One of the first things people think of when they imagine a green RV is solar panels. Solar panels are becoming more common on both RVs and homes. Technology harnessing the earth’s energy is nothing new, but making it affordable is. Solar panels have seen relatively low sales in comparison to the interest in them because of cost.
While the expense of solar panels has been their biggest deterrent, solar panels are finally growing up. The reason behind the cost of solar panels is the ingredients. Platinum is not a cheap product to use and until now, no better substitute could be found. However, UQUAM has been working on it. Their new technology might see a lot more solar panels flying off the shelf.
Traditional solar panels are made with platinum, which is a costly material. This is one reason, even with increased demand that prices haven’t dropped significantly since solar panels were introduced. The other issue, reports Ben Coxworth in his article Breakthrough in Low Cost Efficient Solar Cells, is problems with passage of light through the dark coating.
With technology moving forward at a fast clip, even the dark coating of solar panels is being upgraded to a new liquid/gel that will be more durable the older darker version. What does this mean for consumers? It means they will have access to making their vehicle green for a cost that’s easy on the pocket book.
The new solar panels can’t be found at the corner store yet. But it may not be much longer. RV sales may be affected by this technology as RV dealers are always looking for ways to connect with a new range of potential customers. Solar panels show dealers are listening to the changing sentiments of American consumers.
Solar panels aren’t the only things greening the RV industry. Even the simple things are having a big effect, such as LED lighting. LED lights have become popular with RV travelers because less money is spent on energy bills and they have a longer life than regular light bulbs. Manufacturers are making it easy for RV owners to replace regular light bulbs by designing fixtures that are aimed at RVs.
While still relegated to the ‘hippy-style’ of travel, biodiesel technologies have made it fairly simple to change over an existing diesel engine so it can run on vegetable oil. The benefit of this is RV enthusiasts can test out some great restaurants while they fill up their tank of gas. Kits are available that show RV owners how to convert their engines. The cost of the conversion kit is quickly paid back through gas savings and with the rising cost of gasoline, this is a great alternative for those on the road for long periods of time. “You’ll still have to keep a wee bit of regular diesel in the car (your ride needs it to start up and flush out at the beginning and end of each drive), but once your hooked up, you simply flip a switch and your on your way to a cleaner, freer future,” reports Treehugger.com
RV sales are picking up not only from the turnaround in the economy, but from the environmentally friendly options they are providing. People no longer look at RVs as gas-guzzlers, they now view them as an inexpensive, fun way to travel.