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Old 12-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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Power Generation When Boondocking

I've been giving a lot of thought to upgrading my electrical system lately. For the last couple of years I've been relying on my Honda generator, the stock Progressive Dynamics battery charging circuit, and a pair of (mismatched) 12V Marine/RV batteries.

Recently I upgraded the DC wiring between the battery bank and the PD power controller, and bought myself a good quick-charging smart battery charger that I can plug into my genny for faster, more complete charges to my batts.

Two new Trojan T-105 batteries are going to be the next step.

I don't think I use a huge amount of electricity. The only light I use full time in the night and evening is the small one in the range hood. I might use some of the other bulbs no more than hour a day. The furnace is the largest draw. I'd say it runs 2 hours a day, more or less. TV uses only 40 watts, so a few hours of that. Bath exhaust fan is just a few watts, and it probably runs 12 hours a day. Fridge, water pump, CO detector, antennae boost, stove exhaust are pretty small loads, but add up. I have a 400 watt inverter I use for the TV, and sometimes for charging my laptop and/or phone. I don't have the exact usage number, but I don't think it's huge.

Now, for alternative electrical generation...

I've been mainly considering going solar for some of my energy needs, but might also go with a solar/wind combination generation system. Home Depot sells 250 watt solar panels, and also sells Coleman/Sunforce 600 watt wind turbines. I could get one of each for about $1100 dollars. I know I'll need the appropriate charge controller(s) and wiring, so the cost will be a bit more.

Sunlight hours in the winter are limited. The wind seems to blow most of the time.

With my genny and battery charger I could occasionally give the batteries a full charge whenever the wind and sun aren't cooperating.

See any problems with my wind/solar plan? Anyone have any experience with using wind generation?

Bill
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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get em quick before the govt's 300% duty pushes up the price.. (the duty is on Chinese made panels)
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2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
175 days boondocking in 2017
215/2016, 211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

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Old 12-20-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Well Seann, I guess I'll need to make sure I get US or Canada made panels. LOL

I bought and installed my T-105's today. It was a LOT of work. Had to hacksaw off one of the welded on angle iron battery brackets and install a new on. The dang box for the 105's was just 1/4 inch wider than the boxes for the group 24 batts I was using. Close but no cigar.
I also checked both frame ground connections, so they're good.

Right now I'm topping off the charge on the new batteries. It will be interesting to see what the voltage is tomorrow morning. I'm sure it will be higher that it has been, since the 105's are 225 amp hours, compared to the others which were right at 100 AHs.
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