Traveling in a bus and living off the grid is an ideal solution if you want to minimize your day-to-day living costs effectively. That feeling of being on the road with freedom and independence is like a dream until you start realizing that you are still incurring costs. So this is where the role of solar panels comes in, where you would be consuming solar energy and reducing your costs significantly.
Solar panels are used massively for various applications: doing a bus conversion, skoolie conversion, van, or a school bus conversion. It’s a perfect way of living off-grid and powering your bus with solar energy. Having solar panels for bus conversions means that you no longer have to charge onboard equipment. It also reduces your diesel consumption by up to 7%. Not only are you reducing your potential diesel costs, but you would also feel great about consuming solar energy and not depending on fuel consumption for battery charge.
The 4 Best Solar Panels for Bus Conversions
Now you may be worried about which solar panel is the most suitable option, but don’t worry, this article will give you the four best solar panels for bus conversions.
1. Bluetti SP Portable and Foldable 200watts Solar Panels
Bluetti’s 200watts solar panel is designed for bus conversions because of the portability feature that allows you to carry it on the go while being folded, so it doesn’t take up much space while powering your onboard equipment. It consists of monocrystalline solar cells that will offer you an energy conversion efficiency of up to 23.5%, which means that you don’t have to worry about having output difference because these solar cells can absorb sunlight even in cloudy weather and cold climates. Its build with ETFE material, making it durable, waterproof, and scratch-resistant for extensive use.
- Portable and foldable
- Monocrystalline solar cell energy conversion efficiency of 23.5%
- Compatible with any solar generator
- Made with ETFE material for long-lasting durability
- Waterproof and scratch-resistant
- Easy installation with adjustable kickstands
- The price point is much higher than what other brands are offering
2. All Powers 18 V 12V 50watts Bendable Sun Power Solar Panel
All Powers solar panel’s shape distinguishes it from other foldable solar panel options. The main benefit is that it can be curved to a 30 degrees arc and mounted or removed or any type of bus. This is very useful if the roof of your bus is slightly curved. Its solar cell efficiency is also at 23.5%, similar to monocrystalline solar cell efficiency of sunlight absorption.
This is not made of an aluminum frame, but it is more durable, water wind, and dust resistant. It can be stored in any cramped or crowded space without any damage being caused.
- The US-made solar cells, with an efficiency of 23.5%
- Water-resistant, windproof, dust-resistant with a durable frame.
- It can be curved to 30 degrees arc.
- 18 months warranty
- Designed for mobile applications.
- Only meant for people with low solar energy consumption
- Wiring us difficult to get the hang of
3. Topsolar Flexible, Bendable, Monocrystalline 100watts Solar Panel
The Topsolar 100Watt with 12 Volt Off-grid solar panel kit is perfect for charging batteries and onboard equipment in a bus. You won’t have to use any drilling machine during the installation process because it already has pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel. It is also a great starter kit if you’re unsure how much energy is consumed by the bus.
The good news is that not only does it have monocrystalline solar cells but, it can also withstand tough weather conditions, making it easy for you to travel by your bus on any road in any weather. It’s made with ETFE material and is long-lasting due to its rust-resistant frame and tempered glass surface.
- ETFE material and rust-resistant frame
- Waterproof and bendable
- Monocrystalline solar cells with high energy conversion
- Pre-drilled holes in the back making it easy to install
- The charge controller doesn’t connect properly with the cables provided
4. ACOPOWER 120watts Mono Lightweight Portable Solar Panel with Suitcase
ACOPOWER’s solar panel also comes with portability because it is divided into two pieces, each giving 60watts of power. Due to its easy setup, you can install it on your bus and take it on the go.
It’s also waterproof, which means that it won’t impact its durability even if the weather is rainy. The solar panel comes with an Anderson plug and MC-4 connectors, which means that you can easily install and connect them to the battery on your bus. Unlike many companies that offer 25A connectors, this panel comes with a 50A Anderson connector.
- Portable and lightweight
- Easy to install and set up
- Waterproof and durable
- Comes with a 50A Anderson connector
- Compatible with 8 types of batteries
- It can be extended to 240watts.
- Dust can have an impact on efficiency
What to Consider When Buying Solar Panel for Bus Conversion?
Portable solar panels with the addition of being bendable should be kept in mind if you buy one for your bus conversion. All buses do not have a flat roof, and with the lightweight feature, you won’t have difficulty mounting the solar panel onto the bus.
Having monocrystalline solar panels is also a great bonus because you can drive your bus in any weather without worrying about variation in power.
Our Final Thoughts
By now, we hope you’d have some idea of what the best solar panels for bus conversion are like. If you are wondering, what is our top pick? It would be All Powers 18 V 12V 50watts Bendable Sun Power Solar Panel. This panel not only has monocrystalline solar cells with 23% efficiency, but it also is bendable and portable. For buses, these are the most important features.