The solar array is the most visible part of a photovoltaic system and consists of the panels. RV solar panels are typically mounted on the roof of the travel trailer, fifth wheel, coach or motorhome. The panels utilize energy from the sun to generate a flow of electricity.
There are basically two types of RV solar panels – monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The monocrystalline panels are the best choice for efficiency, longevity and overall performance. However, monocrystalline panels are more costly than polycrystalline panels, which obviously needs to be considered based on your individual budget.
Renogy offers RV Solar Panels that are relatively easy to install on the RV roof. These particular panels include bypass diodes built into the panels to maximize the amount of power produced when part of the panel is shaded. These Renogy panels are great, but WindyNation also offers reputable and reliable products.
Renogy and WindyNation have 100 watt panels that are frequently used for RV solar installations which means they can produce 100 watts under ideal circumstances. In an hour, the panel would produce 0.1 Kilowatt hours if the sun was beaming directly on the panels. The rated capacity actually achieved is always substantially less due to the angle of the sun, temperature, shading and night.
Solar panels for recreational vehicles are just one component in a complete system that includes a charge controller, battery bank and inverter, as well as all the associated wires and cables to connect everything. Essentially the panels generate the flow of electricity that then needs to be captured and stored in a battery bank. This stored energy can then be used whenever it is needed.
Boxed and shipped directly to you, the RV solar panels are readily available and arrive well packaged. The panels arrive in a standard cardboard box with appropriate packaging to prevent damage.
The panels are typically mounted to RV roofs with metal Z-brackets and screws, which holds the panels securely and allows just enough space for air to circulate between the roof and the panel to aid in cooling. Depending on the specific roof type on the travel trailer, fifth wheel, coach or motorhome, a self-leveling sealer is used to cover the screws to help ensure to no leaks.