JustCleverThings
JCT

Just Clever Things

Solar panels

By harnessing the sun’s energy through solar panels, you can enjoy the freedom of traveling off-grid while reducing your carbon footprint. However, choosing the right solar panels for your RV or boat requires careful consideration. In this guide, we’ll walk you through essential factors to ponder when buying solar panels to ensure you make an informed decision.

The first step in choosing the right solar panels is determining your energy needs. Calculate the total wattage consumed by all the appliances and devices you plan to run on your RV or boat. This will give you an idea of the minimum capacity your solar panels should have to meet your requirements.

Consider the available space on your RV or boat’s roof or deck for mounting the solar panels. Different solar panels come in varying sizes and wattages, so make sure you choose panels that fit well within the available space without compromising other functionalities.

There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels are more budget-friendly but slightly less efficient. Thin-film panels are lightweight and flexible, making them suitable for irregular surfaces but generally less efficient than the other two. Consider your budget and space limitations when selecting the type of solar panels.

Efficiency and power output are critical factors in choosing solar panels. Higher efficiency means more electricity generated per unit area, which is especially important if you have limited space. Compare the power output (in watts) of different panels to ensure you select ones that match your energy requirements.

Since your RV or boat will be exposed to various weather conditions, ensure the solar panels are durable and weather-resistant. Look for panels with sturdy frames and tempered glass protection. Panels with higher weather resistance will last longer and perform better in harsh environments.

Consider the mounting system required for your solar panels. Most RVs and boats use roof-mounted panels, while some boats may benefit from flexible panels attached to the deck. Ensure the chosen mounting system is secure and compatible with your vehicle or vessel.

Solar panels generate direct current (DC), but your RV or boat’s electrical system requires alternating current (AC). Invest in a quality charge controller to regulate the energy flow and prevent overcharging of batteries. Speaking of batteries, choose a reliable and durable deep-cycle battery bank to store excess solar energy for use during cloudy days or at night.

Review the warranty offered by the solar panel manufacturer. A good warranty ensures you are protected against defects and performance issues. Additionally, check if the manufacturer provides excellent customer support in case you encounter any problems with your solar panels.

Adding solar panels to your RV or boat is a sustainable and eco-friendly way to power your adventures while reducing your environmental impact. By considering factors like energy requirements, available space, panel types, efficiency, durability, and support, you can make a well-informed decision when purchasing solar panels. Embrace the power of solar energy and embark on a greener journey to explore the world around you!

To charge with Solar is an effective way to charge your solar generator or portable power station. The panels are rated with effect it can charge with and labels like 100W panel

The things to consider is the open circuit Voltage, it has to high enough to get your power station to start charging or if you connect the panel to a solar regulator that charge your batteries

You can connect parallel or in serie depending on the input on the solar generator or solar regulator

Make sure that you check if a adapter is required for MC4 connectors

For example if we look at EcoFlow DELTA 2

Input Ports:

AC Charging: X-Stream Fast Charge 1200W max, 10A

AC Input Voltage: 100-120V~ 50/60Hz

Solar Charging: 11-60V 15A Max, 500W Max

Car Charging:    Supports 12V/24V Battery, Default 8A

It supports 11Volt to 60 Volt, a standard solar panel delivers about 27 Volt. That means the you can connect 2 panels in serie

The Renogy 100W Solar panel delivers:

SPECIFICATIONS

Max Power at STC: 100W

Open Circuit Voltage: 24.3V

Opitmum Operating Voltage: 20.3V

So if 4 100W panels is connected as 2 parallel and then in series

Each panels produce ca 5 Amp and in this example it will be 10 Amp and 48V as optimum.

So in theory we can get nearly max input of 480W when Max input is 500W

The advantage of using panels in series is that you don’t need so thick cables, the voltage increases but the amp stays the same.

If you buy panels with MC4 connectors then you can buy adapters for parallel connection —->

When it comes to connecting solar panels, there are three main configurations:

  • series
  • parallel
  • series-parallel

Each configuration has its advantages and considerations based on the specific needs of the solar power system.

In a series connection, solar panels are connected end-to-end, creating a single string.

The positive (+) terminal of one panel is connected to the negative (-) terminal of the next panel, and so on. The total voltage output of the connected panels adds up while the current remains the same.

Advantages:

  • Increased voltage: Connecting panels in series increases the total voltage output, which can be beneficial when you need to reach higher voltage requirements, especially for grid-tied systems.
  • Reduced cable losses: Since the current remains the same, series connections result in lower current levels, which helps to reduce resistive losses in the cables.

Considerations:

  • Even shading: Series connections are more sensitive to shading issues. If one panel in the string is shaded, it can significantly reduce the output of the entire string.

In a parallel connection, solar panels are connected side by side, with the positive terminals connected together and the negative terminals connected together. The total current output of the connected panels adds up while the voltage remains the same.

Advantages:

  • Increased current: Connecting panels in parallel increases the total current output, which is useful when you need to meet higher power demands.
  • Shade tolerance: Parallel connections are more shade-tolerant than series connections. If one panel is shaded, the others will continue to operate at their full capacity.

Considerations:

  • Voltage remains the same: Since the voltage output remains constant, parallel connections might not be suitable for high-voltage requirements without additional components like DC-DC converters.

Series-Parallel Connection (Combination): In larger solar power systems, a combination of series and parallel connections is often used.

This allows for maximizing the benefits of both configurations. Solar panels are first connected in series to increase the voltage, and then these strings are connected in parallel to increase the current.

Advantages:

  • Optimal configuration: Series-parallel connections offer a balance between increased voltage and current, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Flexibility: This configuration allows you to customize the system based on available space, shading concerns, and voltage/current requirements.

Considerations:

  • Complexity: Series-parallel connections can be more complex to design and install compared to individual series or parallel configurations.

 

In summary, series connections increase voltage, parallel connections increase current, and a series-parallel combination offers a balance of both.

The choice of connection type depends on the specific electrical requirements, available space, and shading conditions of the solar power system.

  • Renogy Solar Connectors for Solar Panels 5 Pairs Male & Female
  • Description:This connector is specifically designed for connecting photovoltaic solar systems with high mechanical requirements and extreme weather conditions. For permanent installations.Renogy MC4 Cable Connectors are made with highest quality materials. They are b
  • Price: $9.99
  • Renogy Solar Y Branch Connectors MMF+FFM Pair
  • Description:Renogy MC4 Branch Connectors are used for parallel wiring solar panels (PV modules). Sold as a pair, these “Y-Connectors” will maintain the voltage of the solar panel configuration to match the battery size. These connectors are solely compatible with
  • Price: $12.99
  • Renogy Solar MC4Y2 Branch Connectors MMMF+FFFM Pair
  • Description:The Limited Branch Connector is a perfect solution for connecting three panels in parallel. These connectors have high aging resistance and UV endurance, making them weather-proof and able to withstand harsh environments. A rivet and lock is used to conne
  • Price: $12.99
  • Renogy Solar MC4 Y Branch Connectors MFFFF + FMMMM Pair
  • Description:Make wiring parallel solar panels a breeze with these extended MC4 Y Branch connectors. Primarily suitable for 400W kits, these connectors allow you to install panels in portrait or landscape orientations without the messy wires in your way. Each package
  • Price: $24.99
  • Renogy Solar Connector to SAE Adapter 12 AWG Cable
  • Description:Our new MC4 to SAE connector is perfect for those trying to wire SAE solar ready RVs. These connectors come in 12 AWG and are just over 10.5 inches long. These connections are perfect for hooking up your Renogy solar suitcase or panels to your RV. Make go
  • Price: $24.99
  • 5W Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer
  • Description:Equipped with premium monocrystalline solar cells, the Renogy 5W Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer manages your 12V lead-acid battery in daylight conditions by converting the sunlight into usable electricity and maintaining a healthy state of charge. T
  • Price: $34.99
  • 10W Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer
  • Description:Equipped with premium monocrystalline solar cells, the Renogy 10W Solar Battery Charger Maintainer manages your 12V lead-acid battery in daylight conditions by converting the sunlight into usable electricity and maintaining a healthy state of charge. The
  • Price: $49.99
  • 12V 30A DUAL BATTERY CHARGING 100W SOLAR FLEX BUNDLE
  • Description:Giving you ultimate charging flexibility, the new dual battery charging solar bundle is the smart way to stay off the grid longer. This 12V 30A dual battery solution not only charges your house battery bank and trickle charges your starter battery bank wh
  • Price: $449.99
  • 12V 50A DUAL BATTERY CHARGING 200W SOLAR FLEX BUNDLE
  • Description:Giving you ultimate charging flexibility, the new dual battery charging solar bundle is the smart way to stay off the grid longer. This 12V 50A dual battery solution not only charges your house battery bank and trickle charges your starter battery bank wh
  • Price: $649.99
  • E.FLEX 50 Portable Solar Panel
  • Description:Constructed from high-efficiency solar cells, the Renogy E.FLEX 50 Portable Solar Panel keeps you going by turning sunlight into usable energy for your essential electronics. Its smart junction box offers multiple output options for a simple plug-and-play
  • Price: $139.99
  • 100 Watt Solar Flexible Kit
  • Description:Renogy’s Flexible Kits are back and better than ever! Adding solar to your application is a breeze since we've included the necessary components to get you started on your solar quest to eliminate the burden of dead batteries and maximize your fun under
  • Price: $239.99
  • 200 Watt Solar Flexible Kit
  • Description:Renogy’s Flexible Kits are back and better than ever! Adding solar to your application is a breeze since we've included the necessary components to get you started on your solar quest to eliminate the burden of dead batteries and maximize your fun under
  • Price: $429.99
  • E.FLEX 21 Portable Solar Panel
  • Description:With an energy conversion efficiency of up to 22%-25%, Renogy E.FLEX 21 Portable Solar Panel utilizes sunlight and transforms it into usable electric currents for powering your essential electronics. Latest iSolar technology and auto-optimization function
  • Price: $79.99
  • E.FLEX 30 Portable Solar Panel
  • Description:With an energy conversion efficiency of up to 22%-25%, Renogy E.FLEX 30 Portable Solar Panel utilizes sunlight and transforms it into usable electric currents for powering your essential electronics. Latest iSolar technology and auto-optimization function
  • Price: $109.99
  • 5W Solar Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
  • Description:Over time batteries naturally lose power and, if allowed to, can go flat. Renogy’s 5W solar trickle charger will help you maintain a healthy battery by converting solar energy into a usable 12V DC current to keep your battery topped off at a stable leve
  • Price: $21.99
  • 10W Solar Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
  • Description:Over time batteries naturally lose power and, if allowed to, can go flat. Renogy’s 10W solar trickle charger will help you maintain a healthy battery by converting solar energy into a usable 12V DC current to keep your battery topped off at a stable lev
  • Price: $31.99
  • 175 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • Description:The Renogy 175 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a key component to any solar power (PV) system. Each solar panel includes solar connectors that extend from the junction box affixed to the back of each panel. The solar connectors are compatible
  • Price: $259.99
  • Rover 60 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
  • Description:The Renogy 60A Rover MPPT Charge Controller is an intelligent negative ground controller. Built with protections against reverse polarity, short-circuiting, overheating, and more, this MPPT controller is also capable of self-diagnosing itself in the event
  • Price: $399.99
  • Rover 100 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
  • Description:Introducing the new 100A Rover MPPT Charge Controller, the largest Rover controller that Renogy has to offer. Capable of supporting up to 1300 watts on 12 volts, 2600 watts on 24 volts, 3900 watts on 36V and 5200 watts on 48V. This off-grid controller was
  • Price: $699.99
Renogy Solarpanel