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Old 12-06-2014, 08:39 PM   #1
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Question Should solar panels be covered when storing RV?

Wondering about heat doing damage to the solar panels or RV roof when storing our new RV for about three weeks at a time. Hot 90* in the summer .

Keeping them clean, less wear and tear? Any dangers to sitting in the elements for weeks?

Thanx a lot for your posts!
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:47 PM   #2
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I have panels on my home and RV, they are never covered.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:34 PM   #3
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Same here. Several panels on the RV, 28 panels on the house. None are ever covered. I want them working all the time...
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #4
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Solar panels keep the house batteries fully charged, and if you have something like a tricklstart, keep the engine battery charged as well.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. Was just wondering if covers would make them last longer, and uncovering them (3) when not hot out.

I guess I don't need to worry! so as I understand this, before solar we just turned off DC power completely at the indoor panel. Do we still do that? Same storage rules? Thnx!
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOwl View Post
Thanks everyone. Was just wondering if covers would make them last longer, and uncovering them (3) when not hot out.

I guess I don't need to worry! so as I understand this, before solar we just turned off DC power completely at the indoor panel. Do we still do that? Same storage rules? Thnx!
I'm not sure about lasting longer but I don't cover mine either.

No, I leave my power on all the time. This keeps the batteries connected and the solar charge controller maintaining them (float voltage and an occasional desulfation cycle).
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:23 PM   #7
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Had PMs concerning cleaning panels and whether tilt/non tilting.

Called son, who is in solar business, about cleaning and he said to just use warm water and perhaps a very small amount of dish washing detergent.

Our six panels are non-tilting. The advantage of 30% or more power from tilting during winter months are quite apparent. We are getting a maximum of 800 W the day before the Solstice (there is light overcast) as opposed to up to 1330 W in mid-summer maximum insolation. However, the advantage is overweighed in my instance is that at age 74 I am not charged up about climbing up to tilt at proper angle and worries about heavy gusts of wind damaging the panels.



The photo of our current system of 1420 W shows that we do have space for two or perhaps 3 more panels (with an overhang of 1" on both sides). Son said he would look into this when we are next at his place. We only need that power for summer use of air conditioning or for prolonged periods of very cloudy weather. The LFP battery bank means that we can charge linearly at 1.0 kW from our small Honda 1.0 kW generator. We trialed this when we were down 2 kW-hours and were charged in about 2.5 hours. We did this after sundown to make sure we were not getting solar charging as well.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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I do put a cover over the MH in the winter, but the top part of the [ADCO] cover is white and light still makes it to the PV. It's just enough light to keep a small charge going to the battery banks. Perfect! \ken
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:53 PM   #9
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Ken, great idea with the smaller charge. Thnx for the idea. And thnx also to Reed and JF. Ours are non tilting also for the same reason, although today under dark clouds we had a reminder how quickly the power drops on dark days. I can see why a few more panels would help that situation.

JF, do you store yours at home? It's an ordeal to go check on ours in storage. I'd be nervous leaving the inverter on all the time. .
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