How Many RV Photo voltaic Panels Do I Want, Get It Proper First Strive

RV Photo voltaic methods may be something from a single panel you purpose on the solar when you’re parked someplace, to a dozen or extra panels mounted to your roof. How a lot photo voltaic is the correct amount? Sizing your RV Photo voltaic system correctly can prevent money and time in addition to be certain that your system performs as anticipated. This text is targeted on determining simply what number of photo voltaic panels you want.

RV Photo voltaic System Sizing

Folks have informed us their solely massive street block to getting a system, is just not realizing how a lot photo voltaic they want. I’ll even admit I didn’t know both, and bought an multi function equipment that works nice, however isn’t fairly as massive as I wanted. You’ll be able to learn my assessment of that equipment right here.

It doesn’t matter when you’re dwelling the Van Life or RV Life or rocking a Faculty Bus Conversion, the way in which you choose the scale of your system is identical.

Step one is to learn how a lot energy you’ll be utilizing. That is probably the most tedious half, but in addition an important. You have to add up the whole electrical energy used from each equipment you could have. The simplest means to determine the whole energy is to transform your entire calculations into watts. Don’t fear, there’s a simple means to do that too!

RV Photo voltaic Energy Math

All your main home equipment can have a sticker on them someplace that claims what number of Amps its attracts and what number of Volts it runs on. For instance, we now have a residential fridge in our RV and contained in the door I discover the ability ranking sticker under.

RV Solar calculations

Right here you see that our fridge runs on 115 Volts and attracts 3 Amps. To transform this to watts, we use the formulation AMPS x VOLTS = WATTS. So doing 3 x 115 = 345, we all know that our fridge is utilizing 345 Watts per hour when it’s working. I determine the fridge is just really working half of the day, and in standby mode the opposite half, so we take our Hourly Wattage (345) and multiply that by the Run Time (12) per day and get 4,140 Complete Watts Per Day.

Simple proper? Now we simply have to do this similar factor for all of the home equipment in your RV, and write it down, so we are able to tally up the whole watts per day for all of them. As soon as we now have a complete wattage for every part we’re going to be working in our RV, then we are able to transfer on to the subsequent step, which is choosing a kind of battery to retailer our RV Photo voltaic Energy.

Flooded Lead Acid

With regards to RV Batteries there are 3 fundamental sorts it’s important to select from. The commonest one, and the one that’s most probably in your RV from the manufacturing facility, is a Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) Deep Cycle.

It’s much like the battery in your automotive, however designed to have the ability to drain down earlier than being recharged. The FLA model of battery is able to a 50% discharge with out damaging it earlier than it must be recharged.

A FLA Deep Cycle is sweet for a mean of 5 years earlier than they have to be changed. Whereas they do have the bottom up entrance prices, they do require some upkeep to maximise their life span. After a mean of 200 discharge and recharge cycles, a FLA battery will begin to have a decline within the quantity of vitality they’ll retailer.

FLA batteries additionally have to be in an exterior compartment, and that compartment must be vented to the skin air. Throughout the charging cycle they produce fuel emissions that would kill you if they’re in an inside space of your RV or Van.

Our YouTube Channel

AGM Batteries

The following sort of battery known as an Absorbent Glass Matt (AGM) Battery. An AGM battery is a complicated model of the usual FLA Battery. One main attraction to them is that they’re utterly sealed, so there isn’t any hazard of battery acid being spilled out of them.

AGM Batteries are additionally upkeep free and final on common twice as lengthy than an ordinary FLA Battery. On the up entrance price they’ll price 20 to 50 p.c extra per battery relying on the scale of the battery.

LiFePO4 Batteries

The final sort of battery is a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4). That is thought of to be the holy grail in RV Photo voltaic methods. A LiFePO4 battery may be discharged 80 p.c with out lack of energy or doing harm to the battery itself. Most LiFePO4 batteries will final via 5,000 charging cycles.

At a fee of 1 cost cycle per day with a photo voltaic system, it ought to final you round 12 years in your RV. One other benefit to the LiFePO4 is it will probably deal with a lot bigger sustained energy utilization than its lead acid counterparts. If you’re planning on working an AC unit together with your photo voltaic system, that is the way in which to go.

The LiFePO4 does have the best up entrance price, at a mean of three instances the value of a FLA battery, nonetheless they’re additionally just one third the burden. Relying on the scale of your RV Photo voltaic system chances are you’ll want a number of batteries to retailer the ability, in order that weight can add up quick.

How Many Batteries?

After you have determined which sort of battery is the most effective match on your funds and energy wants, the subsequent step is to determine simply what number of batteries you want. For this we’re going to check with the Complete Watts Per Day from step 1. So shall we say that after you added all of it up, you bought a complete of 10,000 watts per day.

You’ll be able to convert the Amp Hours of the battery you select into watts utilizing the identical formulation to maintain every part simple. For this instance lets assume we’re going to use a 200 Amp Hour LiFePO4 battery. So doing our math of 200 Amp Hours X 12 Volts = 2,400 Watts.

To be able to run every part for twenty-four hours with out a recharge, you would want 5 batteries. If you need to have the ability to run every part for 48 hours with out a recharge, you would want 10 batteries. You’re solely restricted on the variety of days you go by your personal funds and accessible battery area.

Many RV Photo voltaic professionals suggest having the ability to run for 48 hours on battery energy alone in case of foul climate.

How Many RV Photo voltaic Panels Do I Want?

So right here is the place the mathematics will get somewhat difficult, however not inconceivable. You have to know the way a lot Peak Solar you’ll get every day to cost your batteries again to 100 %. Close to the equator you get extra, close to Canada you get much less. We’re going to use Common US Irradiance of 5.3 to assist determine this one out. Since we’re going to be touring everywhere, the quantity will change anyway primarily based in your location.

To learn how a lot Complete Photo voltaic Energy you want, you divide your every day want by the 5.3 common Peak Solar time. Utilizing our 10,000 watt instance from above, we divide 10,000 by 5.3 for a complete of 1,886 Watts Of Photo voltaic Panels Wanted. To provide your self a cushion, and make your math simpler, spherical it as much as 2,000 Watts Of Photo voltaic Panels.

There are a number of mixtures you are able to do to attain the two,000 Watts you want. You are able to do 20 One Hundred Watt Panels. Or you are able to do 10 Two Hundred Watt panels. You are able to do 5 4 Hundred Watt Panels. You see what I’m getting at.

The approximate RV Photo voltaic Panel measurement is 2 Ft by 4 Ft. How a lot accessible roof area you could have, will decide how manel panels you may really match up there, which can inform you what wattage you want. For instance, say you could have sufficient room on the roof of your RV to solely match 4 panels. To be able to get the wanted 2,000 watts, you would want 4 500 Watt panels.

What Dimension Photo voltaic Cost Controller Do I Want?

The reply to this query will rely solely on the Photo voltaic Panel Voltage, Photo voltaic Panel Wattage, and when you plan to wire your Photo voltaic Panels in Collection, Parallel, or Collection-Parallel. Your finest plan of action is to ask your RV Photo voltaic seller what gauge wire you have to to go from the roof of your RV, which means the panels ought to be wired collectively, and which of their cost controllers mates with the remainder of the system the most effective.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles