A basic solar power plant for an RV, any type of RV, includes your solar panels, your charge controller, and your battery plant. The solar panels create electric power, the charge controller makes sure you’re not over charging the batteries, and the batteries are where you store the power generated throughout the day.
In order to make your system power everything in your RV, you’ll need one more item, an inverter. RV Inverters allow you to access the stored power in your battery plant and send that power out as AC power. You see, your battery plant is DC power. Your standard wall outlets, your microwave, and your air conditioners all run on AC power. Your solar plant, from panels to batteries are all DC power.
Without an inverter you can still power many items in your RV – your house batteries, fridge (which runs on DC and propane), hot water heater, and your water pump. If you have DC plugs for some devices (laptops, smart phones, etc) you can also power those. But if you want your AC outlets working, and your AC powered appliances, you’re going to need an inverter.
The latest advancements in Inverter technology have allowed for a whole new way of powering your AC appliances in your RV. Standard inverters can take the stored power in your battery plant and turn it into AC power. Combining shore power ( a generator or being plugged into a park’s power supply) and a hybrid inverter allows more flexibility than ever before.
Hybrid inverters work great in situations where you are limited by a 15 or 20 amp shore power service but still want to run heavy loads. A hybrid inverter will synchronize its output with shore power allowing you to draw from the shore and your battery bank at the same time. That’s a huge improvement, as standard inverters were not able to synchronize with shore power.
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