The sole purpose of RV Solar Panels is to keep the RV batteries charged. A common misconception is by adding Solar Panels alone the RV is equipped to run 110 volt appliances. It’s the Inverter in the Solar Power System that converts RV battery DC power to AC power; allowing the ability to run 110 volt appliances.
The Inverter converts the DC power to AC power at a ratio of 10 – 1. This means for every 1 amp needed to run the appliance 10 amps is drawn from the battery. To find amperage of an appliance it is Watt/Volt=Amp. For example a 1500 watt 4 slice toaster draws 12.5 amps (1500/120=12.5).
What does 12.5 amps mean in terms of battery life? In terms of battery life, it all depends on the capacity of the battery. To find battery capacity it is Volts x Amp hours=Watts. For example 2 deep cycle 6 volt batteries, connected in series, rated 232 amp hours results in a capacity of 2,784 watts (12 x 232=2784).
A 1500 Watt 4 slice toaster, using batteries in the example, could run steadily for 1.856 hours. Caution: if the RV battery falls below 11.2 Volts, appliances needing 12 Volt power will not operate; this includes refrigerator, furnace and hot water tank.
DC capacity and cycle life of battery varies depending on the type and make of battery; deep cycle RV battery vs shallow cycle vehicle battery.
Shallow cycle is when the top 20% or less of the battery is discharged and recharged. A Shallow cycle battery has thinner plates with a large surface area. Shallow cycle batteries are like an Olympic Sprinter, giving up a lot of power over a relatively short period of time needed for starting a vehicle.
Deep cycle is when up to 80% of the battery capacity is discharged and recharged. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and smaller surface area. Deep cycle batteries are like a long distance runner, giving up power over much longer periods of time.
A battery left sitting discharged or below 80% charge will begin to sulfate resulting in compromised battery plates. Important to remember a weakened battery leaches power from a good battery and you are only as strong as the weakest battery.
It can soon become overwhelming figuring out which Solar Power System is the right one for you. The internet is great source of information; unfortunately sorting through all the information can quickly become a mountainous challenge. When it comes to Solar Power System the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. Consulting an Expert alleviates the pain of finding you made the wrong choice using the “trial and error” method. 12 volt 20ah lithium battery