mobile solar systems
Solar panels are durable and come in a variety of both
rigid and flexible physical configurations. Because of this they
are quickly becoming a preferred solution for getting electricity in
those situations where we lack connectivity to the grid, even if it is
for a short time. This includes all manner of mobile situations
where we are traveling and off of the grid. Solar panels are now
widely used on recreational vehicles (RV's), cars, trucks and even
Solar panels offer a number of advantages for getting energy on the
road compared to the existing alternatives such as using a generator.
They are flexible and light and do not add significantly to the weight
of the vehicle. They can be used when the vehicle is moving as
well as when the vehicle is parked. They don't generate a lot of
noise like generators and do not have to be fed gasoline or diesel
fuel. Most mobile solar kits are reasonably priced and so in the
long run cost much less to operate then a generator. Solar
panels are also extremely durable. Because of this most solar
panels come with a 20-25 year warranty. In all likelihood they
will outlast your vehicle.
A number of manufacturers produce solar panel kits specifically for
recreation vehicles. These types of vehicles usually have large
flat roofs which allow plenty of room for mounting a solar panel.
The kits using include the following:
- adjustable roof mounts
- 1 or 2 solar panels
- wiring for connecting panels
- a charge controller
- a small inverter for converting the current to DC
Most systems on the market do not include batteries so you will usually have to purchase those separately. Keep in mind that a solar system uses deep cycle batteries which are designed for a steady discharge unlike a typical car battery which is designed for a powerful charge to start the car. It is also possible to purchase inverters to go with your system if you want to run AC power directly off of your solar panels.