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Old 08-08-2014, 08:44 AM   #21
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I would not mess with a generator - you have carry fuel, oil, store it, etc.

You need about 3 amps to keep up and a bit more if you want to charge the batteries a bit. A 100 watt panel will give you about 6-7 amps during full sun. You can buy a 100 watt panel and a cheap charge controller for under $200.

It can be portable - put it anywhere there is sun or it can be permanently mounted. Takes a bit of time to install but once done, you are done. No generator to lug around - no fuel cans - no tune ups - basically free power.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
You need about 3 amps to keep up and a bit more if you want to charge the batteries a bit.
Based on WHAT do you draw the conclusion that he needs 3 amps?
And is that 3 amps while the sun is shining...or 24 hours a day (i.e 72 amp hours?)
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:38 AM   #23
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Not sure what the sun shining has to do with amp draw but yes 24 hours per day.

There are parasitic loads - frig circuit board about 1/1.2 amps - same for heater if on but not running - propane sensor - and you might use the lights of fans occasionally. If you run the heater you are in the 5-10 amp range.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:51 AM   #24
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Just trying to understand how many amp hours a day you think he needs and your basis for it. Assuming he needs 3 amps as you suggest, 24 hours a day, then he needs 72 amphours input (3x24hrs) to his battery daily from your 100 watt solar panel...about 3 times what it will actually put in during the course of a day that is sunny.
Either your amp hour estimate is way off or you need more solar panels.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:44 PM   #25
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We know for sure if he runs a frig it is going to take at least 1 amp per hour - or 24 per day. After that all else is an assumption - is he using any lights or fans.

Number of amps was just a guess - which of course would be 72 per day - could be more, could be less. His 100 watt panel will not get 72 amps per day - the choice is a careful accounting of how many watts are required and up-sizing the panel if necessary.

My main point was why use a generator with all the associated stuff - fuel, oil, maintenance, etc., when the solar power is free and basically has no maintenance.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:51 PM   #26
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Note, if you decide on a generator: We live off the grid, and are exploring solar for the new TH we bought last month. I saw the price you quoted for a generator. I would be very leery of a $150 generator. In our experience, living off the grid, the cheap generators surge way too much, don't have good steady power and burn up appliances. We tried 4 before giving up on the inexpensive not inverter types. Go with the 1000 watt Honda or Yamaha inverter generators that others suggested. The total cost will be less than replacing your burnt out frig!

We will be adding solar AND having a generator. In our house, we rely on the solar but know we often need the backup, especially in bad weather, of which there is a lot in Northern NY! We love our solar. BTW, solar hot water is awesome! We never need to use propane to heat up our water.
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