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Go Power RV Solar Kits: Do I Need a Digital Regulator?

by Barbara 7. January 2009 08:03

Questions about RV solar panels by Go Power.

Q: "I see that you sell the Go Power brand solar panel kits for RV's. What is the advantage of a digital regulator on a solar panel kit? I own an RV, want to go to areas without electricity and am not sure which one to purchase. Also what is the difference, besides cost, between the 50 watt, 80 watt and 110 watt kits?" Thanks. Joe

Answer: We recommend the solar panel kits with the digital regulators unless you plan to monitor the battery or power pack very closely. A digital regulator keeps track of the battery charge and stops power to the battery once it is fully charged. Overcharging batteries can result in explosions or damage to the battery.

The higher the wattage, the faster the battery or powerpack will recharge. The other factor is, of course, the amount and intensity of sunlight that hits the solar panel. For example, a 1500 watt powerpack like the Xantrex XPower 1500 unit, would require about 72 hours of direct sunlight to recharge fully with the 110 watt solar kit, 144 hours with the 50 watt solar kit and about 108 hours with the 80 watt solar kit. Most portable powerpacks like the Xantrex 600HD are no more than 600 watts so figure about half that time for a complete recharge.

Before you make your choice, I recommend that you consider how many appliances you plan to use each day, what the watts are used per appliance and how long each day you plan to operate them. Also how many days do you plan to be off the electric grid? If your preference is a more primitive campground, the larger units are a better choice if you need to run blowers on furnaces, etc.

Thanks for your interesting question. Sincerely, Barbara

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12V products | electrical products | emergency preparedness | RV products