Do you want to use solar power on your caravan when you go camping, boating, or caravanning? You’re not by yourself. In fact, over 30% of Australian homes today use solar power. The figure soars when recreational portable and flexible solar panels are included.
With all this in mind, when taking into account all the various modifications that can be made to your caravan, solar power is at the top of the list. Therefore, we will outline the various types of caravan solar panels below, their advantages, and the tips to apply when choosing them. We will start with defining the term caravan solar panels.
What Are Caravan Solar Panels?
It is pretty challenging to use AC power for your appliances which require a direct current, particularly when travelling in remote areas. Caravan solar panels convert sunlight into direct current electricity when you connect them to the top of your camper. The batteries store the DC power, which you can access later, no matter where you are.
Different Types Of Caravan Solar Panels
Monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels are the most common types of solar panels used on caravans. Let’s examine the two below:
Solar panels made of monocrystalline materials are slightly more efficient than those made of polycrystalline materials. However, they are more costly as their production is complex. These panels might also lose their effectiveness if shadows interfere with them.
The circuit can be disrupted fairly easily if one of the solar cells has shade on it. The panel may no longer produce maximum power as a result. Of the panels in this group, this one has the most extended anticipated lifespan. Additionally, it performs significantly better than its cousin in low light.
Compared to monocrystalline ones, polycrystalline solar panels are significantly less expensive. The low price is perhaps the main reason why these solar panels have a substandard performance. They must also be considerably more significant for the same power output as their counterpart. This can vary depending on the weather conditions and the quality of the panels.
Most motorists use the monocrystalline solar panel system since it is compact and doesn’t require much room in an RV or caravan. A monocrystalline caravan solar system is more difficult to keep out of the shade than a polycrystalline system.
It is very important to consider your goals as you select your ideal type of panel.
Advantages Of Using Caravan Solar Panels
Charging your caravan’s batteries is necessary as batteries will rapidly run out even after watching TV for an hour a day while camping.
A fantastic technique to obtain a never-ending source of power is solar panels. Camping with solar panels also benefits the environment because it saves money and space.
Other benefits include:
- Economical: Purchasing solar panels for caravans is an excellent option to save money. Solar panels are expensive to buy initially, but the long-term advantages outweigh this. Never again will you be required to pay for electricity.
- Silent: Solar panels operate quietly and emit no pollutants, in contrast to generators and most other types of power sources.
- Conserve batteries: Solar panels can run continuously for 20 to 30 years without issues. Solar energy keeps your battery charged, so it doesn’t discharge and suffer internal harm, especially if you charge it using a charge controller, solar regulator, and battery monitor.
- Convenient: Solar panels require sunlight and less maintenance, making them ideal for those who spend extended periods of time in remote areas away from traditional power sources. They don’t need gas or oil, in contrast to generators. Your battery will be fully charged if you position the panels where they will receive lots of sunlight!
- Eco-friendly: Solar panels are eco-friendly sources of electricity available today because they don’t release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. When camping, choose a location where your solar system will receive the maximum sunlight.
Tips On Choosing Solar Panels For Your Caravan
The portability of a solar panel system is one of the most crucial considerations for caravanners. However, there are other tips to apply when picking quality solar panels. Below are some of these tips:
1). Consult The Neighbourhood Dealer
You must connect the leisure batteries of the caravan after installing the solar panel. The connections are necessary even though they appear simple.
Your caravan dealer might be able to explain how to use adaptors explicitly designed for your caravan to connect a solar panel to your caravan. Therefore, consult a local vendor before deciding on your caravan solar installation.
2). Verify The Battery
When connected to a reliable battery, solar panels perform at their best. You must charge the battery if it loses more than 50 per cent of its charge.
If you keep your battery charged when storing it, its lifespan will be extended. If you fail to store your batteries during winter properly, you might need to purchase new ones sooner over time.
3). Consider The Maximum Outdoor Illumination
If you install your solar panels underneath the safety panels, ensure they are in direct sunlight for best results. Even the slightest shadow will result in significant power loss for crystalline solar panel systems in particular.
While it is difficult to argue against solar energy, not every RV or caravan will include solar panels. Solar energy can be a practical and environmentally friendly substitute for gas-powered generators if you frequently go off-grid in your RV. Solar power, however, might not be worthwhile if you only use your RV sometimes and park it undercover.
Visit RV & Caravan Centre for Your Caravan Servicing Needs
RV & Caravan Centre provide a wide range of RV accessories and can assist you in selecting and installing the best accessories for your caravan. The RV & Caravan Centre workshop is well-stocked with knowledgeable professionals and artisans who can install and certify electrical, solar, refrigeration, and LPG systems.
In addition to fixing everything needed to make caravanning and camping safe and enjoyable, we also fix canvas, annexes and awnings.
Please give us a call today on 1800 782 236 to learn more about our caravan services or leave an enquiry.