RV solar panels or Recreational Vehicle solar panels are an ideal way to provide required electricity remotely for your various outdoor adventures.
RV Solar Panels allow adventure seekers to enjoy camping for extended periods of time without the need to look for electrical mains to charge any batteries or without the worry that they are polluting their environment using non green energy sources.
RV Solar Panels – Powering Up Your Energy Needs
Solar power remains a source of green energy that is reliable as long as there is sufficient light for recharging, is completely silent and maintenance free, and is easily sized to meet the unique needs of each recreational vehicle. RV Solar Panels normally come with a charge controller installed, deep cycle current batteries, mounting brackets for the solar panel and any necessary wiring.
To determine the number of solar panels required on a recreational vehicle, it is important to understand the number of variables that you should consider when making your choice. These include how you use power in your RV and the kind of equipment that you will be connecting to the RV. Normally a 100 watts of solar power is a good estimate for users who have 50% battery depletion daily. A different calculation can be done when the mode of charging the battery is trickle charging.
Solar Panels normally charge a battery using the power of the sun. How quickly the batter can be recharged depends on the number of panels installed. However, standard practice is for an 18volt RV solar panel to charge a 12v battery. In such a case, one panel can effectively recharge the battery in modest sunlight.
Solar panels are normally made from photovoltaic cells that are useful in converting light from the sun that falls on them into electrical energy. Solar panels are normally rated in watts of output where the wattage rating is calculated by multiplying the voltage and the amperage of the panel.
Solar Panels can power anything that you can comfortably connect to the battery system through the inverter. This device usually converts the 12volt DC current from the battery to AC current at 110v that your appliances are made to operate with. There are three basic types of photovoltaic solar panels commercially available.
These are the amorphous silicon type, the mono crystalline silicon type and the polycrystalline silicon type. The mono crystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar panels are usually the most common types. A solar panel is made of solar cells connected together or welded together either in parallel to give higher currents or in series to give higher voltage.
When shopping for Solar Panels, you may have heard of the roof top solar systems and portable solar systems. These two types of panels provide different conveniences to their users. The rooftop RV solar system is usually a panel that is mounted onto an RV permanently. This type of solar panel can either be mounted flat on the roof of another RV or using tilt-up brackets.
When tilt up brackets are used, the solar panels can yield up to 20 to 30% more energy as long as the solar panel is angled correctly. However, the RV should not be packed in the shade as this will hinder he solar system from effectively generating electricity from the sun. The problem of mounting Solar Panels on the roof of recreational vehicle sis that many holes must be drilled on the roof to support the
On the other hand, portable RV Solar panels usually come with everything that is needed to charge the battery bank, and allow the person relying on the panels for electricity to place them in the sun while you pack your recreational vehicle some distance away, preferably in the shade. The portable solar panels come with a long cable that connects the panel to the RV.
An advantage with this approach is that the solar panels can be moved or adjusted all through the day with the movement of the sun so that they produce the maximum solar conversion to energy without the need to get on top of the RV and adjust the panels.
Additionally, since not drilling is required to keep the RV solar panels on the rooftop, little cost is incurred in terms of roof maintenance. Additionally, if you change your recreation vehicle, you can take your beloved solar panels with you. Panels and these holes mean that the vehicles roof should be maintained regularly to prevent leaks from occurring.
The solar cells are usually of a voltage rating of 0.5v. The means that two solar cells connected in series produce 1 volt. Some easily available RV Solar panels are usually 100 watt, 40 cell panels that produce roughly 20,8v that charge a 12v deep cycle battery. Such a solar panel adequately compensates for low intensity sunlight, cell temperature and the angle of sunlight when charging the 12v battery.
There probably more than 240 solar panel manufacturers in the world. Although there are many high quality panels produced, some may not meet the standard of quality that is required internationally. To determine whether you are making the right choice when purchasing a solar panel, you need to consider some important factors.
Check the efficiency of the solar panel. High efficiency solar panels should be chosen. These are normally 16% efficient or higher and are either mono crystalline, polycrystalline of multi crystalline. Some vendors may entice you with the latest solar panel developed known as the Thin Film.
Although it may be attractive to be in sync with the latest technology, this technology only achieves 5 to 7% efficiency, and although it works well, requires at least 4 times more surface area of the material to absorb the same amount of solar light that a crystalline panel would require. Unfortunately with the limited space on RV rooftops, this technology may not be applicable for recreational vehicles.
The next consideration that anyone in the market for solar panels should consider is that the panel is made with A-grade solar cells. The solar cells industry is diverse and has many specialized manufacturers allowing some to create solar cells while others assemble the final panels using these cells. B-grade solar cells are usually the rejects and are easy to spot. Although some companies make solar panels from B grade solar cells and although they work well, you should not pay a premium for B-grade cells, but only A-grade cells.
Many consumers are usually deceived when the see the initials CE on a solar panels and mistake it to mean that the product that bears the stamp has been certified to be of high quality. CE is not a measure of quality, and hence other quality tests should be carried out to ensure that the solar panels have an electric safety rating. The TUV or UL test are some of the tests that show the solar panels to be of high quality.
To lower the weight and cost of materials of construction of the RV Solar panels, some manufacturers use very thin aluminum frames and fewer layers of the substrate or template. Such solar panels should not be chosen especially when their main use will be restricted to mobile applications. This is because they would not last long when used this way.
One important component that can ensure the deep cycle batteries that are connected to your RV Solar Panels last long is the charge controller. This device prevents the solar panels from overcharging the batteries and use two main approaches to accomplish this, namely the series regulation and the shunt regulation. The shunt based controller stops the panels from overcharging the solar cells by short circuiting the solar panels and hence interrupting the charging current momentarily.
A blocking diode is normally required and this is usually set up between the batteries and the switching element so that it prevents the batteries from short circuiting the solar panels. On the other hand the series regulating controller uses pulse width modulation to taper off the current charge once the batteries reach their preset voltage. Using the approach allows the battery to retain the highest state of charge without the need to switch the current off.
When considering whether to purchase flush mounted of tilt mounted RV Solar Panels, it is important to realize that tilt mounted panels produce 20-30% more energy when compared to flush mounted ones. Roof top tilt up brackets are usually available for the solar system and are usually handy during winter months when the users tilt their panels on the brackets at between 40 and 50 degrees for the highest energy production possible.
When choosing the right wire for your RV Solar Panels it is important to understand when the 18 volt solar panel is connected, a high current is generated that should be transmitted via s thick wire gauge. This is usually and important design consideration.
The higher the current you design your solar panel to generate, the thicker the wires you need. Solar applications should also be adequately insulated so that it is protected from UV light, oil and gas. The wires cost a premium but they last long and will not be destroyed when you are miles away from the nearest convenience store and in the dead of the night.
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