Thursday, May 15, 2003

Solar Panels

Tioga in all her glory.

Four powerful 75 watt Shell Solar panels are the heart of her electrical generation system.

We shopped all over the internet for items to make up our Solar Electric system. We wanted to be able to have enough onboard electric power, so that in the dead of winter, we would still be able to use our electrically powered items (computer, lights, etc.) without running out of electricity or ruining our battery bank. It turned out that nobody can tell you how many solar panels and batteries to buy.

But our goal was to never stay in an RV camp site. We needed a lot of power to stay out of those!! So we chose (4) Shell 75 watt solar panels and (4) 6 volt Golf Car batteries. We added two more batteries to our bank a few weeks later. We seem to be electrically rich, right now. But we are considering adding two more 75 watt panels for the winter months.

Along with our solar panels and battery bank, we bought a Charge Controller that takes the energy from the solar panels, and charges the batteries. We also needed an Inverter, that would take 12 volt electricity and convert it to 120 volts in order to operate our computer, electric razor, jig saw, etc. The Inverter also charges the 12 volt battery bank when 120 volt power is available from a land line or our onboard generator.

Now, we had to install all of this solar stuff, and have a place that would serve as our control/computer station. See you tomorrow with that story.