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electrical:solar:rationing [2019/09/28 17:08]
frater_secessus [maximizing solar harvest]
electrical:solar:rationing [2020/10/11 19:48]
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-[[lifestyle:words_of_wisdom|Words of Wisdom]]: It is **cheaper and easier to use less power** than it is to make more power. -- highdesertranger((paraphrased)) 
-====== Rationing solar power ====== 
-Sometimes normal awareness is not enough to keep a solar setup functioning with usable power.  In these situations one might need to take steps to minimize loads and maximize power generation. 
-Here are some examples: 
-  * a stretch of rainy days 
-  * a forest campsite with no good access to sunlight 
-  * smoke from forest fires 
-  * very short winter days 
-===== minimizing loads ===== 
-  * find and eliminate parasitic loads 
-  * make it a habit to turn off anything you don't need //right now// Channel your Inner Dad who says "turn off the lights when you leave the room!"  :-) 
-  * timeshift charging of phones, laptops, etc [[electrical:solar:nonessential|to periods of excess power]] 
-  * charge light sources during full sun and use them at night 
-  * go to bed with the sun, rise with the sun 
-  * use low-power entertaining like reading instead of power-hungry entertainment like TV, gaming console, etc 
-  * turn down screen brightness on phones, tablets, TVs 
-  * Inverters 
-    * minimize the use of inverters by using 12v appliances and adapters when possible 
-    * turn inverters off when not in use 
-    * size the inverter to meet the needs of your biggest loads.  Oversizing wastes power because bigger inverters have more parasitic draw.  It may be worthwhile to have a small inverter for small loads and a big inverter for big loads;  this stops the inefficient use of small loads on a big inverter.  
-    * use MSW unless your intended uses need PSW;  MSW have lower parasitic draws. 
-  * open your refrigerator as little as possible after sundown 
-  * [[food:cooking|cook]] with propane instead of electricty 
-===== maximizing solar harvest ===== 
-  * ensure the panels are not shaded by //natural// obstructions:  move out from under trees, overhangs, etc. 
-  * ensure the panels are not shaded by //manmade// obstructions on your own RV:  antennas, A/C units, vents, etc. One way to minimize shading is to park so that the **greatest expanse of panel is facing south** and any obstructions are on the north side of the van. 
-  * tilt panels if possible 
-  * ensure no tarps, awnings or other obstructions are preventing cooling breezes from passing under/over the panels;  panel output drops as cell temperature rises. 
-  * framed panels (mono and poly) should be mounted with some space underneath them for cooling airflow.  Cell temperature affects panel voltage output. 
-  * clean the solar panels.  Dust or dirt on the panels can decrease panel output by 5-10% in some cases.(( 
-  * [[electrical:solar:pwm_tweaking|tweak your PWM controller]] to produce more power, and be //ruthless// about not running loads until the battery bank is out of bulk mode. 
-  * invest in [[electrical:solar:charge_controller#mppt|an mppt controller]] if you can, and [[electrical:solar:charge_controller_setpoints|configure it]] to battery manufacturer specifications 
-  * install [[electrical:12v:alternator|an isolator]] for alternator charging 
-  * use [[electrical:shore_power|shore power]] charging (via [[electrical:converter|converter]]) anytime it is available 
electrical/solar/rationing.txt ยท Last modified: 2020/10/11 19:48 (external edit)