"Kyocera Powers our Camping Trips!"

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Many people install solar power on their homes and businesses to provide freedom from the yearly electricity rate increases by utility companies, in addition to the wonderful environmental benefits derived from electricity created by the clean, renewable energy of the sun.

When we asked our customers to send in their solar stories, Brad and Beth Story of Essex, Mass., shared an innovative use of Kyocera solar modules that gives them yet another type of freedom:

"We installed two Kyocera 135-watt panels on our home-built Sprinter camper van," Beth explained. "They allow us to have a small efficiency refrigerator, a domestic water pump, an electric flush toilet, a roof-top vent fan and 5 LED lights at night - and they charge a full battery within a few hours the next day." Beth went on to explain that even when it is not fully sunny, their wonderful Rogue solar controller helps maximize the power the panels send into the batteries. Kyocera solar panels help give this couple the freedom to roam wherever they want, without worrying about connecting to traditional camping services.

The Kyocera solar modules helped power the Story's month-long 2012 cross-country trip from Massachusetts to California and back, in addition to numerous smaller trips, including journeys on rough gravel roads that shook and jostled the modules constantly. Even under such extreme circumstances, the Storys have encountered no problems at all with their reliable Kyocera solar modules.

"They've taken us camping in Yosemite, Big Sur and at one of the most windy places we've ever been: the Vedauwoo Rocks in southern Wyoming,” Beth said.

The handy couple performed the build-out of their van themselves, after researching solar and 12 -volt systems on the internet.

"We wanted to keep the power draws low, so we went with all 12-volt, to avoid power losses to inverter use," Beth explained. "We bought the most efficient fridge we could find: a top-opening Engel that draws 1.8 amps; our Fantastic Fan in the roof and Thetford electric flush toilet are low draw; the LED lights draw almost nothing, and the water pump is the smallest on-demand Whale brand."

"We can also charge the battery bank with the van's alternator and a relay arrangement. If we drive every day, we have more power than we need," she said. "The solar panels come into play when we camp off-grid for two to five days; the panels charge up the batteries every day enough to keep us going: the water pump and toilet flush pump are used only for a few seconds at a time; the LED lights are on all evening, the fan only for about an hour on hot days -- making the fridge and charging our phones and laptop the only significant draws."

The couple found inspiration and information from various online forums about solar power on RV and yachts, including Northern Arizona Wind and Sun, the dealer that sold them their Kyocera solar panels and cables.

Kyocera modules help these happy campers power their exploration of our vast, beautiful nation while minimizing environmental impact even in the back-country, where grid-connected services are not available. This is an innovative application of Kyocera solar modules, and we’re delighted to share their story.

Beth sums it up: "We love our Kyocera solar panels!"