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Rv Solar Panels

Pearl Said:

Will a RV solar panel inverter be compatible with breaker panel that has a battery charger?

We Answered:

Hey Sister, great idea. I'm not sure exactly what you're doing there. We have a home that is powered by the wind and sun, and a small camper with solar as well, but ours might be set up a little different.

The solar panels you are using do not need an inverter to charge the battery, they should simply hook to the battery bank directly, or by way of a charge controller. If you are also adding an inverter to use the battery power to run your AC outlets, that is a separate problem. Most boats I've come in contact with have a selector switch that selects between the battery charger or the inverter. So when you are on shore power, it stays in the charger position, which allows the battery charger to keep the battery's at float, and does not allow the inverter to power the AC system. Away from shore power, it is selected to the inverter, which allows the batteries to power the inverter, which powers the AC system, and the battery charger is then locked out. This is why most RV and marine inverters today have both the charger and inverter built into one unit, and it switches for you whenever you plug in the shore power cord.

If you are installing the solar panels yourself, see what the, "short circuit current," rating is on the panels. If it's 3 amps for example, and you're hooking two of them up in parallel, then you can have as much as 6 amps of charge current on a sunny day. Then see if you can find out what the amp hour capacity of your battery bank is. As a rule of thumb, if the maximum charge current of the solar array is less than 2% of the amp hour capacity of the battery, then you don't need a charge controller, the panels will never over charge the battery. All you need then is a diode between the panels and battery. A diode is an electrical check valve, allowing the panel to charge the battery, but not allowing the battery to feed back into the panel at night. There's a good book on charging batteries at the library, and a magazine you might consider looking into. I will list them below. Good luck, and take care...Rudydoo

Caroline Said:

RV batteries, generators and solar panels?

We Answered:

You said you are not looking for information about a generator but looks like everyone wants to offer generator info anyway.. Too funny..

What is over kill for a battery bank? The easy answer is anything over what you need is over kill. Get a kil-a-watt meter (40 USD) and find out how many watts you normally use in 24 hours.. If you are using a 12 volt battery bank divide that wattage number by 12 volts. This will give you how many AH's you use. You NEVER EVER want to run a battery bank lower then 50% discharged. So double the above number and you will have your battery bank size in amp hours.

Now that you know how many AH's in batteries you have mutliply that number by .05 and you have the Amps you need in solar modules.

Example.. If you have a 450 AH battery bank (4 Trojan T-105)

450 * .05 = 22.5 amps at 12 volts.

Now amps times volts gives watts so

22.5 * 12 = 270 watts in modules minium.

Holly Said:

What would be a good RV solar panel with good wattage?

We Answered:

It's hard to say without knowing your exact usage. This site will tell you more than you want to know about solar panels for Rvs and how to calculate the size you need.
http://rvsolarpanels.wordpress.com/

Bradley Said:

How to connect solar panels to batteries?

We Answered:

20 volts is a common open-circuit voltage for nominal 12v panels. The panels put out about 15v at full load. If the panel puts out little enough that it takes 20 hours or more to put a full charge in the battery you can get by without a charge controller - just keep the cells topped up with distilled water. A charge controller will do a more efficient job, though. The most efficient charge controllers use what's called Maximum Power Point Technology (MPPT) which lets the panels operate at their most efficient point throughout the battery's charging cycle. Available on E-bay. The charge controller should have the same or higher wattage as the panels it controls - if you're not sure of wattage, assume that they are the same as similar area panels you find for sale.

Before buying a charge controller, connect the panels through an ammeter to a discharged battery. They may have been trashed because of damage and low output. You need at least an amp for trickle charge, 5 amps for reasonable recharge times.

Crystal Said:

what are RV solar panels not pertaining to recreational vehicles?

We Answered:

RV solar panels are panels meant to go on a recreational vehicle. I don't know of any other definition. If you have the context, that might help us.

PV panels means "Photo Voltaic" (electricity from light), maybe it was a typo?

Gerald Said:

A question for RVers who have put solar panels on your rig. I would like to add solar to my RV because of my?

We Answered:

I don't know about 2 golf cart batteries but your needs would probably be met.

If you realize your load is too great, then you can get a wind generator... THOSE REALLY WORK... and is why people who live on boats use them to keep their D9 battery banks charged.

Discuss It!