Solar Panels for Caravans: Everything you need to know

Camping and the Energy Needed

A 12V or 14V battery system is used in the majority of modern caravans and motorhomes. The alternator in the car charges the system while the engine is running. They frequently include a 240V adapter to keep the battery charged and connected to the power grid. However, in many remote locations, 240V is uncommon, forcing people to use a generator or motor to charge their batteries, which, in most situations, ruins the whole camping experience.

Camping with solar power

Solar panels are an excellent option because they keep your batteries charged as you relax and enjoy nature. They are silent, odorless, need little maintenance (most solar panel maintenance consists of cleaning or sheltering from severe weather), and are environmentally safe. They are now getting more cost-effective.

Choosing the correct type of Panel

This is a challenge for many people. Finding the correct type of solar Panel can be a difficult task. If the performance is too low, you can run out of power after investing a lot of money on high-quality panels but not using any of the electricity, rendering your investment useless. As a result, you will need to figure out just what you are looking for on the market.
To find the best solar Panel for your caravan, go camping with a fully charged solar battery without connecting it to any electricity source, and see how long your battery will carry all of your appliances.
When you get home, look up your battery’s rating to figure out how much electricity you used on average during your ride. If you have determined your average consumption, you will need to find a solar panel that will marginally supplement that figure. Please note that it will only work to its maximum extent when the sun shines directly on it.

Match your power usage to a PV solar panel

Solar panels sold in Australia are labeled with a power rating that shows how much electricity the Panel can generate under standard test conditions (STC). The STC allows you to compare various panels and their power outputs, allowing you to use it as a reference while looking for the right Panel for your caravan.
It would help if you also thought about the times of day when you use your appliances. Using them often at night will cause your battery to drop below 50% charge before recharging, potentially shortening its lifetime. If that is the case, increasing the power of your battery is a good idea.

Solar-powered devices with built-in batteries

To relieve the strain on your leisure batteries, consider replacing any of your devices with ones that can be charged with solar energy. Many people, though, are put off by this concept. Most people dislike leaving expensive devices unattended on crowded camping grounds, so why invest in those items?
Even if you want to buy some of those devices, keep in mind that they will most likely need a lot of time in the sun to charge, so replacing your leisure battery and setting it with solar panels might be a safer choice.

Tips

  • Although solar panels can operate behind glass, their capabilities are limited. Bear in mind that they were built for direct sunshine, reducing productivity by up to three times.
  • In certain situations, connecting solar panels to your battery can be easy, but if you are not sure how to do it correctly, contact your supplier.
  • Once you have purchased a solar panel, make sure it is properly installed to take advantage of the sun’s most substantial radiation during the midday hours. Portable panels that can be adjusted in any direction are available from certain manufacturers.
  • The state of your battery has a significant impact on the amount of energy produced by your panels. As a result, before investing in solar panels, make sure your battery is in good working order.

Going Solar

Visit Hawking Solar to learn more about solar energy and solar panels if you have finally decided to go solar but are not sure where to start. And you can get a free quote.

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