RV Solar Panel Secrets Revealed

Most RVs are powered by a power unit that is designed to consume a lot of electricity. Also, generator is seldom useful in the rugged outdoor environment. Therefore, experts believe that the future of RV electric consumption lies in alternate energy.

RV solar panel kits produce energy from the sun. The kit is connected to the RV battery. These kits usually come with easy to install solar panel, regulator, cable, and battery clamps (See some Sunforce solar chargers here). During the day, solar panels conserve energy by storing the energy in their cells. The conserved energy can be used 24 hours to produce electric power.

RV solar panel kits allow its owner to consume electricity whenever needed. They don’t have to rely on an electricity

Photo by Serolynne

source like generators and on-site electric outlets.

To determine how much power is needed for your RV, first calculate total amps used by appliances. Usually, light bulbs, DVD player, Tv, laptop, satellite, water pump, and fan consume 2 to 4 ampere. In contrast, most energy is consumed by kitchen appliances. For example, a microwave can consume 100 ampere per hour.

Similarly, toaster and coffee maker can use 60 ampere per hour. Once you have figured out all energy consuming appliances, it is time to multiply total ampere hours per day with the number of days in a week. For example, weekend camping hours can be calculated by multiplying total ampere hours by two.

The goal of all solar panels is to generate the maximum amount of electricity. The industry standard for PV panel ratings is defined by the amount of amperes produced at 77 degree Fahrenheit. Since solar panels are rated in watts, you want to look for the specifications indicating the number of watts produced at 77 degree Fahrenheit. If measured, in real life, a panel is most likely to produce 10% to 15% less energy. A good solar panel with good wattage is the one that meets the industry standard and waste less energy in real life.

In addition to a solar panel, the kit may include charge controller, cable connectors, mounting clamps, capacity meter and a wiring diagram.

While you can install small solar power kits yourself, expert help is recommended to install larger solar panels. Panel sizes are usually available from 60 watts to 260 watts. Most solar power panels can be clamped on the roof of your RV. Nowadays, powerful suction cups are also available to attach these panels.

Most RVs use 6 volts or 12 volts batteries. These batteries can be wired either in parallel or in series to get a 12 volt output. For example, two 6 volts batteries wired in series can provide a total of 220 amp hours. The positive from one battery is connected to the negative of other battery. The free ends are used to connect to RV. For batteries wired in parallel, the positive will connect to the positive and the negative will connect to the negative. The free cable at each end will connect to the corresponding alternate ends of RV.

Q & A

  • What Will a 220 Watt Solar RV Kit Run? – A 220 watt solar kit can run lights, LCD Tv, fan, and a laptop computer.
  • Will a 60 watt solar panel charge a rv battery? – Yes, 60 watt solar kit can charge the battery.
  • Can solar panel run a rv air conditioner? – No, it is not cost effective to run an air-conditioner. Instead of using an AC, some people use evaporative coolers and similar methods.
  • How much solar power do you need to run lights in a rv? – A 220 watt solar kit is enough to lights most bulbs. Usually, a much smaller kit can do the job effectively.

Dr. Fortie is a freelance writer with experiences in small business renewable energy solutions. He writes for blogs and contribute forum threads to help people go solar.

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