25Apr2014

Ins and Outs of Solar Panels

Having a solar charging system can be instrumental in enjoying a camping trip with no traditional hookups. Solar enables you to utilize your 12 volt system when shore power is not available. Solar works by charging the batteries and then utilizing the batteries to power your 12 volt system.   By having solar panels installed on your trailer or motorhome, the system will continuously charge your batteries even if your battery disconnect is turned on or off.  The amount of solar you can install depends on how much space is available on the roof of the RV. There are also portable solar panels available if you do not want a permanent mount.  Portable units are great if you have limited roof space or are saving the space for a satellite system.  When it comes to the amount of solar panels you are going to install, the more wattage the better. The more wattage, the faster the batteries will charge.  How many watts do you need? This depends on what you intend to power in the RV.  Each 12 volt appliance draws a specific amount of amperage. After adding up each appliances amperage, you will know how much power you need to put back into the batteries.  For instance, 450 watts of solar on the roof can generate up to 25 amps per hour to the batteries, a 100 watt solar system can generate up to 5.6 amps per hour during optimal conditions.  Solar is a great addition to any RV and can help making your trip more comfortable and stress free.  Check back soon for more information from Colonial RV.