Jul 20, 2020
Answers To All Your Questions About Solar Charging Systems and Inverters and Go Power! Products
- How does solar work with my RV? Solar power allows you to take your RV off the grid while still using your refrigerator, lights and other appliances for extended periods. Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into direct current (DC) electricity, and this charges your RV’s batteries, storing the electricity. A power inverter converts this DC power to AC (alternating current) in order to run many of your RV appliances.
- What is the difference between DC and AC power? DC (direct current) power is drawn directly from the battery and will run several types of RV appliances, like lights and water pumps. AC power (alternating current), is what is used in your home. An inverter in your RV converts your DC battery power into AC for AC-powered devices such as TVs, hair dryers or coffee makers.
- Can I run my TV, refrigerator, or water pump on solar?Yes. Many RV refrigerators can run on DC or AC power. You can also use solar to power your water pump. Most TVs run on AC power, requiring an inverter.
- How long can I run my appliances or electronics on solar? That depends on the number of appliances, how much power they consume, and what size of battery bank you have installed. Visit our Go Power! Calculator to help determine your requirements.
- What is the difference between amps, watts, and volts? Think of your power system as a gas station. Amps are like gallons of gas that fill your RV's battery, and volts are like the pressure at the gas pump. You need a certain voltage ‘pressure’ to fill your batteries (the gas tank). - Watts are simply the amps multiplied by the volts.
- How do I determine how much solar or inverter power I need when I take my RV dry camping?Use our Calculator Tool to add up the requirements for the devices you plan to use, then visit our Calculator. It will recommend the components you require.
- What is the difference between a solar kit and a solar system? Our solar kits provide the basics you need for charging your RV battery — they contain a solar panel, solar controller, and cables. A solar system includes more components (such as an inverter, transfer switch, battery charger, and fuse block) so you can run AC appliances and electronics, charge your battery, and connect both shore and solar power to your RV's breaker panel.
- Why do I need a solar controller/regulator? The solar controller is required to prevents your solar panels from overcharging your RV batteries.
- Do I need to install an inverter if I only want to charge my boat or RV battery with a solar panel? No, you only require an inverter if you want to convert DC battery power to AC household power in order to run devices like TVs, tool chargers, and microwaves.
- What is the difference between a pure sine wave and a modified sine wave inverter? All AC devices can run with pure sine wave power. Modified sine wave power replicates AC power, but not perfectly. While modified sine wave inverters are much less expensive, many devices run poorly when it is used — for example, portable tool chargers, high-end TVs and stereos, CPAP machines, and microwaves.
- Will solar work in the winter in my state or province? Will the sun be shining? Solar will work any time there is sunlight is shining on the panel. If there is a snow buildup on the panel, the system will not work.
- Do I have to penetrate my roof to install a solar panel system? Not necessarily. In many applications, we can permanently mount the panels on the roof of your RV using a sealant. As an alternative, our portable solar kitscan be set up on the ground.
- Where can I buy Go Power! products? We at Go Power! sell our products through a dealer network, but do not sell directly to consumers. Find one of our certified dealers on our Dealer Locator map.
- How do I install a solar module? Check out our solar installation video and diagrams.
- Why isn't the digital display working on my solar controller/regulator? Most issues with a display can be remedied by doing a hard reset on the controller. Unhook all sources of power from the controller (battery power and solar power), then re-connect the battery connections and solar connections.
How do I install an inverter?
- Connect your inverter to a battery using a Go Power! DC installation kit
- Install the fuse that comes with the kit on the positive battery cable as close to the battery positive as you can.
- Connect the cables to the inverter first and then to the battery. There may be a small spark when you first make the last connection to the battery, which is perfectly normal (this is the capacitor powering up).
- On the AC output side, you can simply plug a device directly into the inverter AC outlet, or hardwire the inverter into your application using a Go Power! transfer switch.
- How do I store my RV solar system in the winter months? It’s easy — check out our step-by-step instructions here.