Jackery showcases a rooftop solar tent for overlanders

Jackery has unveiled a groundbreaking concept at CES, transforming the conventional rooftop tent into a solar-powered generator, providing an off-grid escape for vehicles. Although currently a prototype, Jackery plans to commence production around the end of 2024.

Read: Dexcom’s Stelo is a continuous glucose monitor for diabetics

The rooftop tent integrates retractable solar panels capable of generating up to 1000W when parked, facing south, and open. In the Western US, this could yield 4.96 kWh per day, while in the East, it’s estimated at 4 kWh. While resilience to wind is not specified in the concept displayed at CES, it remains a non-issue for an indoor prototype at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Presently, rooftop tents can incorporate solar panels from various manufacturers, including Jackery. However, these often feature lightweight, flexible panels to avoid straining the tent’s folding mechanism, leading to suboptimal solar conversion efficiency. Jackery’s design overcomes these limitations by covering the entire roof with solar cells, extending them outward, and integrating necessary wiring for the Jackery power station.

The CES concept tent is linked to a separate 1.26 kWh E1000 Plus power station, delivering 2000W of AC output. This capacity allows running a 1150W portable air conditioner for approximately an hour, a 60W car fridge for around 45 hours, or a 900W electric cooker for an hour. The E1000 Plus is rechargeable while driving (seven hours to full) or from a wall jack (1.7 hours). LFP expansion batteries can be added for up to 5 kWh of total energy storage.

Jackery has not disclosed its production partner, but the tent concept boasts features like a memory foam mattress, insulation, dimmable lighting with colour control, waterproof fabric with blackout windows, and an onboard charging module in the production version.

During an interview at CES, Jackery account manager Nimesh Patel revealed further details, showcasing the prototype, which slightly deviates from initial renders. The prototype features three solar panels instead of the five expandable panels depicted, with the shipping model incorporating a 400W panel at the centre of the 1000W array. The removable power station within the tent is “sleekly designed” to minimize interior space consumption while sleeping. Expansion kits and an AC inverter kit are also in development to enhance storage and enable rapid charging from the vehicle’s alternator while running. The tent aims to be lightweight, weighing less than 90 kg, catering to a variety of vehicle sizes, including sedans.