RV Solar & Lithium Systems

Why Solar?

Imagine the freedom to adventure off-grid to new remote destinations without hassle or worry about energy sources. Instead you’ll have the peace of mind that only solar’s renewable + safe power source provides. Stuck in a parking lot or stranded with an emergency? Solar is there. Never again will you have to fear running of your power source running dry. Solar actually extends your battery by 50%! Even more, solar frees you from the rigid confines of state parks whose use of generators is limited to a small window of time daily. And let’s face it, generators are great…but NOISY. Kiss that noise goodbye forever by upgrading to solar.

RVTECH & Marine has your RV Solar & Lithium System Solution!

Did you know that the stored power that was free from the sun, is now being used to run 12 Volt appliances for free?!

Or it can be inverted to run 110 volt appliances, like house style refrigerators, when dry camping and even when in transit even if its in a travel trailer or 5th wheel!

Eliminate the need to drive down the road and start the generator for power, or the need to run that refrigerator on propane to keep the food cold.

Solar power is the answer! Let’s take a stroll down Solar lane to learn why:

RV Solar 101: Everything You Need to Know

Let’s rewind to the beginning, shall we? Your solar system is made of crucial components that MUST work in harmony in order to collect, save and expend power for all of your RV lifestyle needs. When it comes to solar, compatibility is key in order for your system to work smoothly and efficiently. RVTECH & Marine’s solar experts will craft the perfect solar system to seamlessly meet and exceed all of your expectations. So, first things first, let’s take a stroll down solar lane and teach you the ins and outs of your exciting RV Solar Experience. 

Compatibility is Key: The Piece-Meal Approach Has No Place in Solar

And neither does the spaghetti-technique, where things are thrown together to see what “sticks”. Solar demands high standards for excellence, and so should you, which is why RVTECH & Marine has been known as “The Solar Capital of SouthWest Florida.” We deliver nothing short of excellence. We ensure everything from your panels to wattage to mounting are all compatible in order to ensure the best experience. 

Solar Panel Types: If You Go Cheap, Expect to Buy Twice

Solar panels consist of individual solar cells that take sunlight and turn it into energy via direct current electricity. This DC energy charges your RV’s batteries which fuels the power for all of your appliances. Given that solar will be the life force for your RV, you’ll want to make a smart investment on high quality solar panels that will become the “foundation” for your solar system.

1. Amorphous Panels

  • Least expensive
  • Least efficient
  • Take  up the most space

2. Polycrystalline Panels

  • Middle of the road expense
  • More efficient than amorphous panels
  • Take up half the space of amorphous panels

3. Monocrystalline Panels

  • Most expensive but last longest = BEST VALUE
  • Most efficient
  • Take up the least space
 

Rigid vs. Flexible Solar Panels: Think Warranty + Durability

Flexible panels are typically used for special circumstances (i.e., when there are weight/height limitations or panels need molding to accommodate curved areas) and tend to be more damage-stricken, as they are 80% lighter than rigid solar panels.
 
On the flipside, rigid panels are more common. Constructed with tempered glass, these panels come with much longer warranty periods and are more durable than flexible solar panels.

 

Lithium Batteries: Your Solar System’s Heartbeat

Your solar system hinges on your batteries. That’s why at RVTECH & Marine we step over the limitations of other batteries and only offer you the best: Lithium. Lithium batteries brings you unsurpassed + unmatched benefits that other batteries won’t offer:

  • Best Performance
  • Highest charging efficiency
  • Maintenance-free
  • Safe
  • Long-life cycle

We get it, the higher price tag may be causing some doubt and hesitation to creep in. Let’s replace that lack mindset with a longevity mindset. You see, solar is the new way. New adventures. New freedoms. Big picture living. Accurate mindset. The accurate way of looking at your solar system is through the lens of compatibility, efficiency and longevity. Any corners cut in these three areas will undoubtedly cause unforeseen hiccups and the worst, buyers remorse. 

We have seen thousands of RV solar systems + installations. We know what works, what doesn’t; what will create a return on investment, and what will cause a return of headaches. That’s why we pierce through all the options and simply offer you the best. No corners cut, no splitting headaches later. Instead, a smart investment now + a lifetime of joy-filled adventures & shout-from-the-rooftops-freedom.

Battery Voltage & Quantity: Your Energy Consumption Map

Once we congratulate you on your smart investment in solar, we will sit down and create your Energy Consumption Map. The amount of batteries you will need to power your solar system will depend on the energy consumption of your RV. We will segment this map into actual + projected consumption in order to craft the perfect solar system with room to grow. 

RV batteries can be wired in a series to form a battery bank that provides higher voltage. Alternatively, they can be connected in parallel to form a battery bank that offers greater capacity. The results of your Energy Consumption Map will yield the best course of action. 

If lithium batteries are the heart of your RV solar system, the voltage current is the veins. So which voltage current is best for your solar needs? Well, first things first. The majority of your RV appliance need 12v current, so at a minimum, you will need two 6v batteries connected in series. Six-volt batteries are great if your plan is to have a large battery bank or desire max power. So, 6v…done deal, right? Not exactly. What if one of those 6v batteries kicks the bucket? You’ll be left powerless. What we recommend instead is having two connected 12v batteries so if one kicks the bucket, your other battery will seamlessly keep you up and running.

PWM vs. MPPT Solar Charge Controllers: Which is Best for You?

Solar Charge Controller 101

A solar charge controller is the “middle man” between your energy source and storage. In a nutshell, it secures the life of your battery by preventing overcharging. When your batteries are low, the solar charge controller provides a full flow of current from your panels to refill your battery banks. Once a 100% charge is reached, the controller caps the current flowing from your panels to the batteries.


Specifically, solar charge controllers safeguard your solar system’s efficiency from the dreaded spikes + drops caused by ever-changing variables such as your battery’s charge state, sunlight and temperature. Despite all of these variables that can send your RV solar system into an efficiency black hole, solar charge controllers ensure a constant, steady optimal power flow. Without a solar charge controller, you are at high risk for battery drainage and even loss of battery life. With a solar charge controller, its smart technology will sense when stored power falls below 50% capacity and will shut down the system safely. The result? Longer battery life.

Additional safeguard benefits:

  1. Overload protection: If the current flowing into the batteries exceeds what the circuit can handle, you are at severe risk of overload. The danger? Overload can turn into overheating and CAUSE A FIRE. But you can bypass the risk of a fire with a charge controller that PROTECTS against overload. 
  2. Low voltage disconnects: This works as an automatic disconnect of non-critical loads from the battery when the voltage falls below a predefined threshold. It will automatically reconnect to the battery when it is being charged. This will prevent an over-discharge and protects equipment from operating at dangerously low voltages.
  3. Block Reverse Currents: Solar panels pump current through your battery in one direction. Without a charge controller, at night, panels may naturally pass some of that current in the reverse direction, causing a slight battery discharge. Charge controllers act as a valve and prevent this from happening.

Pulse Width Modulation Charge Controllers

The pulse width modulation controller reduces current gradually, hence its name “pulse width modulation” in order to regulate the flow of energy to the battery. When batteries are full, these charge controllers continue to supply a small amount of power to maintain battery fullness. 

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Perfect for smaller systems 
  • Great for warm, sunny climates
  • Less components = longer lifespan
Cons: 
  • Less efficiency than MPPT charge controllers
  • Not suitable for large or complex systems

Maximum Power Point Tracking Charge Controller

Maximum power point tracking controllers are incredible at utilizing the full range of power from your solar panels for battery charging. They safeguard against overcharging by limiting their output. Additionally, they regulate your solar system’s current through monitoring and adjusting their input as needed. These charge controllers boost the current and step down the voltage. As a result, the overall output will increase and your efficiency ratings will reach and exceed 90%. For instance, during a cloudy day, your MPPT controller will lower the amount the current extracted in order to keep an optimal voltage at the panel’s output. Once it’s sunny again, the MPPT controller will permit more current from the solar panel. 
 
Pros: 
  • High-efficiency
  • Perfect for larger systems 
  • Great for colder, cloudy climates
 
Cons:
  • More expensive than PWM charge controllers
  • More components = shorter lifespan
 
What is a Charge Controller’s Upper Limit?

The upper limit is the max amount of voltage the charge controllers can handle safely. A safety-MUST is knowing the upper voltage limit of your controllers so you don’t accidentally burn out your solar charge controller. 

 

RV Power Inverters: Modified Sine vs. Pure Sine Waves

Your RV’s power inverter converts the energy you need to run your 120V AC appliances from the 12V DC power supplied from your RV batteries. But not all power inverters are equal. Let that sink in. There are some special considerations when choosing an RV power inverter. First things first: let’s talk sine waves. Modified sine waves, used by the older inverters, recreate the AC power profile in your home. Sure, your RV appliances will run off modified sine waves BUT not optimally. Your RV appliances run BEST and EFFICIENTLY off of pure sine waves, aka a pure sine wave inverter. 

 

Transfer Switches: Safety + Convenience

Would you like to be out in the middle of crazy weather manually transferring power sources? Or how about outside in the pitch dark, in your slippers, with a flashlight manually transferring power sources? Didn’t think so. Transfer switches stand in your place while you sleep and do the things you love. They automatically “switch” between two sources of incoming AC power. Once the AC power sources are connected to the transfer switch, the switch will choose the best power source as per your preferences. For example, it turn off the refrigerator’s propane source while you drive for safety reasons and instead can power your refrigerator for you. 

 

You are probably wondering why different AC power sources have to be kept from each other. And that’s a great question. They MUST be kept separate in order to prevent extensive electrical equipment damage or even fire. Transfer switches are smart, safe and an absolute must. 

RVTECH & Marine offers many styles and applications to fit your needs!

Stay happy and entertained at any hour with 110 Volt power supply for microwave, internet use, and videogames, TVs, coffeepot, toaster, phone and computer chargers, video players, basically anything, with the exceptions of high consumption appliances like electric water heaters, and roof top air conditioners!

Because there are no moving parts, maintenance is effortless and operation is completely quiet! Can you see how easy this is?

Take advantage of this attractive investment today!

 

 The Solar Brands Trusted by RVTECH & Marine
 
coming soon!
 
 
 
 

RVTECH & Marine offers solar mounting systems too!

Mounting your RV’s solar panels is just as important to performance as your solar system itself. That’s why RVTECH & Marine offers you an array of solar mounting solutions to fit your needs! Which mounting solution is right for you is depends on how you use your RV. So let’s take a look at the options, shall we? 

 

 

Plan on Staying in 1 Place for a While? You Need a Tilted Mounting System (aka Angled Mounting)

Here’s why:

Tilted mounting, sometimes called angled mounting, allows solar panels to be tilted at an angle from the roof of the RV so the panels are more directly facing the sun. However, most solar panels will break from the force of the wind if left in this position while driving, so tilted mounting racks are designed to be able to return to a flat mounted position.

 

Pros

  • Up to 35% more efficient power production than flat mounting
  • Heat dissipates more easily, causing less power fluctuation
  • Easier to keep clean

Cons

  • Can break if not put down before driving
  • Most must be lowered manually, meaning a trip to the top of the RV before every drive
  • Can’t be used in high wind, and may be damaged by unexpected wind gusts
  • Will raise the vehicle’s profile
  • Must park in the sun to be effective
  • More racking hardware required
 
 

Plan to Travel Frequently? You Need a Flat Mounting System

Here’s Why
Great for both crystalline panels and thin film solar panels, flat mounting is the simplest mounting solution. Although super easy, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient utilization of space. 

 

Pros

  • No need to adjust or rotate the solar modules
  • No need to consider the angle of the vehicle when parked
  • Provides continuous power, even when driving
  • Less racking hardware required
  • Faster installation

Cons

  • Gets dirty easily, especially when left stationary
  • Gets hotter than other mounting options, causing some power fluctuation
  • Sub-optimal angle to the sun, resulting in lower power production
  • Must park in the sun to be effective

PROS: Effortless maintenance, completely quiet, the most renewable and cost-effective power source on the market, perfect for self-containment and state parks, initial investment will more than pay for itself over and over, and we can even remove it and install it on a new vehicle!

Request an Appointment today!

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