How to Choose the Right Solar Panel for RV
Solar panel is also called solar panel, which is a device that directly or indirectly converts solar radiant energy into electrical energy through photoelectric effect or photochemical effect by absorbing sunlight. With it, we can provide clean, quiet electricity to the RV, and charge the battery when the sun comes out. But before buying solar panels and modules, you should know which type of solar panel is best for you. So today we will talk about how to choose suitable solar panels for RVs and the placement of RV solar panels.
1. Types of RV solar panels (same as household type)
Solar panels mainly include monocrystalline, polycrystalline silicon, and amorphous solar panels.
You may hear that one type of panel is more "effective" than another, but this is only a difference in the size of the panel. No matter which technology is used, a 100W panel is 100W. That is to say, the conversion efficiency per unit area is high.
Monocrystalline panels: They take up the least space, but are usually more expensive.
Polycrystalline panel: cheaper, larger size per watt. It has the same life span and durability as a single crystal panel.
Amorphous panel: It is very different from the other two panels. They are relatively inefficient, heavier, heavier, and more expensive than the first two panels. But these panels are best in cloudy weather and will not be severely affected by local shadows like other types of panels. And even if these panels are flexible, they are quite durable, so you can often see them being sewn in backpacks and cloth.
Conversion rate comparison: monocrystalline silicon>polycrystalline silicon>amorphous silicon solar panels
We all know that the roof space of motorhomes is limited, so the use of monocrystalline panels in motorhomes is the best choice because it takes up the smallest area.
Do you think you can buy monocrystalline silicon board or the other two boards? No, they have their own classification, namely rigid solar panels and flexible solar panels.
Rigid solar panel
Rigid solar panel features:
1. Wide range of sizes
2. Cheaper per watt
3. Rugged and durable, usually with a long warranty period (more than 10 years)
4. Because of their sturdy frame, they are easier to orient towards the sun
Summary: Rigid solar panels are the best choice in terms of performance and durability.
Flexible solar panels
However, excessive bending of the panel will often cause problems with internal connections and even cause short circuits between the cells. Due to these problems, the warranty period of flexible solar panels is often shorter than that of rigid solar panels.
Also, flexible panels are not easy to adjust the angle of light, because their position depends on the surface to which they are attached.
Features of flexible solar panels:
1. Thin and light
2. Can be bent to 30 degrees
3. Easy to scratch
4. Short life
When using a flexible panel, the more the panel is bent, the lower the efficiency. This is because the power generation effect of the panel is the best when the entire panel gets consistent light. However, the light received by the flexible solar panel is inconsistent, with more in some places and less in some places, so the power generation efficiency is low.
Summary: Flexible solar panels are only suitable for places with obvious bends on the surface. If it is a relatively flat surface, it is recommended to use rigid solar panels.
Solar panel placement method
If you are driving a large RV, then solar panels can be permanently fixed on the roof. This is the easiest way. But in some cases you can also use portable solar panels (itehil 100w 18v solar plane) or solar suitcases to provide additional power or charge small electronic devices.
Fixed solar panel
When installing solar panels, please note that solar panels perform best at low temperatures. It is best to leave a little space between the panel and the roof for air circulation to reduce the temperature of the panel. Mounting or gluing the panel directly to the roof of the car will lose the bottom cooling airflow.
This is another reason why rigid boards are more advantageous than flexible boards. Most rigid solar panels have some gaps in the frame. This prevents overheating of solar panels from affecting power generation efficiency.
Advantages of fixed panel:
As soon as the sun comes out, they begin to collect electricity.
They do not take up valuable space in the car.
They are not easily stolen.
It can better adapt to those who consume a lot of electricity and need more than 200W solar energy.
You can shade the vehicle to help reduce heat.
Disadvantages of fixed panel:
It is difficult for them to get the best angle of sunlight.
The installation workload is relatively large.
Increase the height of the roof and wind resistance.
Reduce the choice of roof layout, and it is not easy to install air conditioning.
The vehicle must be parked in the sun to obtain electricity, which is contradictory in the high temperature in summer.
Portable solar panel (itehil 100w 18v solar panel)
Advantages of portable panels:
For those who do not have the ability to modify, it is easier and cheaper.
You can aim at the sun to get the best exposure.
Suitable for various vehicles (small cars, SUVs, etc.)
It can also generate electricity when your vehicle is parked in the shade
Disadvantages of portable panels:
Need to be installed every time you are in the camp
Occupy the space in the car, especially the panel above 200W
Can't charge while driving
Not suitable for use in the city
End: Here we strongly recommend that users of small caravans choose portable solar panels (monocrystalline silicon) when choosing solar panel.