[FoRK] Solar power

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 9 06:08:19 PST 2004

Eugen Leitl:
>I have the opposite problem: are any of you living off the grid? I'm 
>looking into winter garden, solarthermics, photovoltaics, augmented by a 
>wood stove (or oil; liquefied gas gas). I don't find lead/acid batteries 
>too sexy..

That sound you heard was a thousand sailors falling
off their barstools, laughing. ;-)

None of us find lead/acid batteries "sexy." But if
you're going to live from self-generated juice,
they're necessary, and you're going to have to
plan for them, just as you plan for some way of
handling sewage. Bite the bullet and read up on
deep-cycle batteries.

>Internal house grid could be 12 or 24V..

24v is more efficient. 12v is more convenient,
because of all the accessories and equipment
made for the auto/RV market.

>If it wasn't for washing machine and cooking, the power requirements would 
>be pretty low.

You don't cook with electricity. You cook with
propane. You also refridgerate with propane.
There are ammonia adsorption refridgerators
sold for RVs. (Ice cream vendors a 100 years
ago used sun-powered ammonia adsorption for
their carts.)

Plan on a large propane tank. You may get
off the grid. But as long as you plan on the
standard conveniences (washer and dryer,
big fridge), you'll stay dependent on
petroleum. I think it's time to buy some
more ERF. ;-)

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