Solar or battery

Apr 5, 2019
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Can anyone tell me if I should buy a solar panel to keep battery topped up where there is no electric hook up for 4 or 5 days or should I buy a spare battery to change over when the other battery is dead
Thanks
Paul
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Paulski said:
Can anyone tell me if I should buy a solar panel to keep battery topped up where there is no electric hook up for 4 or 5 days or should I buy a spare battery to change over when the other battery is dead
Thanks
Paul

Whilst a spare battery can come in useful I would prefer solar power if your caravans payload can take it without you giving up to much. The conundrum is what size panels. If your trips are all year then larger output panels would be required compared to trips in spring and summer. You can do a lot to minimise power usage although this works fir both battery and solar power.

A spare battery at say £100-120 would be cheaper than the initial outlay on solar but a bit more work in keeping it charged and swooping over.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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I agree, solar every time. I've had solar on the boat for 10 years. Obviously boats don't have a weight issue, and I have 3x110AH leisure batteries, but my 300 W of panels keeps me independent of external electrical needs...
 
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I have 2 young kids so mostly tv,lights on at night and early morning also water pump so need solar panel big enough to charge battery up during day time if you have any advice on that much appreciated
 
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The only way is to do the calculation. Look at each item that you want to use and find out what the consumption on 12v is (wattage). Now work out how many hours each device is on for, multiply by the wattage, and total up that lot (giving you the total number of watt hours you consume). Now divide that by 12.8 (voltage of fully charged battery) to give you the number of Amp hours (what battery consumption is measured in). Your battery will be (say) 100 Amp hours, and you should not discharge it lower than 50 % (so in the example 50 Amp hours).
If your daily consumption is greater than the 50% number above, you're unlikely to beable to get enough in from a solar panel, if it's less you can make some rule of thumb assumptions... do your sums, and post back, then we'll look at the solar side of the equation...
 
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Hi thanks for answering I guess I would use 200w and 250w a day using tv,laptop,kettle,water pump,lights, so would need to know what size solar panel I need to keep caravan battery topped up as have killed one battery by draining it to low
 
Mar 8, 2017
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I suggest that you strike the kettle off your list, gas for that item.

For the other items you should be OK with a 100 watt panel but a larger one would be better, you can't generate too much power as the controller will not allow it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If you look at data sheet 33 fir the camping and caravan club there is an excellent chart that helps to calculate current consumption from various bits of caravan equipment. You can vary it to suit a particular caravan such as LED lighting all around etc.
 
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otherclive said:
If you look at data sheet 33 fir the camping and caravan club there is an excellent chart that helps to calculate current consumption from various bits of caravan equipment. You can vary it to suit a particular caravan such as LED lighting all around etc.

That may be found HERE
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dodger524 said:
otherclive said:
If you look at data sheet 33 fir the camping and caravan club there is an excellent chart that helps to calculate current consumption from various bits of caravan equipment. You can vary it to suit a particular caravan such as LED lighting all around etc.

That may be found HERE

That’s a very useful link to the solar power information and combined with the CCC data sheet 33 on power consumption aspects the OP probably has the basis on which to make a decision or ask any further questions on specifics. If the OP were to go down the route of using two batteries the CCC data sheets on battery types and battery care/charging also give lots of good advice too. Nice thing is that both clubs data sheets are available to non members on line.
 
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Hi could anyone tell me if I can use a 240v electric hook point whilst keeping my solar panel connected to the leisure battery. I do have a regulator connected to the solar panel thanks
Paul
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Paulski said:
Hi could anyone tell me if I can use a 240v electric hook point whilst keeping my solar panel connected to the leisure battery. I do have a regulator connected to the solar panel thanks
Paul
Yes you can.
The regulator will prevent the solar panel from charging the leisure battery when the battery is fully charged
 

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