Installation of solar panels
Installation of solar panels on your caravan or motorhome depends on the type of solar panels. There are 3½ opportunities:
- Framed glass panels of approximately the same physical (not electric) type as those placed on rooftops for ongrid connection.
- Semi-flexible solar panels are only 4 mm high and can follow a surface that’s curving slightly.
- Textile solar panels. It’s not the solar panels that are made out of fabric, but they are mounted on a background of strong fabric (canvas) and can be folded and put away as needed.
- And then there is also a small super-flexible solar panel that can be turned, twisted and rolled to a diameter of 30 cm.
Framed glass solar panels
Installation of framed glass panels must be on a flat surface or at least in a setup where there should no bending of the panels. The solar panels have a rigid frame made of aluminium and comes in many sizes, so there may be room for many watts on the caravan, also if there is a not so squared field to install them. We recommend using solar panels that are marine approved and never solar panels that are used for rooftops. When they are marine approved, they are more robust and can cope with both the salt (some places in the winter time) and the engine/road shake. Solar panels made for rooftops runs on a higher voltage than off grid panels, so they will normally not work.
At Energig all our solar panels are all marine approved so that you have the free choice.
We have panels from: Alpex, Ameresco and SpectraLeisure. Especially SpectraLeisure is for camping. SpectraLeisure is specifically designed to the roof of a caravan or camper and includes mounting brackets for caravan roof.
with Alpex and Ameresco you need a solution for solar installation on the caravan and it will also work fine, you just need to remember to order them together with panels 🙂
I would not run framed glass panels through a car wash, as there is no guarantee they can handle it.
There are detailed installation instructions for solar installation in our download area.
Semi-flexible solar cells
As it is in the name, these solar panels can bent slightly (3%. 3 cm over 1 meter) and can follow a curved surface. They are glued or screwed to the substrate. They are very hardy and you can walk on them with soft shoes and bare feet (no clogs and stilettos!) And with them on the roof, you can run through a car wash without problems.
We have two brands, SunWare and SpectraLite
SunWare come in a Series 20 and Series 40. The only difference is that SunWare Series 20 has cable outlet on the front of the solar panel and SunWare Series 40 has cable outlet at the back.
They come in many sizes and is the absolute top product in semi-flexible solar cells. They are designed, manufactured and tested in Germany. It is “Das solar” … 🙂
SpectraLite are of the same type as SunWare and can do the same at a lower price. But they have not quite SunWare’s quality and personally I do not think they are that nice to look at (they are blue), but if they stay on the roof is probably equally.
There are also these solar cells a detailed installation instructions in our download area.
Textile solar panels
These solar panels are portable SunWare solar panels and is based on the same panels as above, but they are mounted on a heavy duty canvas that makes them suitable for taking out of storage, when the sun shines and pack away when you continue your journey. They can also normally be placed on …
Textile solar panels come with connectors on the solar panels and connectors for installation in the caravan.
This is a very neat solution with a minimum of assembly, and is easy to use as required. They can be fastened with Tenax “buttons” for canvas mounting or on a firm surface.
There are solar panels assembly instructions in our download area.
Super flexible solar cells
SpectraFlex is the little solar panel that are fun and can be used the places where you need to bend the panel a lot. The panel can be rolled up to 30 cm in diameter, and even following a varied surface. Installation is not difficult. lay it or tie it where you now want it.
Dimensions, models and prices
Now you are ready to proceed with the installation of solar panels on your vehicle and then you will soon be on the road. 🙂
Find the manual for your selected products in our list of solar installation manuals.
Below you can see a part of our selection for assembly .:
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