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Due to the increased demand for electricity for lighting, heating, household appliances and mobile phones, recharging the camper van’s on-board battery via solar systems, fuel cells or petrol-powered electricity generators is a major topic. That is why in the Electrical Systems category at Intercaravaning.shop, complete solar systems and other types of alternative energy supply for camper vans and caravans are on offer, as well as the on-board lithium batteries, AGM batteries and even gel batteries. A high-quality sine wave inverter for converting 12V DC to 230V AC is also essential for a reliable camper van electrical system.
If you are often off-grid, you can use a complete solar system such as the MT 130 CIS or the Büttner MT 180 CIS to create a complete set with high-quality individual components for independent power supply. The MT 110 MC, MT 160-2, MT Power Line and MT Solar Black Line complete solar systems have also been specially developed for camper vans. The latter is even equipped with high-performance cells to ensure optimum performance under adverse conditions. After all, camper van electrical systems, and especially solar modules for camper vans and caravans, are sometimes exposed to special demands.
Regardless of the series – MT PowerLine, Blackline or CIS complete solar systems – MT series model numbers always designate their rated output: MT 110 for 110 Wp, MT 120 for 120 Wp etc. The solar modules of all MT series complete solar systems are delivered with TÜV-tested mounts and are glued to the vehicle roof. Like the solar elements themselves, the cables are weather resistant. The cabling usually already provides for a subsequent expansion of solar modules of the same output, should you notice that the power supply is insufficient.
FF SK series complete solar systems from Frankana Freiko are also named according to their rated output. These are the FF SK 105, FF SK 110 and FF SK 150 solar modules. All of them are specially designed for camper vans or caravans and are therefore resistant to vibration and weathering in order to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. The solar modules mounted on the roof are connected to a controller, which in turn is mounted as close to the battery as possible, since short connections are important for the functioning of camper van electrical systems. FF SK solar modules have circumferential aluminium frames, meaning that they offer a variety of mounting options, both on mounting profiles and existing roof racks.
Like any camper van and caravan battery, the MT and FF SK complete solar systems for camper vans and caravans are designed to produce a voltage of 12V. They are connected to the on-board battery via a solar charge controller which regulates the power supply accordingly. The required charge controllers are already included in the MT Black Line, CIS Line and Flat Light complete systems from Büttner. The FF SK Power Set Plus complete system also includes the required solar controller in addition to the roof mount, adhesive set and connecting cables. These charge controllers not only charge the battery for the camper van’s power supply, but also the starter battery if the on-board battery is already fully charged. The controller switches over automatically. In addition, these charge controllers can be set exactly to the battery type in question, i.e. regular acid batteries, as well as gel batteries, AGM batteries and lithium power batteries. The manufacturer promises that this will ensure optimal charging of on-board batteries and full capacity utilisation.
To determine which complete solar system and which batteries are right for your camper van, you should not only know your vehicle, but also your power consumption. Indoor lighting, water pumps and underfloor heating are just as important as coolers and charging your mobile phones and tablets every day. Of course, the efficiency of solar systems is also influenced by the space available on the camper van or caravan roof: Stronger solar systems require larger solar modules. In order to equip even narrow vehicles with plenty of surface area to capture solar energy, the slim versions of the Black Line MT 75 MC and MT 150-2 MC complete solar systems are only 335 mm wide, over 200 mm narrower than the slimmest Frankana Freiko solar module, the FF SK 105. On the other hand, at 1,600 mm, the solar module of an MT 160 MC system is twice as long as FF series modules. However, the ‘2’ in MT complete solar system modules from Büttner also stand for 2 modules. Which means a lot of output, but also a lot of space.