The amount of power each appliance uses is measured in watts. A 220-watt solar RV kit can theoretically run up to 220 watts' worth of appliances during daylight. In reality, it's not quite as simple as that.
No 220-watt solar panel will produce 220 watts on a consistent basis. Solar panels are less effective if they're not directly pointed at the sun, if they get too hot, or if they are in the shade. Batteries may lose some power during charging.
The kit could easily run a number of "background" items, such as lights (12 watts), an LCD TV (20 watts), a laptop computer (around 60 watts) or a small fan (12 watts). The total wattage of all appliances run should not exceed the kit's output.
Any power not used during the day can be stored. In 10 hours of sunlight, the system can supply up to 2,200 watts (2.2 kW) to be stored in batteries overnight. You could draw around 150 watts per hour for the 14 hours without sunlight (2.2 kW/14=about 157 watts).
You may be able to run some larger appliances briefly. A 1kW microwave run for five minutes would use 83 watts. (Divide by 60 to get watts used per minute.)
With battery storage, a 220-watt RV solar kit could easily keep you entertained, illuminated, fed and happy while dry camping overnight.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Dominic Alves
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