Well, technology and convenience have come a long way for the system we know as the battery. We all need batteries, of course, and life would not be the same without some investment placed upon them—both old and new—for things like fishing, fast lane driving and even outdoorsy stuff like camping around a mountain or forest.
But, today, you can find countless sorts of devices, apparatus and even software that can address limitations and benefits of the current battery system you have, whether that be in voltage range, ampere capacity, watts per hour and controller configuration. Safe to say, you now have so many options for the best purchase in terms of car batteries, and even marine deep cycle batteries for boats.
In this article, we look to explore the interesting world of solar portable panels for RV batteries and what it can hold for you, living the off-grid lifestyle.
So, the main point this article drives it would be this: The solar panels help your RV system live better the off-grid lifestyle as an extension supplement power source, not necessarily a necessary system. So, this is to say, not everyone needs nor wants a portable solar panel just because they want to be outside of the city for a given period of time.
Portable solar panels are relatively new, and they living “off-grid” (outside city zones) were handled long before portable solar panels were introduced as a viable option. At this point, you might wonder what other benefits the solar panels must have other than just being an extra power source. Well, if you want to have a more detailed look into these, look no further than the information below.
First Of All, Do I Really Need Portable Solar Panels For My RV Batteries?
Strictly speaking, RV trailers (oversized cars for outdoor or off-grid living) do not need a portable solar panel system because they have mechanisms intact (you do not see your RV running around with an extension cord, do you?) to keep them around for a definitive period of time (1 or 2 or even 3 days).
That said, that definitive time is what would separate an ordinary RV trailer user to a not so ordinary one: The amount of time a user is constantly on the road. This is known as “boondocking”, almost similar to a person whose boat is lost at sea and is stranded for help.
In cases like these, portable solar panels (take note of the italicized words) will certainly help in the overall stamina needed for such expeditions (as far as batteries are concerned). So, for the benefit of very long trips outside with a basic car battery set, an “emergency” portable solar panel will, no doubt, be a great aid towards this goal.
Second Thing, Any Difference Between Portable and Mounted Solar Panels?
Well, this is an excellent question and not one that can be taken lightly. So, as much as portable solar panels are a really cool alternative energy source, the truth is, most would rather prefer a solar panel mounted over their roof.
This is quite understandable and practical in terms of convenience. Think about it, does it not make sense to just to place the solar panel on the roof where it can get the most amount of solar charges so that electricity can easily be obtained?
Well…kind of. There are some drawbacks to this:
1. Mounted solar panels can be difficult to clean up just so that they can get the job done.
2. If you were in a true or under shade, you can be mounted solar panels would not get much power into your RV system.
3. The energy provided may not always be a good amount to justify having a solar panel system (mounted, of all things) in the first place.
And…what about these portable solar panels you keep hearing about?
1. They can be taken in and out of a certain area, depending on how much you want your solar energy to be collected and distributed—flexible, actually.
2. It is often less expensive than a fully mounted solar panel system, which can be a hassle for a variety of reasons you might not be prepared for.
3. It can work standalone for long, off-grid camp operations and works even better with a mounted rooftop solar panel system.
Finally, Are All Portable Solar Panels Created The Same?
If you are considering buying a portable solar panel system, do not forget to invest in a good solar panel controller (one that can manage a proper voltage rate or range). That said, not all portable solar panels are made the same. (Read this helpful post if you are willing to learn how the solar battery works).
There are two types observed in the market and industry today:
1. Polycrystalline material (blueish)
2. Monocrystalline material (blackish)
In terms of a hint, their color dominance (black vs blue) usually is a giveaway in terms of which is which. Added to this, they also come in different shapes and sizes: poly is larger and clunkier and mono is smaller and compact.
Furthermore, panels made with a poly based material comes out as cheaper but also less efficient in driving energy. Those panels that come with mono are, indeed, expensive, but are more efficient in collecting and converting energy, which is a big plus considering most technology upgrade today is based on efficiency.
So, it should not probably surprise anyone that for quality and quality assurance, the safest and usual bet would fall under the recommendation of monocrystalline based materials for your solar panel batteries.
This is especially useful when considering the long, drawn-out strain between weather conditions that afflict the usual RV trailer camper—imagine the one who goes more off-grid!
At this point, it makes more sense to invest in the monotype despite it being a more expensive option (a whole solar panel system is expensive, mind you).
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