Next up was a solar system large enough to run everything except the air conditioner. No more running the generator- microwave, hair dryer, electric blanket for Amy, or crock pot all day…… The sun is taking care of all our needs now.
660 watt total charging, 2000 watt inverter/charger with low voltage generator auto start. Overkill for an RV? Maybe, but we plan on using this system to power the outdoor kitchen and freezers once the house is built. We spent a bunch of time designing to be removed at a later date without tearing things up. Special thanks to my buddy Dan. Without his expertise I would have surely burned the trailer down installing myself. He owns Done Right Electrical in Havasu and is a very talented fabricator, this stuff comes easy to him.
Northern Arizona Wind and Sun out of Flagstaff provided most of the parts and pieces with a easy to follow wiring diagram. We had to fabricate an adjustable rack system for the panels first. Then get it up and mounted on the roof.
We started laying out components and built from there with space and serviceability in mind.
A majority of the cost was in the sealed batteries. Installing inside the RV would make maintaining flooded batteries a pain not to mention venting issues from charging gasses. This is as safe and maintenance free design we could come up with.
The completed system.
As I write this post- this system is well over a year old. The advice Northern AZ Wind and Sun gave based on our personal “energy audit” was spot on. We have had zero issues with the system size or function. On a couple very cold, snowy and cloudy stretches we would run a Honda 2000 generator to top batteries off although they never indicated they were getting dangerously low. We have since added a chest freezer that lives outside and a small evaporative cooler to keep us comfortable during the hottest months, both powered by this same system.
Simple habits changed as we learned to live with the sun. Vacuum or run a hair dryer during the day, same with crock pots. Recharging battery packs for tools etc is also saved for after 9am. We could likely run those things at night but there really is no need to stress batteries if you don’t need to.
Other than manually changing the angle of the panels to closer match winter and summer sun angles its been absolutely maintenance free with exception of scraping snow off the panels.