If you have your own RV, chances are that you love to explore new places with friends or family members. These recreational vehicles provide the same level of comfort and convenience to you that you normally experience at home. RVs have refrigerators, televisions, heated showers, kitchens, and various other amenities that are usually seen inside your own home. Thus, there is no need for you to look for hotels on your way to your final destination.
Due to the large variety of household appliances and gadgets that are used inside an RV, there is a need for a constant supply of electricity to make these appliances and gadgets work. Most of the RV owners opt for deep cycle batteries for the purpose. However, a better and cleaner source of power would be solar energy. A good quality solar power system installed on your RV will prove to be a fine and appropriate solution to the large amount of energy required to run all the equipment inside the vehicle.
Solar energy systems are not 100% efficient. There are possibilities of losses that may occur in a standard condition. However, these losses can easily be controlled if you practice some best habits. One of the best practices that you can follow is using a solar charge controller in your RV. If you fail to use such a charger, then the large-scale solar energy generation, storage, transmission, and consumption may easily render your RV energy deficient.
The charge controller helps to charge the battery system that helps in getting solar energy from the panels. If this controller is not used, the battery pack may either burn out or run dry depending upon the charge available from the sun and the solar panels.
What Do You Mean by RV Solar Charge Controller?
Do you have a solar power system installed in your RV? Does it have a generating capacity of around 100 watts from the solar panels? In that case, it is essential for you to use a solar charge controller to help control the discharging and the charging of the battery from the solar panels, as well as the connected load. Thus, the RV solar charge controller proves to be a crucial part of the entire solar system that generates electricity in the RV.
Most of you may know it as a battery regulator or a charge regulator. It is basically an electronic device that helps to stabilize the flow of electrical current and voltage in and out of the battery. Different companies offer different technologies through their charge controllers. However, two of the technologies are used most of the time. The first is MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracking and the second is PWM or Pulse Width Modulation.
In a solar charge controller that uses MPPT, the current and voltage from the solar panels are measured in real time and maximum amount of power is supplied to the batteries. This basically depends upon the capacities of the batteries. On the other hand, in case of charge controllers that use PWM, solid state switches and gates are used to supply constant direct flow of current to the batteries with different input from the panels.
Compared to the MPPT, the PWM technology is cheaper and older. It is also used mainly for small sized solar generating systems. However, the MPPT is more efficient in working with real time tracking of current and voltage. This is why it is more commonly used for solar charge controllers. Whether you opt for a MPPT charge controller or a PWM charge controller, both will be an integral part of the solar system that you install in your RV. Both of these controllers have standalone nature which makes them best suited for RVs, since these types of vehicles cannot be connected to a grid electricity supply.
Sizing a Solar Charge Controller
Under normal circumstances, the battery of an RV is 12 Volt along. With the help of a 12V solar charge controller, the solar power system can easily charge the car battery. When it comes to sizing the controller for your RV, it is a pretty simple task. To make things simple for you, if you use a 200W solar power system, then you will need a 20A controller. At the same time, if the system is of 400W, then you will require a 40A controller. With this simple rule in your mind, things will be much simpler for you when it comes to choosing the right solar charge controller for your RV.