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Thread: (Partially) Solar Powered Motorhome

  1. #131
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    What is your aim in adding battery storage?

    1. A plug-in hybrid where you would recharge the batteries in the evening when available.
    2. A hybrid with regenerative braking that can allow some of the kinetic energy to be recovered to recharge batteries.
    3. A hybrid where the solar panels charge the batteries.

    Options 1 and 2 make sense and are commercially available in cars but I am not sure if they would make sense in the case of an RV.

    With option 1, the batteries add a considerable amount of weight so weight must be reduced in other areas to make adding the batteries worthwhile.

    With option 2, the advantage comes from being able to use a smaller and therefore more efficient gasoline or diesel engine operating steadily around the average power needs and having surplus energy stored in batteries when power needs are low (such as stopped in traffic) and the batteries are used when the power needs are high (such as hard acceleration or climbing hills).

    I am not sure whether option 3 makes sense. If driving, it would probably make more sense to use the electricity generated by the solar panels as it is generated because it would not be surplus to what is needed for driving. If the energy that is generated can be used now, why store it and use it later?
    Big change is coming

  2. #132
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    I have an EV, a Bolt which gets me about 280 miles. We love it becaues 99% of travel for us (and most people) is local, and this is enough to do any day trip we care to do. If we were into longer trips though I would rent a gas car. Electric RV's make less sense at the moment, charging would take too long and be pretty expensive, and you'd want at least 100kW battery which is pretty expensive. Plus if you want cabin heat or go up a lot of hills (like traveling from Ca through Co) that would eat your juice.

    On the flip side for some reason RV engines are always having expensive problems. Everybody I've known who had one was always in the shop.

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