- RVs are very popular nowadays, and anything that allows you to spend more time off the grid will definitely have audiences waiting to see it.
- The latest such accessory is the Xpanse solar awning, which can provide up to 1.2kW of solar energy to power a motorhome full of electrical appliances, while also shading the comfortable seats below.
- Xponent Power will charge you a pre-order deposit of US$100 and provide an awning at an initial price of US$7,500 before October 30, but subsequent buyers will pay US$10,000. It is expected to be delivered next year.
During the pandemic, there was an undeniable boom in recreational vehicle sales.according to RV Industry Association (RVIA), RV shipments to the United States in September 2021 just exceeded 55,000 units, an increase of 32.2% over the same month in 2020. September 2021 is also the strongest month. RVIA has tracked the highest sales of RVs, which helped the third quarter of 2021 (July to September) become the best-selling quarter of all time, with shipments of 152,370 RVs. In other words, if you are about to launch “the first commercial retractable motorhome solar awning”, now is the best time.
Xponent Power, which has now exited the stealth mode, launched the new Xpanse solar blinds in due course. Xpanse awnings are not fabric awnings that provide shade near the RV, but are composed of thin, high-efficiency solar panels that are folded in a zigzag shape and are hidden in a protective cover on the top of the RV when not in use . Xponent said that the retractable awning takes 30 seconds. The standard awning is about 16 feet long and can be installed wherever there is room for two remote side arms. Company founder Rohini Raghunathan said the awning is 16 feet high. Car and driverAnd added that Xponent is working on designing other sizes and ways to connect it to the RV.
“Xpanse solar awnings can vary in size from 3 feet to 16 feet,” Raghunathan said. “We are designing a next-generation product that does not require side arms, so it will be compatible with a wider model base, including Sprinter-type vehicles.”
The Xpanse canopy can provide up to 1.2kW of solar energy to run on-board equipment, and is compatible with the types of electrical components used in traditional RV solar installations (including charge controllers, batteries and inverters) and VR equipment (as the company said, such as refrigerators). , Electric lights and microwave ovens. It can be installed on either side of the motorhome, so if you like the existing awning but want extra power, that’s okay.
Xponent said that they designed Xpanse to avoid problems when the wind is blowing. The company said in a statement that, on the one hand, the solar panels are separated from each other to allow air to pass through, thereby maintaining stability “even at relatively high wind speeds.” At higher speeds, the awning uses a built-in sensor to sense the gain speed and automatically retract when needed. The awning uses what Xponent calls “extensive machine learning” to decide when to retract, which helps the company identify situations where extended awnings are no longer safe.
There are still some details undecided. For example, Raghunathan stated that Xponent is currently in discussions with manufacturing and assembly partners in the United States, but has not yet finalized the assembly location. “We are still negotiating with solar cell manufacturers on procurement matters, but have not yet made a final decision on the source of these batteries,” she said. More interestingly, the company stated that it is still negotiating with car and RV manufacturers to provide Xpanse as an option for pre-installation on new cars.
Xponent Power plans to charge USD 10,000 for this solar awning system, but initially offered a price of USD 7,500 for users who ordered before October 30. The company will begin charging a refundable pre-order deposit of $100 today, although the first batch of products will not be delivered until 2022.
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