A Guide to Solar Panels For Caravans and Motorhomes
Still considering whether you should switch to solar panels for your caravan or motorhome? Not to worry. In this guide, we’ve touched on all the important things you should know about portable solar panels for caravans. Perhaps, these will help you make an informed decision.
Today, more people are having solar panels fitted to their motorhomes and caravans. The reason for that is simple – it helps generate electricity wherever you are and makes life a lot easier. Whether you are relaxing at the beach or camping, having solar panels fitted to your caravan will help in many ways. Unlike a generator that can be quite noisy, solar panels are quiet and environmentally friendly. Although solar panels may initially seem expensive, they are more economical in the long run than running a caravan generator or power mains.
Types of Solar Panel
The first thing we will look at is the different types of solar panels. Generally, solar panels come in different types – thin film, crystalline, glass, folding, and mobile panels. Now, we will look at each of these panels one after the other.
Thin Film Solar Panels
These types of solar panels are made by sprinkling a thin layer of semiconductor material over another surface. Unlike crystalline solar panels, thin film solar panels may only last for up to 10 years. However, due to technological advances, thin film solar panels may be improved on to last for more years in the future. These types of solar panels are significantly cheaper compared to crystalline panels.
Crystalline Solar Panels
These types of panels come in 2 different types, which are – mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline. Compared to other types of solar panels, mono-crystalline panels are usually more effective. Each module of mono-crystalline panels is formed from a single silicon crystal. As you can imagine, since they are the most effective panels, they are also the most expensive. Also, they are the most popular panels that you will come across. The only difference between mono-crystalline panels and poly-crystalline panels is efficiency. That means you’ll need a large
poly-crystalline panel for more efficiency. If you want to power a caravan or motorhome, you can use either a mono-crystalline panel or a poly-crystalline panel.
Glass panels are considered to be the best for commercial and household use. These types of panels usually have a rigid frame. In addition, they are usually mounted on the roof, making them safe from theft and extreme weather conditions.
Folding panels are only being used recently for caravans and motorhomes. Many people prefer folding panels due to their ease of storage and portability. You can easily move them around without any difficulty.
As the name implies, mobile panels are very flexible and lightweight. You don’t need any mounting brackets when mount8ng them on a curved roof. The only downside of mobile panels is that they are very pricey.
Choosing The Right Panel For Your Caravan and Motorhome
In order to choose the right solar panel for your caravan, you need to determine your energy needs first. Knowing how long the battery of your caravan lasts will be a good starting point. For example, if you have a battery of 200 aH that lasted for a 2-day trip, your energy needs will be approximately 100 aH/day. So you need to look for a solar panel that is capable of producing 100 aH per day.
You also need to consider your budget and the type of panel you need. Then, finally, you need to think of the installation costs.
Solar panels are a clean energy source, making them a great choice for the environment. With regular maintenance, they can last for at least 25 years. This saves you a lot of money compared to other alternatives.
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