Solar PV and Battery Impact
I have been watching the development of Solar photovoltaics (PV) for many years.
Initially as part of a design project for a all terrain expedition vehicle / motorhome. A roof predominantly covered with PV panels and a bank of 10 deep cycle batteries. I also went to a Caravan and Motorhome show and saw a PV panel mounted on a devise that looked like a satellite dish support, but instead of having a dish, it had a PV panel. It tracked the sun, to maximise power generation.
The Oyster SunMover System is an intelligent GPS controlled solar tracking system. It can automatically track the suns path throughout the day and adjust as necessary to maximise solar energy capture making it more efficient than standard fixed solar panels.
The system itself consists of a 75W solar panel attached to a specially designed electronic mechanism which is controlled internally via its own control system in the roof unit making installation simpler. On average the system is capable of harvesting approximately three times the power of a 75W fixed solar panel on its own. This is even more important in the winter months where the angle of insolation (the angle of the suns rays on the earth) is much greater i.e. the sun is effectively lower in the sky. The Oyster SunMover can adjust the elevation (the angle of the solar panel) to maximise energy harvest throughout the year.
This was a long time ago, and I can't remember if the make was Oyster or the price. However, at over £2000 before being discontinued, for just one panel, it was not directly pursued.
I did think about building a frame about 20 x 8 ft, which could elevate and swivel, so the roof could be covered with PV panels in drive mode, and then positioned for maximum benefit when parked. Turning it by hand every half an hour or so. Also. it could be two layers, so that in the right position, part could be an awning as well. Verdict, all to cumbersome. Human factors would indicate lack of use and leave it in the stowed position. Effectively flat to the roof, which is also safer as you don't have to worry about driving off with the rig up. Yes, I have seen the very unlikely event occur, with a tipper truck drove off with the back still up, struck a bridge and almost toppled over. Could have been even worse if it was power cables. Best avoided.