RV solar panels are part of RV (Recreational Vehicle) systems and refer do different things such cabin systems or small boats. They come in large varieties and can start from small 5 watt mechanisms that can constantly charge your battery during some of your trips or even during the whole winter. Larger scale models can help you function on a daily basis and can reach 900 watts.
This type of RV solar panel based structure comes with an inverter and a rather large battery bank. Almost all solar panels are built the withstand water both salty and normal. Manufacturers usually provide their products with 20 or 25 year warranties. Besides RV solar kits, some people use wind generators. This solution is better suited for those running sailboats and remote homes that stay parked longer than usual.
RV Solar Panels Basics
The vast majority of RVs including their accessories are pushed into motion by 12 volts DC. All the mechanisms incorporated in the RV have no problem running on batteries or solar panels. A good way to reduce the usual power requirements which in turn will lower the number of solar panels and the amount of money spent is to switch to DC fluorescents. Some 12 volt fluorescent illuminating elements will draw less than 33% energy out of the RV solar panels.
How Many Panels to Use?
An accurate estimate is done depending on the needs of every RV. Some may use large amounts of power and others can be quite cheap to run. It you plan on letting electricity flow through a small TV and a few fluorescent lights than all you need is around about 100 watts.
Combine the panels with a properly made heavy duty deep cycle battery and all things will work perfectly. For more intense use that is usually associated with microwaves, coffee makers, AC appliances or vacuum cleaners an inverter will necessitate 400 watts of RV solar panels.
Hybrid RV System
This implies using RV solar panels and a small generator. This type of approach is very popular because it distributes energy depending on the amount of power needed. The solar panels come in when turning on lights that work most of the time. An average 800 watt inverter will keep TV’s and computers on without any problem whatsoever. A generator is not that cheap to run on a regular basis and can be very annoying especially for the neighbors because of the sound it produces.
The hybrid system will necessitate a few hours a week of generator power and can also recharge its batteries by using the inverter. The concept behind hybrid systems refers to other combinations as well such as wind generators and solar panels. This is mainly seen on boats.
RV Solar Battery Charger
Most manufacturers create their convertors in such a way that they will charge the batteries just as two panels would do. Take great care with this process because you can risk burning your batteries because of the constant high voltage.