How to Maintain RV Solar Panels

As the years go on solar power in RV’s has either or already become common practice in implementation. You’ll find them every where powering RV’s globally, ensuring they are running with maximum efficiency. But as solar power becomes common one can’t help but wonder “how do I take care of the panels?”, “what kind of maintenance is involved?” or “how does it even work?”. Don’t worry, today I’m hoping to answer all these questions and so much more to help you get the most out of your solar panels, your RV and in turn your camping experience! Let’s start with…

What Exactly is Solar Power?

There’s no such thing as a silly question right? So let’s set the foundation of all this and explain what exactly solar power is. Solar power is a renewable energy source that harnesses the energy from the sun to generate electricity. The most common way solar power is used through solar panels, which then convert sunlight directly into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight hits the panels, it excites electrons in turn creating an electric current. Or in other words, Sunlight + Solar Panels = Electricity!

Okay, But Why Have Solar power?

Solar power is going to allow you to keep your appliances and entertainment running while off grid camp or extend the battery drastically while on the road. Some other benefits worth mentioning are

  • it’s a renewable and sustainable power source that is both abundant and inexhaustible
  • It’s eco friendly 🙂
  • The operating and maintenance costs are pretty low
  • You’ll have (some) energy independence from finite and expensive fossil fuels or shore power hook ups
  • Flexibility on where you want to camp

What Kind of Maintenance is Involved With Solar Power Panels?

Generally speaking very minimal upkeep is required for you panels, the occasional upgrade and fairly consistent care will go a long way. Here’s a few things you can do,

  • Checking your battery daily
  • Looking at the panels themselves to see if they are free of any obscurities
  • A once a month cleaning from dirt, debris, etc
  • Checking the wire connections

How Do I Clean Them?

Easy, soap and water will do! You’ll want to do a real tame scrubs to remove any dirt but the clean shouldn’t be too intensive since rain water will pretty much wash them for you.

Some Things To Keep In Mind…

  • In intense very heat overheating of components can happen and adversely affect performance. Make sure there’s decent airflow around the solar panels and maintain proper ventilation for the batteries, preferably in shaded areas. You may need to open access panels to make sure the inverter remains cool.
  • For winter preparation, if you plan on storing the batteries, cover the solar panels with something opaque. Once covered, they will deactivate and stay inactive until uncovered in the spring when the batteries are reinstalled.
  • If you have lead-acid, AGM, or heated lithium batteries and are leaving them in the RV, keep the solar system intact and just make sure that the panels have no snow on them. If you have nonheated lithium batteries and expect freezing temperatures for a while, fully charge, disconnect them and just store them indoors away from the cold.

Have more questions about solar power at all? Then click here for our parts department or click here for the service department. Also feel free to give us a call at anytime and we’ll be more than welcome to help you out! Thank you so much for reading and until next time…

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