If you have a RV parked in your driveway, here is a brilliant and cost effective solution to adding solar power to that motor home.
Installing a solar power charging kit on your RV will provide extra days of autonomy while on the road. In addition, the solar panels and batteries on your travel trailer can be utilized to power a home appliance while parked in the driveway.
Whether you believe in peak oil or not, most reasonable people agree that the cost of gas is only going to go up. That will certainly put a damper on many people's choice to take their RV on that long family vacation. The cost of installing a solar charging system is also an investment that needs to be considered. Solar Home and RV offers a great solution to this problem.
Do you own a RV and park it fairly close to your home? If so, a solar charging kit can be installed on the travel trailer, a battery or two added and the daily power it produces can power an appliance in your home. There are a few components that are required to switch the garage fridge back to home power when the RV is removed. The beauty of this system is that the batteries in the RV get a daily workout and that actually can increase their life greatly. Many times the weakest link in a RV electrical system are the batteries. Typically, the batteries are not kept at a full state of charge. When they are used they are overworked because most manufactures rely on AC shore power for most appliances.
The first step is to install a solar charging kit on your RV. The solar charging kit will include solar panels, a digital charge controller, an inverter for AC power, an automatic transfer switch and cabling and components to make the connections. The solar panels are usually monocrystalline or polycrystalline in composition and can easily be attached with fasteners and sealant to the roof of the RV. Thin-film panels are also becoming more available. These are flexible, durable and have great potential but currently they are not as efficient so more square footage is required. After installing the solar panels on the roof of the RV, the cabling is typically run down the fridge vent to a convenient spot to mount the digital charge controller. The digital charge controller monitors the current from the solar panels and prevents the battery bank from overcharging. Overcharging the batteries greatly shortens their life. From the charge controller the cabling is run to an inverter. The inverter is used to convert DC electricity to AC power. That way you can run an AC appliance from your batteries. The automatic transfer switch is used to switch from shore power to solar power and back again.
Next, the proper cabling and transfer switch is sized to seamlessly switch power from the RV or house into the appliance being powered. When you leave in your RV the fridge reverts to house power, otherwise the cost of running the fridge becomes close to nothing and your system continues to stay working.
For those of us who like the freedom of taking off in our boat or RV, adding solar just got very affordable.