People are all charged up about solar but a company called Xponent Power may have one of the more unique solutions for solar in the RV industry – the Xpanse solar awning. It’s not just an awning powered by the sun, but an awning that captures the sun’s power and turns it into electricity for the RV to the tune of 1.2kW of solar power.
Where do the solar panels come in?
Instead of a fabric awning to provide shade near the camper, the Xpanse awning is made up of thin, high-efficiency solar panels that fold together in a zigzag fashion and hide inside a protective shell on the top of the RV when not in use. The awning is intended to replace the standard RV awning but with the benefit of being a gigantic solar resource when deployed.
This awning is wind-resistant
Xponent also claims that its awning is much more wind-resistant than the typical RV awning. It incorporates technology that somewhat retracts the awning when it senses wind so that it folds up just a bit and isn’t a gigantic sail on the side of the rig.
The solar panels are separated from each other to let air pass through and thus stay stable “even at relatively high wind speeds,” the company said in a statement. At higher speeds, the awning uses built-in sensors to detect wind speed and automatically retract when needed. The awning decides when to retract using what Xponent calls “extensive machine learning” that has helped the company identify situations when it is no longer safe to have the awning out.
How big is it? Will it fit my RV?
Xponent said it takes 30 seconds to extend or retract the awning. In standard form it is about 16 feet long. It can be mounted anywhere there is space available to mount two side arms 16 feet apart. Xponent is working on designing other sizes and ways of attaching it to an RV.
The Xpanse solar awning can be sized anywhere from three feet to 16 feet, according to the company.
“We are in the process of designing the next-generation product that will not require side arms and hence will be compatible with a broader base of models, including Sprinter-type vehicles,” claimed a company spokesperson.
Order today for a huge discount!
Xponent Power plans to charge $10,000 for this solar awning system, but initially is offering it for $7,500 for those who order by October 30. The company will start taking $100 refundable pre-order deposits today even though the first product deliveries won’t happen until 2022.
If the panels are spaced doesn’t it leak in the rain?
Not a bad idea. But it folds up in a zig zag fashion. Meaning: you will need to ensure there is no wind blown debri like acorns or twigs on top that might falls with the folds prior to retracting.
very smart idea – can’t wait to see the ‘armless’ version.
The first to get ripped up in a wind storm “winds.”
This would make a great bow sail for a sailboat in calm conditions, if you had a small electric outboard motor.