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Solar FAQS

1. How does solar work with my RV?
Solar takes the sun's energy and converts it into DC battery power to charge you RV’s batteries. It is a battery charger that works anytime the sun is out.

2. What is the difference between DC and AC power?
DC (direct current) power is drawn from a battery and will run several types
of RV appliances, like lights and water pumps. AC (alternating current), which
is drawn out of the wall at home, can be replicated in an RV by using an
inverter to convert your DC battery power into AC household power. This is
important if you wish to run AC-powered devices such as a TV, hair dryer, or
coffee maker.

3. Can I run my TV, refrigerator, or water pump on solar?
Many refrigerators in RVs can run on DC propane and AC power. The solar panels will provide power to the batteries, which will allow you to run the fridge on DC power and propane. Solar will also charge the batteries so you can use your water pump. Many TVs run on 120-volt power, so you would require a small inverter to run an AC TV.

4. How long can I run my appliances or electronics on solar?
This all depends on how many amps your load consumes per hour and how large your battery bank is.
5. What is the difference between amps, watts and volts?
A gas station is a great analogy to use when talking about Watts, Amps and Volts. Amps are like gallons of gas that fill your RV's battery and Volts can be compared to the pressure at the gas pump - you require a certain volt "pressure" to fill your battery "gas tank". Watts are simply the amps multiplied by the volts.

6. How do I determine how much solar or inverter power I need when I take my RV dry camping?
Use our chart to add up the devices you use, and then choose a system that matches your usage.

7. What is the difference between a solar kit and a solar system?
Our solar kits contain a solar panel, solar controller, and cables, and are ideal for simply charging your RV battery. A solar system includes more accessories
such as an inverter, transfer switch, battery charger, and fuse block, which will allow you to run AC appliances/electronics, charge your battery, and connect both shore and solar power to your RV's breaker panel. Depending on your application, both products will come with all of the components you will need to install solar on your RV, boat, or cottage/cabin.

8. Why do I need a solar controller/regulator?
The solar controller prevents the solar panel from overcharging your batteries.
9. Do I need to install an inverter if I only want to charge my RV battery with a solar panel?
No, you only require an inverter if you need to convert DC battery power to AC
household power to run devices like TVs, tool chargers, and microwaves.

10. What is the difference between a pure sine wave and a modified sine wave inverter?
All AC devices are made to run off of pure sine wave power. Modified sine wave is a version of AC power that is trying to replicate AC power, but does not achieve an exact replica of it. Modified sine wave inverters are much less expensive. However, many sensitive electronic devices require the exact replica of AC power that a pure sine wave inverter produces. Examples of devices running poorly on modified sine wave include portable tool chargers, high-end TVs and stereos, CPAP machines, and microwaves.
11. Will solar work in the winter in my state or province?
Solar will work anytime it is light out and sunlight is shining on the panel. If there is an accumulation of snow on the panel, it will not work.

12. Do I have to penetrate my roof to install a solar panel system?
In many applications, we permanently mount the panels to the roof of your RV, boat, or cottage/cabin without any issue when the proper sealant is used. Our portable solar kits are easily set up on the ground and are not meant to be a permanent option.

13. Why isn't the digital display working on my solar controller/regulator?
Most issues with a display can be remedied by doing a hard reset on the controller. This is achieved by unhooking all sources of power from the controller (battery power and solar power) and then re-connecting the battery connections and solar connections.

14. How long does it take to charge a battery with solar?
Divide the watt hours of your battery by the wattage of your panel and multiply by 2. For example, if you have a 2 Volt/6 Watt panel and a 3.7V battery, you would get 3.7 Watt hours / 2.0 Watts * 2 = 3.7 hours to fully charge.
If you have cloudy conditions, if your panel is not pointed at the sun or if your panel’s voltage is not well matched to your battery, this could increase.