Solar panels can provide a great source of free energy for your caravan. They're quiet, unobtrusive, easy to maintain and better for the environment than noisy, smelly generators. If you're thinking of having solar panels fitted to your caravan, you'll want to know how to get the most from your investment. Here are a few ways in which you can.
Position the panels for maximum solar energy yield
Although you might not like the look of solar panels on the exterior of your caravan, they will be much more effective if they are positioned for maximum solar gain. Put the panels on your van roof, rather than inside behind glass.
When you arrive at your holiday destination, try to find a pitch for your caravan that is not overhung by trees or shaded by adjacent buildings for all or part of the day. Although this may make your van cooler, it will also mean that the solar panels are not as efficient, and you may find yourself running short of battery power as a result.
Keep the panels clean
Anything that obscures the solar panels and prevents sunlight from reaching their photovoltaic material will compromise the panel's energy output. Caravan solar panels usually lay flat and readily accumulate dust and grime.
To solve the problem of dirty panels and maximise their performance, simply wipe them over every few days with a damp non-abrasive cloth.
Use a battery bank that's bigger than you need
Continually running your batteries down can shorten their life and damage them. Solar panels will fully charge the batteries during the day so that they don't go flat overnight. Therefore, by using more batteries than you need you can reduce the likelihood of flattening them, thus extending their lifespan and meaning that you never run out of power.
Invest in a battery monitor
It's also a good idea to invest in a battery monitor. A battery monitor that shows you the battery voltage and the live current draw allows you to keep tabs on how quickly the batteries are running down. This monitoring means that you won't risk overcharging or undercharging the batteries and potentially damaging them. Keeping track of which devices are using the most power also allows you to switch off energy guzzlers that aren't in use, saving energy.
You can maximise solar for caravans by following the above tips. For more guidance and advice, why not have a chat with your local caravan accessories store or caravanning club members?Share
11 January 2017
If you drive a lot for business, you probably put a lot of kilometres on your vehicle. Whether you are driving from client to client in the same city or driving across the country, your vehicle needs to be well prepared for the journey. You don't want to miss out on a great opportunity because your car has broken down on the way to the meeting. Hi, my name is Carla, and I've been stranded on the side of the road, desperately trying to reach a client to reschedule. After that experience, however, I decided that I needed to pay more attention to auto service, and recently I decided to create this blog to help others in similar situations. Thanks for reading! I hope my tips help you!