If you’ve been planning a van conversion recently, you’ve no doubt been considering a solar system for your power needs. With an abundance of information available online, planning and designing your system can seem an overwhelming task at times so we thought we’d share a series of posts covering everything from the very basic components of a solar system, to advanced planning and installation strategies. Today’s post covers the very basics of a solar system for your van conversion.
A simple solar kit for a van conversion typically includes the following components:
- Solar panels: These are mounted on the roof of the van and are responsible for capturing sunlight and turning it into electricity.
- Charge controller: The charge controller regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the battery and prevents the battery from being overcharged.
- Battery: The battery stores the electricity generated by the solar panels so it can be used when the sun is not shining.
- Inverter: The inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity stored in the battery into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what is typically used to power household appliances.
To use the solar kit, the operator simply mounts the solar panels on the roof of the van, connects them to the charge controller and battery, and then plugs in any appliances they want to use. The solar panels will capture sunlight and turn it into electricity, which is then stored in the battery. When the operator wants to use an appliance, they can either plug it directly into the battery (using the inverter to convert the DC electricity to AC electricity as needed) or they can turn on the inverter and use a standard AC outlet to power their appliance.
While this is a very brief overview of a solar system, we hope it provides you with an easy to understand breakdown of how a system works. Check back soon for more advanced discussion soon.
If you are currently planning a system for your van conversion, boat or off-grid cabin, we’ve got expert help available to calculate, plan and install your system. We suggest starting with our Mobile Power System Consultation or Van Conversion Consultation to get you started. Contact us for more details.