With solar panels installed on your motorhome, you can travel without worrying: at the slightest ray of sunshine, the batteries are recharged. No more need for electrical connections!
It may therefore be tempting to want to install several to further increase the electricity production aboard his vehicle.
Obviously, when choosing solar panels for your faithful traveling companion, it is necessary to know which models to choose. To put it simply, the preferred solar panel simply depends on your daily energy consumption.
It is estimated that consumption of up to 200 Wh / d requires a solar panel with a power of 115 W. While a energy consumption of around 1300 Wh / d rather ask 365 W panels.
At the same time, depending on your needs (equipment, electrically connected household appliances, more or less intensive use of your motorhome, etc.), some solar panels will require more installation. Indeed, as soon as several solar panels are installed, it is recommended to have a regulator. As soon as it is connected to the batteries, the latter will automatically detect the voltage of the solar panels and will therefore be configured in 12V or 24V, depending on the connection of the batteries (series or parallel).
Finally, know that there is different types of solar panels. There are generally three: ” back contact »(Electrical contact at the rear), monocrystalline and photovoltaic. Each with their advantages and disadvantages. Of course, the choice must be made according (again) to your needs but also to your budget. The price range varying from several hundred to several thousand euros for a solar kit.
If you are looking to have more power with your solar panels, there are several solutions. For optimize performance and so autonomyof your camping-car, you can either replace the solar panel with a more powerful one, or multiply the number of its panels on the roof of your motorhome.
A word of advice, several small panels are better than a large one. With multiple photovoltaic panels, you can capture more solar power depending on the orientation of the radiation. In addition, you will be less sensitive to drop shadows, which significantly reduce energy production.
As you will have understood, to optimize your installation, it is therefore interesting to increase the number of small solar panels. It makes more sense, for example, to install three 100 W panels, mounted in parallel rather than a single panel of 300 W.
Indeed, because of the particular arrangement of the cells of a panel which are mounted in series, the slightest shadow cast on the latter appreciably affects the overall production. To give you an idea, a thin shadow like a single cable across the width of the panel results in a 10% drop in production. Worse, a shadow equivalent to the size of a cell and cast across the width of the panel drops production by 80%!
It is therefore important to protect your panels from any shading where you park. In this case, it is therefore more advantageous to install two or even three smaller photovoltaic panels mounted in parallel rather than a single large panel, which will risk being more subject to the effects of residual cast shadows.
If you have limited means, you can spread the installation cost over time by adding one or more panels later. Just remember to provide enough space.
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