A few posts back I was talking about ‘should more caravans have solar panels‘ in the UK as many don’t seem to have solar panels when really it must be worth while spending a little to have them installed.
I’ve been in contact with various people from ‘Park Resorts’ with regards to having solar panels installed on the caravan I own. It seems to have taken a while with some very slow replies and then being ‘fobbed’ off basically from head office but I’ve finally started finding out whether I can have / put solar panels on my caravan.
Head office were not much help basically telling me they don’t offer solar panels on new sales or even as a side line and I should speak to my actual park manager. After sending the park manager a e-mail I finally had a reply which was positive so at least a step in the right direction.
Although no one at Park Resorts seem to have a clue about solar panels the park manager has shown some interest and offered some help on installing the solar panels if I were to do this myself.
When installing the panels I of course have a couple of options, on grid and off. Having a solar setup that is off grid will be easy enough as I have already done this. Installed the panels on the caravan, battery, inverter and jobs done (basically).
If I want to go on grid and take advantage of the FIT (Feed-in Tariff) then it will get a little more complicated.
First off the installation of the solar panels will need to be done correct including the correct equipment installed to feed the electric back in to the grid. If / when this is complete then I would need to inform the electric supplier for the caravan park which is where it may get confusing.
I’m obviously not the only person on the caravan park that owns a caravan so I need have to ensure that everyone knows I would be using the FIT and because I don’t get the actual bill (Park Resorts is billed who then bill us) I would need a setup to know how much electric I’ve used and how much we have put back in.
With Help I’m sure it’s possible so it will be something I look in to a little more. I’ve already contacted the electric company and my ‘friends’ at Sun Shine Solar as they do offer solar panel installation for caravans.
So if I installed solar panels on my caravan would I see a return? Most people know that installing solar panels on a home roof will show some return but generally not cover the costs of what the house will use but with a caravan and a good setup on the roof I ‘think’ that a good return will be possible.
Looking at the maths you have to consider that electric use in the caravan will not be anywhere near as much as a home. The electric is not always on and only friends / family use our caravan so it’s in use around 1 week a month on average. You also have to consider that the park goes on shut down for a few months of the year as well which means no electric being used but the solar panels feeding in all the time during shut down.
The last thing to consider for myself is there are no obstructions or cover where my caravan is meaning that in theory no matter where the solar panels are placed on the roof we will get all the daylight / sunlight offered in any given day.
As always I’m still waiting for replies from various people to try and work out whether installing some solar panels on the caravan is going to be cost effective so another update will come in time.