through a series of winches to tilt the array at a 45° angle to track the sun.
The weight of the array is around 500 pounds (230 Kgs).
We also have two satellite panels attached to the rear of the van that can be detached and manually manoeuvred to track the sun
The array on the roof is set up in 3s 6p configuration and each series is combined onto its own breaker inside the van which then feeds into its own charge controller.
The 2 satellite arrays are configured as 2s 1p and each have their own combiner and are also then fed into their own charge controller.
On paper, to charge the two batteries using perfect sunlight and using our tracking system it should take only 20 hours to charge. However in Alaska for instance, the sun rests quite low across the horizon and the daylight hours are less too, which slows down how fast this process takes. We'll see how we go once we hit the equator!