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electrical:solar:rationing [2017/10/02 18:29]
frater_secessus created
electrical:solar:rationing [2020/10/11 19:48] (current)
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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 ====== ====== Rationing solar power ======
-Sometimes normal awareness is not enough to keep a solar setup functioning with usable power.  In these situation +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: 
 +  * smaller solar installations 
 +  * 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 [[food:refrigeration|refrigerator]] as little as possible after sundown
 +  * [[food:cooking|cook]] with propane instead of electricty
-===== small systems ===== 
-===== unusual conditions ===== 
 +===== 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.1506983389.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/10/11 19:48 (external edit)