Originally Posted by joecolao
We have gone as long as 5 1/2 months without electric using solar. We power a laptop computer, 2 lcd tv, vcr, dvd, satellite rec. and dome, vacuum cleaner, microwave and more.
Our converter has been disconnected for about 2 years. Sometimes we will run our rear tv, dvd, vcr with a tiny plug in type inverter instead of the 1750 watt inverter.
I think if you do the math and the long term numbers solar is actually cheaper.
When you buy a generator you still need a gas can and funnel and gas and maintenace.
When you buy solar, your batteries are always up - with a good charge controller you lose less water too. I topped off water to my batteries in 2006 before our trip to Alaska. I had not added water for 3 1/2 years before that.
In my mind solar provides more independance, less maintenance, higher quality charging, improved battery life, achieves a higher capacity charge in the batteries and I don't have to chain it up or drag it out or drag my tow vehicle alternator while trying to charge a couple of 27 series that are dead.
I think if one were to take into account all the hidden costs and inconviences of a generator - solar might be a better option.
The only thing I really cannot run for any legnth of time is the AC. It won't run that or resistive loads ie. electric heaters for any length of time
We use a perk pot for coffee, my wife insists on using the toaster instead of the stove top toaster and her hair blower.
I guess it is all a compromise.
Joe, great post!
I to have been solar independent for the past 7 months.
I use 3 135Watt panels into 6 group 29s. I also run a compressor freezer 24/7 and an Ice maker when needed.
While I also have a Honda 2000, I love the ease and silence of solar. As your excellent post mentions "It's not for everyone"