Motorized and towable RVs are widely popular with outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and people who enjoy the freedom and privacy of off-grid living. But to take this lifestyle to the next level, it’s time for these adventurers to invest in renewable energy sources as well. Innovative solutions such as solar panels and lithium batteries offer cost and sustainability benefits while maximizing the RVer’s energy independence on the road. Let’s dive deeper into these benefits—so you can plan for your RV power needs.
Solar Panels for RVs
RV solar panels use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into usable electricity. The larger RV solar power system then distributes the electrical current through wire networks to a solar charge controller unit, connected to a battery, which stores the electricity until it is needed. Devices and appliances within the RV draw electricity from the battery on an as-needed basis.
Among renewable energy sources, solar power earns top marks for sustainability and environmental friendliness. RV solar power systems generate no carbon emissions whatsoever; they are also silent during both energy collection and electricity conversion, making them ideal for use in remote outdoor environments where peace and quiet are a premium consideration.
Earlier generations of solar power systems had inefficiencies that gave them something of a bad reputation; however, they have dramatically improved in recent years. Modern solar power systems are far more efficient, and are capable of reducing or even eliminating the need for additional energy supplies.
People have traditionally thought of solar panels as being useful only in sunny and warm climates—but this is a misconception. While they do produce electricity in the highest quantities during sunny conditions, RV solar panels can still generate substantial power in overcast weather. They are also unaffected by temperature, operating equally well whether it’s hot or cold outside. Shorter daylight hours during wintertime are the only factor that might impact their seasonal performance.
As renewable energy sources, solar panels also offer excellent longevity. Warranties of up to 25 years are now common, giving them the potential to generate outstanding returns on investment.
Battle Born Batteries for Reliable RV Power
Reliable rechargeable batteries also excel as a source of RV power. Battle Born Batteries manufactures a leading lineup of lithium-ion batteries that serve as practical and renewable energy sources for temporary or long-term off-grid living.
Rechargeable batteries go hand-in-hand with solar power systems, since they can store the electricity generated by solar panels until needed. For many years, lead acid batteries were the major type of battery used in solar setups—but lithium-ion batteries have increasingly replaced them.
While lithium-ion batteries carry higher initial costs than lead-acid batteries, they have much longer lifespans. This gives them a superior lifetime cost profile.
Lithium-ion batteries offer a long list of other advantages, including:
- A leakproof, toxin-free makeup that requires no maintenance
- Built-in protections to prevent overcharging and undercharging
- Faster charging than any other battery type
- Excellent performance in all climate and weather conditions
- Suitability for short-term, long-term, and occasional use
The Battle Born Batteries lineup of lithium-ion batteries improves on these performance features with an industry-leading 10-year warranty. They also achieve 100% depth of discharge (DoD), and charge up to five times faster than and pack up to three times more power into the same space a lead acid battery occupies.
Chargers for Efficient RV Battery Management
Lithium-ion chargers and inverter chargers both play important roles in generating renewable energy for RVs. Both charger types safely manage the charging process, regulate voltage levels, and prevent over- and undercharging. As a result, they extend battery lifespans and help them maintain optimal performance.
Lithium-ion battery chargers are compatible with the lithium batteries commonly found in motorized and towable RVs. They support off-grid RV energy generation with advantages including rapid charging speeds and protections that extend the lifespan of compatible battery systems. On the downside, they carry higher up-front costs. However, their performance and efficiency advantages tend to generate better returns over the long term.
Meanwhile, inverter chargers carry out two functions: they recharge batteries, and convert DC battery power into AC current for devices and appliances. These dual features represent their most important advantage—but inverter chargers also minimize energy losses thanks to excellent efficiency ratings. Their relatively high costs justify these performance advantages; however, on the downside, inverter chargers can prove relatively complex to install and operate.
Monitoring Systems for RV Energy
In RVs, battery monitoring systems play an important role in optimizing the performance and efficiency of renewable energy sources. They track energy use and battery health metrics in real time, improve resource management, and enhance efficiency. Monitoring systems also play an important role in preventative maintenance, since they can detect and report potential problems at an early stage.
A few examples of market-leading monitoring systems include:
- Victron BMV-712: This Bluetooth-enabled system pairs perfectly with Battle Born Batteries’ lithium-ion batteries.
- Cerbo GX: An all-in-one monitoring hub, the Cerbo GX system optimizes performance and offers complete user control over system functions.
- REDARC Smart Battery Monitor: This advanced monitoring system (soon to be added to the Battle Born Batteries product lineup) is easy to set up, highly durable, and has one of the industry’s best accuracy ratings.
- Dragonfly IntelLigence™: This proprietary system is unique to Battle Born Batteries. It features wireless mesh network connectivity for real-time data transmission, along with remote monitoring capabilities powered by the Dragonfly Energy mobile app.
Comparing Renewable Energy Sources to Other Power Solutions
Renewable energy sources—like solar panels and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries—offer multiple advantages over traditional alternatives like gas generators. Gas generators are convenient, but they carry high upfront and maintenance costs. Some gas generators—particularly lower-cost models—also cause problems when used in RVs. For example, they may not produce the pure sine wave power required for RV safety.
Other drawbacks of gas generators include:
- Extensive space requirements, especially when factoring in the gasoline jerry cans they require for fuel
- Heavier weight profiles, which limit mobility
- High noise levels
- Environmental drawbacks, including carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption and potential gasoline leaks
All things considered, renewable energy sources offer a more favorable balance, especially regarding efficiency and sustainability.
Shop for Renewable Energy Sources for Motorized and Towable RVs with Battle Born Batteries
Battle Born Batteries carries a complete selection of solar power and lithium-ion battery systems that are ideal for RV living. With excellent efficiency, performance, and sustainability ratings, solar and lithium-ion battery systems excel as primary power sources for outdoor enthusiasts and off-grid living.
You can also count on the Battle Born Batteries experts to explain the features, specifications, and performance advantages of specific products and systems. Visit Battle Born Batteries to start shopping—or contact us directly to discuss your needs with a mobile renewable energy expert.