Solar power tents

Ideas and research into how solar power panels and batteries might be used in connection with tents

Tents with solar charging solutions

Text and sketches by Frits Ahlefeldt, Hiking.org 

Tents with solar power panels are getting still more and more common and I have started to do research into how the different concepts and solutions work and also to sketch up a few of my own ideas to how we might harvest the sun to both power our equipment and live in more sustainable ways – most of the working solutions come from heavy, pro use, where organisations build long standing base camps in remote locations

illustration of solar power tent ideas and innovation. by Frits Ahlefeldt
Different ideas and concepts for using solar panels on tents

I’ve seen a few different tents that claimed to be solar power tents, but most are more or less ordinary light-weight hiking solar panel clipped on somewhere. A panel that can be moved around, after pitching the tent. But a few other more radical solutions can also be seen. Solutions used by rescue workers, military or other field-working organisations or erected in emergency situations, in places where earthquakes, flooding or other things have left people on the edge of reality. Where soldiers, scientists or experts are working in remote locations, and still need electricity to power computers, light and cameras, among other things

Looking at these more permanent tent scenarios solar power often makes a lot more sense

Main types of solar powered tents:

So far I’ve seen a few concept solutions that might work used in lighter tents too:

The tube-based roll out solar panel solution

Solar panel in tube used as side of tent. Idea & sketch by Frits Ahlefeldt

Here’s an idea / concept where the solar panel is carried in a separate tube, that can be attached to a frame to build a tent, but also used alone.

The fabric solar power solution

Drawing of a tent with solar panel fabric outer tent and detachable inner part. illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt
Tent with solar power panels integrated in fabric, and a detachable light inner tent. Concept sketch and idea by Frits Ahlefeldt – outer part could be more permanent placed, and hikers could only carry their personal inner part between dedicated places with the outer part all ready in place in these locations. 

The flat panel solar power solution

Tunnel Tent with solar panel as upper part, attached or permanent idea. Drawing and concept by Frits Ahlefeldt
Solar power tunnel tent with upper part consisting of flat curved solar panel. Idea & sketch by Frits Ahlefeldt

Slightly flexible flat solar panels might be used and designed to be placed / spanning between the two poles as many tunnel tents use very similar designs and dimensions

More to come…

This page will be updated as I continue my research into how solar panels can be, and is used on tents for both light hiking tents and heavy durable basecamp tents

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Frits Ahlefeldt

Researching, writing & sketching up thoughts and ideas for a sustainable future, connecting thrive, trails, places and technology