Product Guides > Basic Power System

Mon, Feb 11th 2013

Products for a basic power system
1. 110AH Leisure Battery
2. Solar Panel
3. PP1002 Inverter
4. Sockets
5. Electric Hook-up
6. Avtex 153D Television
7. IU152A AC-DC Charger
8. DC1212-08 Charging Converter
Blue lines: 240 V
Red lines: 12 V

Many motorhome and caravan users have basic power needs, with most appliances running on 12v. Bearing this in mind Conrad Anderson recommends using a 12v power source to keep your batteries topped up. This narrows the choice down to solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells or 12v generators.

Solar panels are great from the eco-friendly point of view however, the obvious draw back is the output current is low and drops once the sun is behind thick clouds, it rains or at night time. Therefore they are good for Southern Europe, but not so good for UK. Wind turbines are another eco-friendly solution but are still weather dependent, albeit for different reasons.

To guarantee 12v power when you want it without relying on the weather the choice is narrowed down to either a Fuel Cell or the EG20 LPG generator. Fuel cells (currently commercially available) are silent and will provide a constant power up to 6A, 24hrs a day without complaint, just keep it topped up with methanol. The drawbacks are that it requires methanol to work, yet another type of fuel to carry, and they have a high capital cost compared to other sources of power. The EG20 on the other hand is noisier, however will generate 20A and runs on LPG, propane or Butane, one of which is carried on most motorhomes and caravans.

For 240v appliances an inverter is needed to convert power from 12v DC to 240v AC. It is possible to power most 240v appliances in this way, just make sure the inverter has a large enough output to cope with the appliances being used. The only (motorhome specific) appliance which cannot be powered effectively from 12v using an inverter is an air conditioning unit, as the power consumption is too high (unless using the Dometic DC kits for air-con on the move).

Conrad Anderson can supply all of the products mentioned, please ask a member of the sales team if you need any further advise.

System Design
At Conrad Anderson we will design your power system to suit your needs, depending on which appliances you use and for approximately how long. We can enable you to keep all your vehicle batteries constantly topped up so you no longer need to think about how much power you are using; you just focus on more important things – whether that is holidaying, working or doing nothing much.

To help Conrad Anderson design a system for your vehicle we need to know the following information:

Which appliances will you be using and for how long?
What are the average power, peak power and standby power consumptions of those appliances?
What is the input voltage for those appliances?
Where are you going to travel in your van, what is the approximate ambient temperature?
Do you camp without hook-up facility, or are you connected to the mains most of the time?

The same process is applied to system design for higher consumption systems; we just use larger generators and upgraded management systems to provide consistent stable power output for any application.

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