Solar Energy & The Road Ahead – Part I

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Inergy Solar. This is all gear that we bought.

Should you have had the opportunity to travel to Greece, you could not help but notice the prominent presence of the solar panels — taking advantage of the country’s greatest asset, the sun.

This is what has been inspiring us for quite a while. Admittedly though, it is a lot more challenging to move forward with the solar energy implementation where we are at.

So we decided to fist use solar in a portable way which allows us to have it at hand whether at home, in case of an emergency outage (North Georgia is a storm favorite), or on the road during our upcoming long term travel.

We are planning on traveling across US come Spring, to explore, embrace, learn, play and make new friends.

A small parenthesis to give you a little background on our road trip arrangement… We have been debating for some time now about the style of trailer to use with our Ford F150, aluminum body. It is certainly true that we could do without a trailer — just use our rooftop pop-up tent along with the 5’10’ (not quite 6′) bed. After some thought, we decided that it is a lot easier to setup camp and be able to drive away if we have a trailer that can be parked and stay put. We need to mention that we have some favorite toys that we also like to bring along, such as surfboards, paddleboards, etc.

Even though the trailer’s design is finalized in our head (Tim’s in particular) it is still not physically present. However, during our endless search for the best trailer set up and portable solar energy, we found this amazing solar generator at a price that we could not pass. So we are now the proud owners of the Inergy Kodiak, along with 6 solar panels.

The company advertises it as versatile and powerful. And it is definitely true. The generator itself weighs only around 20 lbs and is relatively compact in size which makes it very easy to transport. Based on its 600 Watts Maximum Input, the Inergy Kodiak supports up to 6 of the rugged Solar Storm 100 panels. According to the company’s website, one panel will fully recharge the Kodiak in 15 – 17 hours of ideal sunlight. So we decided to go with 5 of the Solar Storm 100 panels for faster charge. Our advice — do not go cheap on the number of panels, it defeats the purpose of the solar power generator.

Each Solar Storm 100 weighs a little over 16 lbs and is rigid. So eventually, we will find a way to mount them on the trailer itself for ease of use.

During our road trip we may end up οn the beach and still want to use minimal energy. So we also got one of the ultra-lightweight, waterproof, shatterproof Predator 50 panels (only 4 lbs). We can connect that to the Kodiak, just by itself and leave the other 5 panels on the trailer.

Even though we have been talking about solar panels, it is always nice taking advantage of the grid while we can. The Inergy Kodiak comes with a standard AC charger but we chose to also get their specialty Quick Wall Charger which charges the Kodiak in about half the time, 5 hours as opposed to about 10-11.

And because we don’t know how frequently we will have access to wall outlets, we also purchased the 12V car charger which apparently is pretty efficient. It takes 5 hours to charge the Kodiak.

One of the most important things during an outage or while at the campsite is light. The Kodiak, true to its claim of versatility and power comes with a really cool accessory, rugged, high efficiency Basecamp LED lights. All you need to do is plug directly into the Kodiak for a 20 foot radius of light at just 6 Watts per hour. You can even chain up to 10 of them for expandability. We only got 3 of them. 🙂

Just to give you an idea of why you would want the Kodiak during a short term outage… According to the company, fully charged, it can power an 18 cu ft energy efficient refrigerator at 20% duty for 33 hours. Now granted, we have not tried it yet and 20% duty cycle is a very efficient refrigerator but even at 3/4 of this performance claim, it is a lot better than its competitors.

The Kodiak, when fully charged it can stay stored for about 3 months. The company recommends to turn it on every 3 months and top it off. Its overall life expectancy is 2000 cycles or 10 years, whichever one comes first. 🙂 As of right now, it sounds pretty good to us. 🙂

To learn more about the Kodiak solar generator, visit https://www.inergysolar.com/. If you have any questions for us, we would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading and sharing!


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