Photovoltaics for the mobile home: retrofit the solar system!

Solar panel caravan camper photovoltaic

If you are traveling with the caravan and do not want to look for a power connection every few days to charge the camper batteries, you should think about getting one Photovoltaic system installed on the vehicle or trailer. After all, numerous devices in the caravan require electricity. In the following text we will explain everything to you on the subject Solar system for the caravan, how, whether retrofitting is possible and how much it costs.

Important points, summarized!

  • The most important components of a photovoltaic system for the caravan are the Solar Panels, charge controller and Batteryso that the electricity generated can be stored.
  • Depending on how much electricity the electrical devices in the caravan consume during the day, it is determined how high the module output of the solar system should be.
  • A solar system for a mobile home costs between 200 and 2.000 euros. You have to calculate an additional 100 to 500 euros for the assembly.
  • If you do not want to permanently install the solar system on the mobile home, you can also install one mobile plant choose.

Solar panel caravan camper photovoltaic 2

Functionality of a photovoltaic system for the caravan

The solar system for the mobile home consists of one or more solar panels, One charge controller and a Battery. A battery is often already present in the mobile home. The solar cell panels are installed on the roof of the mobile home and then convert the sun's rays into electrical energy. The charge controller is used to charge the consumer battery properly. The solar systems for a mobile home are often sold as a set. The individual parts can also be purchased separately. In the latter case, you only have to make sure that the charge controller is compatible with the performance of the solar cells.

Types of solar panels

But of course you can't just do it Buy solar panelswithout thinking too much about it. Very different solar cells are offered for a mobile home. monocrystalline Photovoltaic modules, for example, have a fairly high efficiency, while polycrystalline Photovoltaic modules are cheaper to buy. CIS solar cells also generate electricity in the shade or under cloudy skies. Here you should definitely get advice and also think about which variant is most effective for your own camper.

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Calculation of the power of the photovoltaic system for the mobile home

An analysis of the daily electricity consumption of the mobile home shows you what module power should have their solar panel for the mobile home. To do this, you should know which electrical devices you use every day and for what period of time. Then multiply the consumption of a device by its operating time. For example, 10 LED lamps that each have a power consumption of two watts and are switched on for five hours during the day consume 10 watt hours (10 x 2 watts x 5 hours = 100 watt hours) of electricity. Calculate the power consumption in this way for all your electrical devices in the motorhome. Then you add up all the results and you get the daily power consumption.

How many watts do I need from the solar system for the mobile home?

With the determined power requirement, you can determine the required power of the solar modules without any problems. In this calculation you should also include the Season, in which you are mainly traveling with the mobile home, into account. In summer, the effective solar radiation is at about 5 hours and in winter only at about 1 Hour. For example, if you use 300 watt-hours of electricity per day, the following calculations result:

  • Winter: Module power = 300 watt hours / 1 hour = 300 watts.
  • Summer: Module power = 300 watt hours / 5 hours = 60 watts.

If you use your motorhome mainly in the summer, you only need a 60 watt solar panel. In winter, to get enough electricity, you need three solar panels, each with 100 watts. When buying solar modules, you should know that the manufacturers do not measure the output in watts, but in Watt peak (Wp) brag. Wp is the power that a solar panel under the most favorable conditions reached. In truth, however, you can expect a slightly lower performance than the manufacturer states. Therefore, you should consider the photovoltaic system for the mobile home 20 to 30 percent larger to plan.

the best capacity for the battery

battery capacity is usually given in ampere-hours (Ah). However, watt-hours can be converted to ampere-hours at any time by dividing the variable by the voltage. If you have a 12 volt battery, 300 watt hours equals 25 ampere hours (399 watts / 12 volts = 25 ampere hours). However, the daily power requirement is only the theoretical minimum requirement. If the weather is bad for three to four days and you still want to go without electricity from the socket, you need a battery with 75 to 100 ampere hours. You should note that with normal lead-acid batteries only 60 percent of the nominal capacity can actually be used. Based on our example, you should therefore use a battery with a capacity of 120 to 160 ampere hours choose.

Costs for a photovoltaic system for the mobile home

A photovoltaic system for a mobile home costs between 200 and 2.000 Euro, whereby the costs mainly depend on the performance of the system. For assembly you should use further 100 to 500 Euro expected.

Portable solar panel as an alternative to electricity generation

A solar system is a must not necessarily be permanently installed on the mobile home. There are also foldable, mobile models. These can be aligned with the sun at any time and used flexibly. Even behind the Windshield the solar cells still achieve 50 percent of their output. However, the electricity yields of the permanently installed systems are higher.

Installation tips for the solar system for the mobile home

If you as the owner of a mobile home have some manual skills, you can also install the photovoltaic system on the mobile home yourself. Below we list what you should consider:

  • First determine the exact position of the solar module and the roof duct.
  • The charge controller should be installed near the consumer battery or the electro block (if it has a corresponding input).
  • You can use masking tape to limit the glued areas and create clean glued joints.

Solar panel caravan camper photovoltaic 4

Of course, that wasn't the end of it!

tuningblog has many more news around the topic Camping and RV at the beginning. Do you want to see them all? Just click HERE and look around. Our focus is especially on converted Campers & mobile homes. This means that you will find fewer reports on classic standard motorhomes here, but much more we try to present specially modified specimens that show that the topic is also Tuning is represented in the camping & RV scene. Below is an excerpt of the last campers and mobile homes.

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