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Why does this forum specify"12v solar"?

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  • Why does this forum specify"12v solar"?

    Is there some reason the forum title specifies 12 volt solar for RV? In the modern era of MPPT charge controllers I don't think there's any reason to use 12 volt solar in an RV anymore... An outdated title?

    Or is there another forum for modern RV solar systems?

  • #2
    You can start a post and the Mods can possible move it to a new threat but in reality most RV's still run off of a 12V system and the low wattage panels, while have a Vmp close to 18V, are still considered 12V panels.

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    • #3
      > most RV's still run off of a 12V

      Which of course doesn't mean they should. But the title of this forum might mislead people and keep them using antiquainted tech. Or worse get, still relying on generators because they install inadequate 12v systems.

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      • #4
        I'll bet 90% of campers & RV's have 12V systems . The high end rigs may have 24v setups, but they are generally rare, don't you agree ?
        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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        • #5
          Alas I think 90% of RV's don't have solar at all. But yeah of the 10% that do, probably 90% of them have old style 12 volt systems, usually under 200 watts. But again that doesn't mean they should. I can't imagine relying on 12 volt panels (even wired in series) in the modern solar era of inexpensive high quality high voltage panels and high quality cheap MPPT charge controllers. And I certainly can't think of a reason to encourage using 12v panels in RVs when a much more efficient alternative exists.
          Last edited by Wrybread; 08-09-2020, 09:52 PM.

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          • #6
            The name refers to the voltage the system provides (12V nominal), not to the panels themselves.

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            • #7
              Aha, that makes more sense. I'm not sure if it's a safe assumption that RVs are 12 volt, especially as we enter the era of the lithium battery, but it is of course the majority at the moment.

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              • #8
                I am putting 6 One hundred watt panels on the roof with 3S2P so that 36 VDC is fed to the MPPT charge controller to power a 1000 watt inverter at 12 VDC. If this works, I’d like to double the panels to feed a 24 VDC Inverter for 2000 watts of power, but every DC appliance in my RV except the inverter uses 12 VDC, so I’d still consider my RV 12 VDC because of the accessories.

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                • #9
                  Many are using 12v appliances such as leds, tv and fans and install for for example their cabbins a 12v sistem without using inverters, even for a small 12vdc fridge.

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                  • #10
                    I too consider an RV or camper to be a 12V system. That is the default configuration for nearly any modern camper in the "normal" price range. The tow vehicle is also nearly always going to be a 12V system and a trailer with road lighting/braking system needs to integrate with that. I'm sure that some very high end coaches are dabbling in lithium batteries which may have different voltages, or 24V or 48V systems with inverters. But that is a niche. I see a lot of off-grid cabin or other types of stationary applications on here that I like to read through but don't usually offer comment on since I'm just a spectator. But RVs and campers are my gig, I love reading those threads and chiming in when I think I have something useful to say.
                    I'm an RV camper, mine has 280 watts of solar

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wrybread View Post
                      Is there some reason the forum title specifies 12 volt solar for RV? ........
                      Or is there another forum for modern RV solar systems?
                      Google "RV solar forum" and you will find there are others with different naming conventions. Some actually have active participation but most of the posters are DIY.
                      9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                      • #12
                        If you decide to cross the line into 24V in a RV such as the one I am building out and living in that is "rare" you have to play in both worlds of marine and RV for sourcing parts though some things can't be had and you have to step down to 12V.
                        1.2 kWh solar 10.56 kWh battery @ 24v in a RV

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                        • #13
                          I am seeing more 24 volt systems compared to a few years ago. Unfortunately, I still see RV's with three or more 12 volt batteries in parallel on a 12 volt system.

                          I went with 24v in my RV and have had good success finding reasonably priced 24 volt devices. Water pump, lights, USB chargers. I am going to have to run a small 24v to 12v converter for a couple of items like the roof vents.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PNW_Steve View Post
                            ....
                            I went with 24v in my RV and have had good success finding reasonably priced 24 volt devices. Water pump, lights, USB chargers. I am going to have to run a small 24v to 12v converter for a couple of items like the roof vents.
                            It sure cuts down on the wire size as the Amps go up.

                            9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                            • #15
                              It is stupid simple, so simple many cannot figure it out. Must be all that smoke in calaphoney from dope. An RV alternator can generate more energy to recharge batteries in 1 hour than solar panels can generate over 2 or 3 days. They use 12 volts because they are smart enough to know solar does not work and has to have a generator to survive. It is that simple.

                              Otherwise you end up like calaphoney's, failed energy policy, paying way to much, and suffering blackouts. They deserve it, and got what they asked for.
                              MSEE, PE

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