Are you tired of paying for full hookups at a RV park? Do you want to be free to camp where you want? To be off grid there are upgrades you can make to your RV that give you the freedom to travel and not depend on campgrounds.
Here we have articles designed to help you understand your RV Solar System.
A BASIC UNDERSTANDING ABOUT RV SOLAR
RV solar power systems work by harnessing energy from the sun and converting it into usable electricity that can power the appliances and systems in your RV. These systems typically consist of solar panels, batteries, and a charge controller.
The first component of an RV solar power system is the solar panels themselves. These panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that are able to convert sunlight into electricity. The amount of electricity that a solar panel can generate depends on a number of factors, including the size of the panel, the quality of the cells, and the amount of sunlight that the panel is exposed to.
Most RV solar power systems use polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar panels. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive than monocrystalline panels, but they are also less efficient. Monocrystalline panels are more expensive, but they are also more efficient and can generate more electricity in the same amount of space.
Lead Acid / Deep Cycle / AGM Batteries
The second component of an RV solar power system is the battery bank. This is where the electricity generated by the solar panels is stored for later use. The size of the battery bank depends on a number of factors, including how much electricity you need, how long you want to be able to go without recharging, and how much space you have available for the batteries.
Most RV solar power systems use deep cycle batteries, which are designed to be discharged and recharged repeatedly. These batteries are able to provide a steady supply of electricity over a long period of time, making them ideal for use in an RV. A downside to deep cycle batteries and AGM batteries is that they can only be discharged to 50%. For example, if you have a 100ah (Amp Hour) deep cycle / lead acid battery, you can only use 50ah before it starts to damage the battery.
Lithium Ion (LiFeP04) Batteries
Lithium batteries are a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in electronic devices. They are known for their high energy density, which means they can store a lot of energy in a small size. Lithium batteries are also lightweight and have a low self-discharge rate, meaning they can hold their charge for a longer period of time. However, they can be more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries and require special handling and disposal procedures due to their chemical composition. Overall, lithium batteries are a popular choice for many portable devices due to their high performance and reliability. I prefer to use lithium on RV applications.
The third component of an RV solar power system is the charge controller. This device regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the battery bank. It ensures that the batteries are not overcharged, which can damage them, and that they are not undercharged, which can reduce their lifespan.
There are two types of charge controllers: PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). PWM charge controllers are less expensive, but they are also less efficient. MPPT charge controllers are more expensive, but they are also more efficient and can generate more electricity from the same amount of sunlight. Victron Energy makes high quality MPPT Controllers that can network with other Victron solar equipment.
How It Works
When sunlight hits the solar panels, the photovoltaic cells inside the panels convert the energy into direct current (DC) electricity. This electricity is then sent to the charge controller, which regulates the flow of electricity to the battery bank. The charge controller ensures that the batteries are charged to the appropriate level and that they are not overcharged.
When you need to use electricity in your RV, the electricity stored in the battery bank is sent to an inverter, which converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that can power the appliances and systems in your RV.
The Advantages of RV Solar Power
If you're considering taking your RV off the grid for an extended period of time, solar power is an excellent option to consider. Here are some of the benefits of using RV solar power:
One of the biggest advantages of RV solar power is that it can save you money over the long term. Once you've installed the solar panels and the necessary equipment, you'll be able to generate your own electricity for free. This means that you won't need to pay for hookups at RV parks or spend money on fuel for a generator.
Using RV solar power is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Unlike traditional power sources, which rely on fossil fuels, solar power is clean and renewable. By using solar power, you'll be doing your part to help protect the environment.
Freedom and Flexibility
Another advantage of RV solar power is the freedom and flexibility it provides. With solar power, you can go off the grid and still have access to electricity. This means that you can camp in remote locations without worrying about access to power.
In conclusion, RV solar power is a great option for those who want to save money, protect the environment, and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of off-grid camping. With the right equipment and a little bit of planning, you can enjoy all the benefits of RV solar power on your next camping trip.