RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-29-2016, 09:11 PM   #121
Rivet Master
IanPoulin's Avatar
2011 28' International
Aldie , Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 543
Images: 4
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
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
2011 Airstream International Serenity 28'
2016 Ford F250 Crew 4x4 KR Diesel
IanPoulin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 08:09 PM   #122
2 Rivet Member
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Quebec , Quebec
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 63
Images: 8
This is an interesting subject. I like toys so I have 180 watts of solar panel and a 6300 watts Yamaha generator to power the air conditioners (both). The generator is just in case I need it. I am living and camping most of the time in Northern Canada. So I probably don't need a generator but just in case. I never use the generator but I like carrying it.
Toutsi 1957 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need ideas for maintenance prep for a marine environment 2Tex4Fun General Repair Forum 4 12-01-2012 11:41 AM
A stitch in time saves mine! Excella CM Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 05-31-2008 05:08 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.