|Camper Van Solar System Size Calculator (For 12V Systems)|
|Welcome to the solar size calculator. Follow the 8 steps below and fill in the green-shaded cells so that you can accurately calculate the amount of solar you need for your van conversion. Along the way, you'll see recommendations shaded in Blue.|
At the end, this calculator also recommends the correct size for all the different parts and components you'll need to complete your DIY solar wiring project. Have fun!
Enter the number of Amp-hours (Ah) of your battery bank and battery chemistry.
This solar calculator assumes you CORRECTLY sized your battery bank. Download our battery size calculator to help you determine the right battery size for your van conversion. Size your batteries BEFORE sizing your solar. To download, click the link below.
|Battery Type:||||Download Battery Calculator|
Based on your battery bank size in Step 1, below is the recommended MINIMUM solar array size.
Enter your desired total solar wattage size below (equal to or larger than the recommended minimum wattage from Step 2). Preferably the wattage is a multiple of 100, 160, 180, or 200.
Enter the total number of solar panels you will install. For example: If you want 200W of solar, you can either have two 100W panels or one 200W panel. (Less panels is better)
|Input Ah value in cell C5||Your Solar Array (W):||Number of Panels:|
Once you've finalized your solar array size & total number of panels, browse our solar panel recommendations.
|Recommended Solar Panels|
|There are many solar panel brands on the market today. Realistically, there is little disernable difference between them all (they're all made in the same few factories in Asia). But whichever panels you do pick, make sure you select the highest efficiency panels, labled with "9BB". All our recommended panels below are made with 9BB technology. Personally, we have also been impressed with BougeRV's quick and helpful customer service.|
Click The Product Links Below For More Information On Amazon
|BougeRV 100W 9BB Solar Panel|
|Newpowa 160W 9BB Solar Panel|
|BougeRV 180W 9BB Solar Panel|
|BougeRV 200W 9BB Solar Panel|
|Learn more:||What Is 9BB?|
After selecting your panels, enter the "Imp(A)" current rating and "Maximum Series Fuse Rating" of ONE of your panels. This info is on the back of the solar panel or on the product's online information page. Or get this information from the table on the right (of our above recommended panels).
|(Step 6 Recommendation)|
Solar Panel Imp(A) & Max Fuse Ratings
(of above recommended panels)
|Single Panel Imp(A):||Solar Panel||Max Series Fuse Rating||Imp(A)|
|Max Series Fuse Rating:||100W (BougeRV)||10A||5.51A|
If you have multiple panels, decide whether you will connect them in series or in parallel. If you only have 1 panel, enter "Series".
|(Step 7 Recommendation)|
If you have two panels, connect them in parallel. If you have three or more panels, connect them in series.
|Connection Type:||Learn More:||Series vs. Parallel|
Now that you've filled in all the green-shaded cells above, the table below will recommend you all the correctly-sized parts and components you'll need to complete your DIY solar build. You can click of the products listed n Column E to buy them on Amazon. In 'Column D' we assign each component a part #. You can find these parts numbers in our Solar Wiring eBook so that you can visualize where each part needs to be installed. If you haven't already, click the cell to the right of this box to download our Solar eBook. It's free.
Solar Wiring eBook
|Calculator Components Summary|
|Part Name||Product Image||Part #|
(click to buy)
(none when cell is empty)
|Solar Array Size:||/||10|
|Maximum Solar Array Current:||/||/|
|MC4 In-Line Fuse Required?||12|
|MC4 In-Life Fuse Size|
|Branch Connector Required?||13|
|Branch Connector Size|
|Wire Size (solar panels to charge controller)||30|
|DC Solar Breaker Size||15|
|Wire Size (charge controller to bus bars/batteries)||30|
|Circuit Breaker Size||17|
|Reference part numbers in our wiring diagrams eBook:||Download Here|