Benefits of Solar
Modern solar technology (photovoltaics) is the result of NASA and military research and development projects. The goal was: Find power sources that are reliable, maintenance free, and with no moving parts or need for refueling. Photovoltaics proved to be the answer, which is why almost all modern satellites are solar powered.
Modern day RVers also have a similar desire for independent, reliable and maintenance free power. They also want their power to be clean, quiet, and free of the vibration and pollution associated with petrochemical fired generators. Today’s solar powered systems meet that criteria.
Benefits of Solar Electric Battery Charging
1. Clean, Quiet, & Easy to use
-Solar panels consume no fuel and give off no waste.
-There are no moving parts, which means no mechanical noise.
-Simply place the solar panel in the sun and you generate electricity!
2. Solar Power Maximizes Battery Life.
Solar panels generate pure D.C. electricity when exposed to sunlight. This is exactly what your batteries want. By saturating your batteries with these electrons in a slow and steady manner on a daily basis, you prevent your batteries from repetitive deep discharges which will shorten the lifespan of lead-acid batteries. In fact, a properly designed solar battery charging system can easily double the useful life of your lead-acid batteries! (Lithium batteries, on the other hand work a little differently and aren’t worn out by deep discharges in the way that lead-acid batteries are.)
3. Electrical Independence
With a properly sized system and the appropriate components, you will be able to park where you want, and be free from the concerns of finding shore power or running your generator. Go to the desert, go to the mountains, go to the beaches, go anywhere the sun shines and declare your electrical independence!
4. Low Maintenance
Since solar panels consume no fuel and have no moving parts to wear out, there are no air, oil, or fuel filters to change. Simply keep the surface of the panels clean.
5. It's Safe and Reliable
RVs typically operate at 12 volts and less than 30 amps. As a result, there is very little chance of being electrocuted or starting electrical fires. If a system is installed using proper wire sizes and fuses, it is inherently safe.
As mentioned at the top of this page, NASA and the Military had reliability at the top of their list of criteria. In fact, solar panels are so reliable that manufacturers are now offering 25 year warranties on their products and fully expect them to last over 35 years!
System Component Overview
A solar battery charging system consists of the following components:
Solar Panel(s) – Turn sunlight into charging current,
Mounts - Hold the panels to the roof,
Charge Controller System - Regulates the flow of electricity to the batteries,
System Monitor (optional) - Keeps track of the system’s performance,
Wire Harness - Carries the charge from the panels, through the charge controller, to the batteries