Adding Solar to your RV

Mar 06
2012

 

It’s easy to understand why people need solar power for RV‘s. It’s a natural fit. Nothing beats the idea of zooming in a solar powered recreational vehicle or RV.

The number of solar power kits available for RVs have made it possible to go to remote areas without worrying about power problems. Both the RV as well as the camping sites can get the power to run from these solar panels installed on the roof top of these recreational vehicles. Solar power for RV ‘s eliminates the need to carry electrical hook-up systems to the camping sites.

There are kits designed specifically for the needs of RV’s. You’ll need to calculate your RV’s energy needs than find a matching kit to provide that power. Most online suppliers have easy to understand energy worksheets that will help you pick the right kit for your RV.

You can also opt out to buy a smaller kit to jus power a portion of your needs if the full power kit is too pricey. Whichever way you go you’ll definitely save money and have the peace of mind that you’re keeping the environment safe and clean. So RV solar power kits for are not just economical but environmentally friendly.

Solar power for RV 's certainly gives you advantages like extending your boondocking stays as well as more flexibility and a larger choice of camping destinations. But when you buy solar power for RV 's keep in mind that there it's not exactly the same as typical solar applications. Batteries are a helpful but strange little device. They are finicky about temperature so RVs have a special solar consideration. Isn't it nice to be special? To fully charge the battery they need to reach a certain voltage level. The problem is this "level" is different with wide temperature change so be sure to buy a battery charge controller that accommodates temperature compensation.

Here's another important point about solar power for RV 's. Solar panels are also affected by temperature. These panels on the RVs roof can get very hot and their output degrades by as much as 2 volts. Make sure you buy a solar panel that's at least 17 volts or more to compensate for this voltage drop.

Ok, one last point, don't cheap out on your charge controller. The wrong g choice here will make you very unhappy with your battery's performance or yikes even worse ruin your battery. Do not get the simple on/off type of controller. Spring for the extra bucks and get one that use the tapering charge strategy that allows for the temperature compensation that I mentioned before.

When considering photovoltaic panels there are three common types. An amorphous silicon made panel, a polycrystalline silicon made panel, and a monocrystalline panel. Of these the amorphous is the cheapest but the least efficient, the monocrystalline is best but the costliest, while the polycrystalline lies somewhere in the middle both in terms of cost as well as efficiency. It is advisable to consult a professional before installing a solar power system on an RV that best suits the requirement of the vehicle.

With increasing fuel prices over the years and the increasing concern for environmental safety and well being, there is an increasing trend to use solar power for RV ‘s. When you add in the increasing efficiency of the solar panels it’s no wonder that more and more people are joining the ranks of the solar movement. So, if you are a nature enthusiast (or just plain stingy) go and get your own solar power kit.

Solar Power on the Move

Sep 02
2011

 

portable solar power systemcan be defined as a solar power system or generator that is not permanently fixed to one location. One example of a portable solar power supply is a solar power radio, but a portable solar power system does not necessarily have to be limited in size to something so small. As long as there are enough solar panels to collect the required amount of solar energy for the device's needs, a mobile solar system can take on many faces.

Did you know that there are recreational vehicles that have RV solar panels affixed to their roof to produce on-the-go RV solar power ? This is a case of true mobile solar power, but probably not what "The Who" had in mind when they wrote their smash hit "Going Mobile".

Since harnessing solar energy has been technologically perfected to the point where much smaller devices in the solar energy equation are needed to produce usable amounts of electricity, a mobile solar system is now only limited in size and mobility by the mind of the user. But while purchasing a full blown RV solar power kit may be out of most people's budgets, a solar power backpack is affordable to most all budgets, and can be used to power an array of personal electronics.

If you are an outdoorsman, your hiking benefits you in several ways. You burn off calories which helps you stay healthy, you get to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, and the solar energy panel on your backpack soaks up the sun while you hike, storing replenishable energy. The nature lover or college student can pick up the aforementioned solar power backpack from vendors like CSDC who offer the V-dimension Helius Solar Powered Backpack for around $100 that comes equipped with adapters for most cell phones and mp3 players.

Demand for a portable solar power system is so high that several companies have been created just to fill the portable solar power supply niche. Opening their doors in 2006 in Atascadera, California, the aptly named "Mobile Solar Power" provides the perfect tow-behind portable solar power system for any need. Just need something for your remote vacations and out of the way get-togethers?

They offer a small mobile solar system, the MS-100, that can be towed by most 4 and 6 cylinder vehicles, and will only set you back about $12,000. And if you need an all-inclusive portable solar power supply that can power an entire home, get their MS-375 20 foot trailer that will cost you $50,000.

Marine solar power is available to those of you who really don't like the idea of getting stranded in the middle of the ocean by a dead motor. Consisting of three parts, solar collecting panels, a solar charge controller that keeps batteries full but not overcharged, and your boat battery, you will never have to be concerned about losing power to your radio or other ship-bound electronics. And it is nice to know your boat's engine will turn over every time when you are sunburned and ready to go home. These kits run from a very affordable $140 for a 10 watt version to 85 watt versions for about $480.

The solar power radio we mentioned earlier is readily available online, with hundreds of models to choose from. You can start off small with the basic Timex T065S Solar Powered Radio Controlled Atomic Alarm Clock for $15 that is never wrong since it is set by signals sent around the globe by the Atomic Clock and its many relay stations, or you can go full survival mode with the Etón American Red Cross ARCFR360R Solarlink Self-Powered Digital AM/FM/NOAA Radio with Solar Power, Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger (wow, that's a mouthful!) for a very reasonable $50.

As you can see, the portable solar power system selection is as wide and particular as your lifestyle dictates. To harness rv solar power, purchase a solar power kit designed for just that need. Walking a lot? Grab an inexpensive solar power backpack. And even if you like inviting a couple of hundred of your closest friends to an out-of-the-way destination for some fun in the sun, go deeper into your pocket and get an all-inclusive portable solar power system. No matter which way you go, when you harness the portable solar technology available today, you will be going mobile in style.