Solar Regulators for RVs
This article explains solar regulators for RVs. Such regulators accept whatever output is produced by the RV’s solar array. They optimise that output to whatever needed to optimise battery charging. Most also accept and monitor input from the RV’s alternator. They switch routinely to whichever is greater. The more upmarket RV solar regulators have Multiple Power Point Tracking (MPPT). This ‘juggles’ the solar module’ amps and volts output. Doing so optimises battery charging. Ultra-cheap such regulators may claim to have MPPT. Few, however, do.
These regulators for RVs ensure RV batteries safely and fully charge. The regulator accepts the varying voltage from solar modules. It then converts that voltage to whatever it deems most suitable for charging the batteries used. Only a few, however, are suitable for charging LiFePO4 batteries. Be wary re this because RV owners increasingly use these batteries. For those, consult the battery maker.
Solar Regulators for RVs – dc-dc alternator chargers
Many vehicle dc-dc alternator chargers accept solar input. Apart from an energy monitor, that is all you need. Most good chargers, however, have such monitoring.
Solar regulators are made in various capacities. Yours must handle the maximum solar current or alternator charging current. You need not, however, allow for the two inputs combined. RV batteries charged by such regulators are charged automatically by whichever source has the higher output.
See also our article on solar and alternator charging.