Originally Posted by rodsterinfl
It is true that batteries will be in the coach either way. I was considering two factors, efficiency and environment in my two posts. The differential between solar and generator from a novice perspective would assume that solar has no impact on the environment at all and engine emissions related to generators would be an obvious mark against them when that is not the case as you mention "tip the scale" per se.
Oh absolutely -- So it costs resources to manufacture a genset, and resources to manufacture a solar panel; then resources to run the genset, and a lack of resources to run the solar panel (ok; maybe some windex so often.)
So, post manufacture, you have a continuing carbon footprint for gensets, and a negative carbon footprint for solar panels -- but what is the carbon footprint for manufacture; and how quickly do you see a net return past zero and into carbon savings for a solar panel.
So a couple of quick googles later... I have no citations here; just numbers, unverified, from a couple of websites.
For Solar, the manufacturing carbon footprint for a single 100 watt pane is about 960 lb CO2. Call it 2000 lb CO2 for a 200 watt roof system. once in production, it costs 0 lb CO2 to operate so net benefit starts there.
For a generator, there's a suggestion that manufacture of a generator system costs about 1500lb of CO2 for every 1000 value of a product; so the Honda EU3000is in the back of my pickup right now likely cost about 2500lb of CO2 to manufacture. The set constant for gasoline is it burns about 18lb of CO2 per gallon; diesel about 20 lb CO2/gallon.
So call the manufacture impact a wash between the two. As long as you're using your genset for battery top-ups, and not to run the A/C or the convection microwave system, you're saving about 1lb of CO2 per hour, immediately, on solar. Running the A/C on the gensset? more like 3lb of CO2 per hour; though ofc you can't run A/C on solar, so that's not quite apples/apples.
[Yes, I recognize this quick and dumb analysis bypasses entirely the discussion around pure environmental value of mass adoption -- just going a tad geekish tonight and running hypothetical (and likely nonsensical) numbers.... :-P