Which is the better alternative to powering your home either generator or solar panels? It’s the power-related question that keeps generating discussions around the campfire.
We sought out professionals to investigate the issue. Found that in the end depending on the perspective you take there is no clear solution. Both methods have merits and weaknesses, and they are able to make your caravanning experience more enjoyable.
What Past Tells
In the past, Australian vanners have used generators to power their backup. They just start their vehicle and charge the batteries of their van through alternators when they’re not connected to the grid. Both methods however are noisy, emit fumes, and are not eco-friendly. Solar, however, produces no emissions, is quiet, and it’s environmentally sustainable.
But it’s possible that the top solar panels in Pakistan from top solar companies in Pakistan can completely power an RV, and much is contingent on its construction and how you utilize it. In many instances, it isn’t possible to completely substitute for an alternator or generator. Because it’s only possible to install only a few solar panels on the RV’s roof. The energy generated by solar isn’t always enough to run everything you require to run your home for an indefinite period of time.
For instance, if you have a modern-day caravan that is equipped with a variety of electrical appliances. A washing machine, refrigerator, toaster, and air conditioner are stored in the woods. The engine of the tow vehicle isn’t utilized for charging the batteries.
It’s extremely unlikely that solar power will provide all the power you need for a long time, which is why you might need an additional generator to provide backup power.
if the RV is only for a few hours on the road with the alternator on for charging the battery. If the fan that is a power-hungry appliance isn’t being used then it is possible that you will be able to operate with a 1-kW solar array and will never require a generator in the future.
With a good solar panel, the majority of campers can get by with no generator or even carry it to be a backup in the event of adverse weather. In the case of other campers, solar can cut the time it takes to run generators significantly.
That raises the question: if you cannot power everything with solar power, why consider using solar even at all?
COST, EMISSIONS, RESTRICTIONS
Cost-wise, both generators, as well as solar, have an initial equipment cost that is largely based on their size. Generators use fuel, which adds to the cost of running continuously, however solar isn’t expensive to run.
Generators must also be regularly maintained, whereas the solar system that is designed properly should function on its own. Solar regulators will manage the battery, while the deep-cycle battery is sealed and maintenance-free.
Expert in solar Roy Ding, of Arizon Clean Energy Solutions in Victoria stated that in comparison to generators solar has numerous advantages.
It’s also important to take into consideration that generators aren’t allowed to be used in all national parks. Their usage may have been restricted to respectable levels in camps that are free in which other travelers want to relax in peace and quiet.
If there are appliances that consume a lot of energy within the caravan all the time, for example, air conditioning and heating solar could prove to be a waste of energy.
A typical-sized van ought to be able to accommodate between 200 and 300W of solar power. Which will generate enough power for lights. Power needs like 12-volt lighting, water pumps as well as a 12V TV. Efficient 12V refrigerator that is around 50 liters in size.
“We have seen a major shift from the generator to solar energy in the last couple years and many Australian campers have been camping completely off-grid with solar,” Ding stated.
“But in certain situations, the solar energy produced isn’t sufficient. In other cases, the quantity of energy generated by the solar system is limited by the dimensions of the solar panels. That can be inserted into the space that is available at the top of the. There is a simple way to locate an inverter that is 2kW. However, we’ll be fortunate if we are able to put greater than 500W worth of solar panels in the average size van. If you have more than a few energy demands you will have to utilize a generator. Use these appliances directly from the inverter.”
The solar energy system is in certain ways not as reliable as generators. Due to, when you don’t take the mechanical issues of generators into consideration.
Redarc Electronics’ marketing manager Tennille Readded stated:
That is when you are using solar to go camping without cost. The most important thing is knowing what your typical power consumption for the day will be.
Make sure you do your research first to determine precisely. How much energy each device consumes to get the most efficient results from solar power and obtain the proper size battery bank.
The main drawback with solar panels is that the effectiveness of the panels is dependent on the weather conditions.
“A generator On the other hand is not averse to the turbulence of weather conditions. This is the only thing that’s true for generators: their reliability. It’s not dependent on anything but making sure to keep your fuel tank full for it to continue to run.