If you have a motorhome, you might have given the installation of solar panels for your vehicle some thought. Motorhome solar panels may be a great investment depending on your way of life and energy usage, but are they the best choice for you?
Setting up a motorhome solar system is not as easy as pulling up into a campsite and connecting to the power outlet. There are some basic things you will need to know before looking at installing a solar power setup. You need to know your daily power requirements to calculate the power your panels need to generate. It’s also crucial to comprehend the fundamentals of solar panels before you start looking around for solar panels. This blog will give you an idea to help you decide if solar panels are the correct choice for your van.
Finding out how much solar power you require for your camping comfort is critical. Two factors enable you to calculate the number of solar panels required to generate the desired amount of electricity from solar energy. They are:
- How many watt-hours a day will you use? (Energy expended)
- How much power is supplied to your battery or batteries by your solar panels? (Stored energy)
What Are Solar Panels For Motorhomes?
Solar panels for motorhomes and RVs operate much the same way as solar panels for homes and businesses, but on a smaller, more portable scale. Solar panels capture sunlight after being installed on your vehicle and transform it into useful electricity. You can use this electricity to run your outlets, lights, and appliances. Without them, you would need to connect to another power source like a generator or a camp hook-up. Being reliant on renewable energy solar panels is convenient and environmentally friendly, making them an excellent alternative power source.
How To Get The Most Energy Out Of Solar Panels?
The most common criticisms of solar panels are that they are overpriced, unreliable, or incapable of producing enough electricity when needed. These are all valid if the wrong solar power system is bought. A trickle-charge solar power kit, for instance, won’t be able to replenish a battery that is constantly running huge electrical appliances throughout the year. This error becomes costly if a larger solar kit is required in its place.
Various Strategies To Maximise The Electricity Output
Placement Of The Panels:
Solar panels need strong, direct sunlight to generate the most electricity. This makes the next step simple. Place the panels outside; placing solar panels behind windows can limit their output by as much as 50%.
You can increase the power output by getting a better controller, reducing the length of your cable, and/or expanding the capacity of your batteries.
Take Your Time:
Do proper research to choose which system is ideal for your requirements. Here we try to help you with your decision concerning the type of panels to be used. The solar panel industry is growing quickly, and newer solar panels are coming out to boost your solar system’s efficiency and energy output.
Monocrystalline and polycrystalline are the two main players. These are the names of the processes used to create solar cells from various crystal formations. The panels themselves come in a variety of shapes and can be solid or flexible.
Polycrystals Solar Panels
- The solar cells have a blue hue and square edges. They are less effective than solar cells made of monocrystalline (15.5%).
- Slightly less costly than solar panels made of monocrystalline
Monocrystals Solar Panels
- Solar cells are spherical and appear almost black.
- More effective than solar panels made of polycrystalline (17.5%)
- Slightly more expensive than solar panels made of polycrystalline
The truth is that you can choose either polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar panels for your camper or RV. The size of solar panels, whether permanent or portable, is so small that there is hardly any distinction between the output from the two methods.
Solar Panel Kits
- Rigid solar panel kit
- Flexible solar panel kit
- Portable solar panel kit
Opportunities to depart from the conventional, rectangular glass panels are developing as solar panel technology becomes more and more effective. These inventive uses give rise to new possibilities for placing solar panels and the things they can power. Here we try to give you an idea of how to select the ideal panels for your lifestyle.
Since they can withstand all types of weather and may be erected to take advantage of the sun’s rays throughout the year, rigid panels are the industry standard. Since they are tried and trusted, you can go with them most of the time.
Flexible panels are lighter and can provide the same power while adapting to a wide range of surface shapes. They are slick and stylish and more expensive.
Your RV’s roof will be covered with solar panels that collect energy from the sun in solar cells and send it (via a charge controller) to your battery bank. You also have the option to use a mounting system that allows you to tilt your solar panels towards the sun or have them rest flat.
Portable solar kits or suitcase panels offer a high degree of portability while maintaining the strength of rigid panels. When in the field or away from your primary solar setup, you can use these panels as a stand-alone panel or add more charging capacity to your existing solar setup.
How To Select The Right System For Your Usage?
For an ideal system, everything must be balanced. Suppose solar panels don’t have enough batteries to store all the energy they generate. In that case, the excess power will be lost, and the excess power generated will be a waste of money, and you won’t get the electricity you anticipate. Conversely, if you do not have enough power generated for the batteries, that will leave you without enough power!
Your choice of one design over the other may be influenced by the panels’ shape, size, weight, and intended usage. Flexible panels should be your first option if you have an ultra-light trailer, are worried about increasing weight, or if your van or truck camper has a pop-up roof.
Stick with the tried-and-true rigid panels if you intend to drive your big rig on good roads and plan to travel all over Australia, and an additional 100 pounds aren’t much of an issue for your larger RV. For the added efficiency they offer, people who do set up for a season or boondock for extended periods could think about investing in angle brackets.
We are confident that your investment in solar panels will pay off in the freedom you will gain to live off the grid and without obtrusive gas generators, whether they be rigid, portable suitcase-style panels or flexible. At Complete RV, we specialise in installing all power-related accessories for campers and motorhomes. Motorhome solar panel installation is one of our most popular electrical installations. If you want to be completely self-reliant in terms of power, we can install a stand-alone solar and battery setup. Alternatively, we can install a suitable system that will keep you charged up for the duration of an overnight stay between parks. We also install inverters, which turn your 12-volt battery into 240 volts of usable mains power, much like you have at home. If you have any questions regarding the caravan solar system, get in touch with us at our website. Our experts will be happy to help.