In this 6-part series, we explain everything you need to know about RV Solar and how it works!
Part 1 – Confused by wattage, voltage, amperage, battery banks, and wiring size? Then this is for you. Read on!
How is your RV solar system like the fuel system in your car?
It helps to think of your RV solar system as your car’s fuel system.
The RV Battery is like your car’s gas tank. A typical RV battery may be rated at 100 amp hours. Those amp hours are like gallons of fuel in your gas tank. Just as you consume gasoline to run your car’s engine, you use up amp hours to operate RV appliances like your water pump, refrigerator, or TV. When your battery is depleted, you need to replenish those amp hours; in this case, with energy from your solar panels.
Voltage. Think of voltage as “pump pressure”. Using our auto analogy, imagine you pull your car into the gas station to refill your gas tank. If the gas pump doesn’t provide enough pressure, it will not completely fill your gas tank and you won’t be able to drive as far next time.
The same is true for RV solar charging. Many standard RV solar chargers don’t produce enough voltage, only charging your RV battery to 13.7 volts—much less than the 14.4 volts required for a full charge. Without that complete charge, your “gas tank” won’t be full. This means you won’t be able to stay off-grid and run on battery power for as long as you would with full batteries. That’s why Go Power! solar solutions are designed to charge to the right voltage, giving you a 100% charge—every time.
A word about wiring. Think of your RV wiring as the fuel line in your car. If the line is very small, it can’t provide enough fuel to that big V8 engine, which will sputter and perhaps even stop altogether. This is the case in your RV. If you use inadequate, thin-gauge wire for your system, those wires won’t carry the full amount of power to your batteries or inverter, causing them to not run your appliances properly. This can pose a safety hazard, as the wires may become too hot. Every Go Power! system uses the correct, heavy gauge wire to ensure all components and appliances receive the right amount of power.
Solar System Components
Your RV solar power system is made up of several key components that all work together to collect, regulate, store, and deliver power to your RV appliances. All these components must be compatible in type and capacity to ensure your solar system performs safely and optimally.
Now let’s break down the individual components of our RV solar system: