Are you trying to find a perfect solution for “How many solar panels to power a mobile home?” Powering a mobile home is quite confusing. For a long time, I have wanted to travel long distances. Therefore I rolled for a profession that allowed me to travel along with work.
Although traveling gave me excitement and happiness, a home will always be my comfort, and the hefty bills that come along are problematic. Going through the same track, I researched something that makes me feel at home and reduces my traveling expenditure. On analyzing various options, I learned about “Mobile homes.”
I have installed solar panels in my mobile home that allowed me to reduce my fuel expenses and gave me a better option for the areas where fuel stations are unavailable or are very far from my route. I began installing two solar panels initially, but a few things did not work well, so I summed up by installing two more panels.
In this article, I will share my experience with the number of panels required for the smooth functioning of a Mobile home. So, l assure you that this article will provide a solution for all your queries and help you set up a sustainable mobile home with sufficient solar panels.
Evaluating How Much Power A Mobile Home Requires
Regarding mobile homes, energy consumption is almost 50% more than regular electrical residences. Consumption of power in a mobile home depends upon the type of appliances, duration of use of devices, heating, and cooling of appliances, along with efficiency.
Energy consumption may also alter because some appliances require a lot of power but only for a bit. At the same time, other devices work on continuous power consumption with a small amount of power utilization.
Commonly, mobile homes are in the 500-800 sq ft range. Though power consumption varies, a mobile home usually consumes 4100-4500W per day. This includes lights, refrigerators, mobile devices, and the heating and cooling of batteries. Estimation does not include cooking, as food can be prepared with the help of propane gas. Power consumption from other devices, such as computers, televisions, coffee makers, blenders, microwaves, etc, are also separated from the calculation.
Way To Find How Many Solar Panels To Power A Mobile Home
Theoretically speaking, one 300W panel generates a power of 1500W per day. Therefore three panels of 300W must be sufficient for the smooth running of a mobile home. But is it truly enough? No, because A fully equipped home requires continuous use of energy for a few appliances, such as a refrigerator that uses
1000W per day.
When I installed 2 panels, only 2000W was generated which did not allow many devices to work—adding 2 more generated 4400W of energy. The energy resulted in the functioning of appliances only for a short duration of time. But A mobile home with all the appliances that work for a longer duration, including a microwave, toaster, and dishwasher, requires more panels. The more appliances, the greater the power demand. A collection consisting of 15 solar panels with 300W will be sufficient.
Installing A Panel On A Mobile Home
Although Putting panels in my mobile home was an eco-sustainable and pocket-friendly idea, I also had crises while installing the solar panels on the rooftop. The reason is simple: The mobile home’s roof is not strong enough to practically withstand and support the weight of multiple panels. The trouble here is not Roof space but the weight of panels and the enduring capacity of the roof.
One panel of 300W weighs at least 35 lbs and installing 15 panels may bring down the roof. Not only are panels seated, but other parts are also nestled. The roof will also have to bear the weight of snow in frosty areas. So, Having a roof strong enough is of prime importance.
Type Of Solar Panels That Can Be Installed In A Mobile Home
Typical panels can not be used as energy generators for a mobile home because panels are heavy and mandate many space-taking installations. The roof of a mobile home is not built strong enough to bear the weight. Before installing panels, you should know to calculate how much energy a solar panel produces per day. It will help you to determine which type and size of the panel would be appropriate for your mobile home.
Here I am listing down some of the panels that can be used to power a mobile home:
- A ground-mounted panel is an excellent option for installing a panel if the possibility of installing it on the rooftop drops to nil. The panels are scaled on the ground and attached to a metallic frame where sufficient energy can be absorbed. But the installation cost and building code need to be kept in mind.
- Flexible Solar Panels are unique panels that are lightweight, portable, and considered the best choice for a mobile home. Panels are corrosion-resistant as well as can withstand any extreme weather. These Panels are also employed in boats, tents, and recreational vehicles.
- Solar Roof Tiles are also a great choice as tiles absorb sufficient sunlight to generate power. However, solar tiles are heavy and are almost rejected for mobile homes.
Frequently Asked Questions:-
- What are the factors that affect the production of solar power?
Production of power highly relies on the peak output of the panel. A solar panel of 300W will yield less than 300W of power for a consistent span and slumps down to 250W or 200W. Seasons or weather and geography also affect a PV module’s energy production and output. In colder regions, a panel of 300W may render merely half of the original output.
- Do solar-powered mobile homes require batteries?
A fully functional mobile home demands batteries, generators, and inverters. Solar energy completely depends on the absorption of sunlight. In cloudiness or rainfall, panels may cease to work, and a generator or battery comes into work.
- How to know if the roof is stable enough to bear multiple panels?
Catching up with a panel installer is the best way here. Inspection of the roof and the supporting structure for sturdiness and material will permit the proper installation of panels.
- What are the alternative places to install a panel other than rooftops?
Here I am putting a few additional options: Seating a panel on structures such as a patio or a shed and then connecting add-ups to the main house. Ground-mounted panels are also an alternative. However, panels cost more and have lower output because of more distance from the sun.
Though mobile homes were considered a waste of money in older times, Nowadays, Mobile homes are regarded as a boon for travelers like me. A mobile home powered by solar energy is a supplemental gift. But remember the efficiency steps. Sealing leaking air pipes and upgrading the insulation of homes.
Also, the power consumption of each device should be considered before estimating the total power required for a home. The structure and stability of the roof is also key factor. So, considering all the above facts, you can easily handle your solar-powered mobile home.
Concluding all the facts and estimation, it will be easy for you to make a better self-powered home.
Ray is an avid reader and writer with over 25 years of experience serving various domestic and multinational private and public energy companies in the USA.