As more RV owners go dry camping, off-grid power need increases.
One response to the problem is the retractable Xpanse solar awning, produced by Xponent Power.
Deployed at the push of a button, the solar awning provides shade while simultaneously generating more than 1,200 watts of solar power to run onboard appliances. The awning is compatible with most RVs and uses high-efficiency, rigid solar panels to enable extended off-grid adventures.
“Solar is the preferred source of power for RVs, but let’s face it, roof space is limited,” said Rohini Raghunathan, founder of Xponent Power. “You are lucky if you can fit two or three large panels on the typical RV roof. Our research indicates that RV owners overwhelmingly want to go boondocking more often but are fundamentally limited by access to power.”
Raghunathan said the solar awning will enable RV owners to generate enough power to go off-grid more often.
The new product is compatible with most electrical amenities used in traditional RV solar installations, including charge controllers, batteries and inverters. The awning can mount on either side of the vehicle and gives RV owners additional power without replacing an existing awning.
The solar array can integrate with existing rooftop installations.
Xponent reports the awning passed a series of tests to ensure its robustness. Additionally, the awning has built-in intelligence to detect adverse weather conditions and automatically retract itself to safety when needed.
“Traditional awnings that consist of a very large continuous piece of fabric experience huge wind uplift even at rather low wind speeds, very much like a sail,” said Raghunathan. “In contrast, the Xpanse solar awning has an innovative, patented design that creates small gaps between the solar panels when they are slightly retracted. These gaps allow wind to pass through, greatly reducing the wind uplift and making the awning intrinsically wind-tolerant.”
Xponent stated the company is in talks with automotive and RV manufacturers to provide its solar awning as standard OEM equipment.
“Xpanse is just the first step to creating more mobility-focused solar solutions,” Raghunathan said. “With this disruptive technology platform, we are transitioning solar from a traditionally static to a dynamic and intelligent system, thereby enabling widespread solar adoption in new markets.”