Are Solar Panels in Caravans Really Worth It?
With solar power being a popular option for powering the home in many countries around the world, many people are starting to consider the option of installing solar panels on their caravans and motor homes as a way of helping them economise on their power usage when travelling.
There are many companies now offering the installation of this type of solution, and it is proving popular with a large number of people. With that said, it is worth noting that this type of solution is perhaps likely to benefit certain people more than others; here are some things to take into account when considering a solar installation for your caravan.
Firstly, it is worth noting that for powering small appliances, solar energy can actually be sufficient. This includes tasks like powering energy saving light bulbs in your caravan or motor home, operating the water pump or a ventilation fan in your kitchen area. Other tasks, such as operating a television, will require a greater amount of electricity however.
To evaluate how much electricity that you use in your recreational vehicle, you can carry out a test whilst on the road to see how long your caravan batteries last when using them normally. To do this, simply time how long your batteries last – from fully charged – without being hooked up to the electric facilities at a campsite.
After checking the rating of the battery that you have in your recreational vehicle, you should be able to work out approximately how much energy you use per day. If you are still looking for help, a company that provides installation of solar equipment in recreational vehicles will be able to offer you guidance on how much electricity you are likely to use.
Once you have an idea of how much power you actually use, you will be far better placed to find the right solar panel system for you. The key is to start off with an adequate system for your caravan or motor home, as this will ensure that your energy supply is sufficient and efficient in supplying all your needs whilst on holiday.
There are a couple of different types of solar power system, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. These are both well worth considering as each has different advantages and disadvantages, and is useful in different ways.
The first of these is the fixed solar panel, which will need to be very accurately tailored to your needs. As mentioned above, the correct number and capacity of solar panels and caravan batteries are necessary so that you are supplied with sufficient and reliable power throughout your trip.
It is worth noting that fixed panels should be placed so as to take advantage of the midday sun, and your vehicles will need to be positioned to do so. This may be an issue for those who prefer to camp in the shade, so bear this in mind if you intend to use a solar powered solution.
The other option is the portable solar panel, which has the advantage that it can be moved around in order to capture the maximum of sunlight as possible. In addition to this, it is often less expensive than the fixed version, and can be hooked up directly to your leisure motor home or caravan batteries.
On the downside, it is necessary that these are moved around throughout the day in order to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, although often times they can be fixed permanently once you decide on the ideal position for them on you caravan or motor home.
For powering small appliances – and even for keeping your battery topped up when your leisure vehicle is not in use – solar panels can be very well worth it. For maximum benefits, make sure that you choose a system that can meet your energy needs, is fixed or portable depending on your needs, and that is designed and installed by a reputable solar power service provider.