Solar Panels for Campervans & Boats

Away from shore power, you want to ensure that you have reliable power. You need to run all your essential appliances without having to constantly run a motor. Solar panels for campervans and boats are an ideal solution.

With solar for campervans and boats, we offer:

  • Equipment supply, including solar panels, charge controllers and inverters
  • DC system installation (for campervans, please bring to Xerogrid HQ)
  • Equipment repair
  • Victron Energy experts
  • Technical advice and support
  • Monitoring and maintenance agreements

ready to talk when you are!

Get in touch today to chat about how we can help you.

DC stands for ‘direct current’, which means the electrical current flows in one direction. This is different to AC, which is used in mains electricity. With AC, the current flows in alternating directions 50 times a second.

DC electricity in vehicles has a lower voltage than mains electricity (12-48v, as opposed to 230v). It is much safer for these applications.

This is the form of electricity stored in batteries and generated by solar panels. Therefore, it is more efficient to keep it as DC, rather than converting it all to AC.

When the voltage is lower, the current will be higher, so a lot of the cables will be much larger than at home. It is important that an expert like Xerogrid sizes these correctly, to avoid overheating.

The two main ways that people charge the batteries are via an alternator and solar panels.

The alternator is a device in an engine that generates electricity to charge batteries in the vehicle. You can connect these to your leisure batteries to charge them up whilst the motor is running.

However, you don’t want to be using this when you’re not moving too often, because it’s expensive and polluting. This is where solar panels for campervans and boats come in. You connect them to your leisure batteries to trickle charge the batteries while you are stationary.

You could also install a small wind turbine for some extra power during the dull winter months.

With solar panels for campervans and boats, traditional battery technologies include lead-acid and AGM. It is now common for people to use lithium batteries, too.

Traditional batteries tend to be lower cost than lithium ion, but they last for fewer charge cycles. This is around 600-1000, as opposed to up to 6000 for lithium. They are also heavier and you will need more batteries for the same capacity. This is because you can only discharge them to between 50 and 70% of their overall capacity without damage. On the other hand, you can discharge lithium batteries to 90-100% of their capacity without damage.

The battery capacity required will depend on how long you will rely on them without charging them back up, as well as the size of the loads. Xerogrid can provide expert advice on which size and type of batteries will suit your application best.

You certainly can!

As household appliances run on AC electricity at 230 volts, you will need an inverter to convert the DC power.

Different inverters have different power capacities. The larger the inverter, the higher-powered appliances can run from it. However, the batteries must be capable of supplying enough power at once. Also, the cables need to be large enough for the current.

Xerogrid can help you plan your system to choose the correct inverter, cables and batteries to get enough AC power for your appliances.

You certainly can! We would generally recommend using as much renewable power as you can. It’s far cheaper and cleaner.

The most common renewable power to use for this application is solar power. However, some people also incorporate a small wind turbine into their campervan or boat setup.

Xerogrid can help you choose the best renewable products for your project.