Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How Much Power Do Solar Panels Provide?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Share


    #16
    Originally posted by ThinHaus View Post
    ThinHaus has solar engineers in staff and this is what they have to say ... if you think about it, there is only so much power coming from the Sun here on Earth. If you want more, you will need to get closer (Mercury?). Even out in the desert near our Gilbert AZ build center, the max power is about 1,000 watts per square meter. That's it. This is why you don't blow up when you go outside. If you had a perfect solar panel, you could only run two hair dryers with one panel and then only for a few hours a day ... but no panel is perfect, at least not yet. Panels are maybe at 20% efficient so you would need 5 panels to run that hair dryer. Each panel is about 10 square feet so this is now 50 square feet. You can see where we are going with this ... it works, but it has some considerations. You will need a lot more space for your solar array than you need for your tiny house. Ground mounting will come into play if you want to run off grid and cover all the power needs. You could reduce your use of power, but that may not be a great solution. Solar works, especially out here in the Valley of the Sun ... but it's not cheap and it needs space. It also needs batteries, but that's a discussion for another day.
    Thank you for that information. Very helpful👍

    Comment

    • Share


      #17
      Batteries are not quite ready for "prime time." They are insanely heavy, don't hold a lot of power and still have high cost. To be sure, they are better than before and there is real hope that the future will have great power storage, but we are not there yet. A solar battery is about the size of two car batteries stacked on top of each other. Weigh about 150 lbs each and hold enough power to run an A/C unit for maybe an hour and a half. They require a lot of equipment to charge and monitor, can only be discharged part way or risk damage and have a life span of seven years or so. Each battery needs four solar panels or more (depending on where you live and how many trees are in the area) and heating a house, even a tiny house with electricity (batteries) is not easy. Simply stated, it takes a lot of power and that means a lot of batteries. Rough guess ... cost to supply a tiny house with solar power (panels and batteries) is probably $40,000 and 2,000 square feet of land. This is half the cost (and the same square footage ... see the note above about solar panels) of even a couple of years ago. The costs are coming down but the square footage probably won't by much ... ever. Using solar for auxiliary or emergency power is absolutely a do-able thing. Going off grid without making usage compromises is a huge "ask" and probably not going to happen for a while.

      Comment

      • Share


        #18
        Using propane for hot water and cooking, wood or propane for heat, and going without AC drops power requirements so that solar off grid is entirely doable at low cost and without the need for many panels or batteries. Lights, fans, fridge consume little power. I currently live off grid with one panel and one battery. Battery at perhaps 90lbs. Charge controller and quality voltmeter is all I have for support equipment. One small propane tank. Planning two or three panels and two batteries for my off grid tiny. I expect to be able to do well with such a set up, and don’t consider my life to be energy compromised.

        Comment

        • Share


          #19
          Our house uses natural gas for hot water and cooking so this plan is not so different. Also, using LED lighting really chops the need for heavy power. A problem comes along if you are living in the desert southwest where power for AC is required. One solar panel and one battery simply will not work. Right now at 10pm, it's 110˚outside!

          Comment

          • Share


            #20
            ThinHaus 110 degrees? No wonder I live in Taos. Desert Southwest, but 8,000 ft elevation. 82 outside now, and the daily afternoon monsoon rains, which are currently building, will drop the temps into the 70s. Night will be in the 50s. Yay.
            Last edited by Doug; 08-21-2019, 02:26 PM.

            Comment

            • Share


              #21
              Yea ... and you get winter snows that are breathtaking and even a little skiing if you like such things. The heat of the New Mexican food is fabulous and the art and culture thing happening there is also great. Taos ... it's a great place! You'll definitely need a 3500/Dually w/diesel to get up the mountain, but once you are there ...

              Comment

              • Share


                #22
                And I do have that 350 Dually . Classic square body work truck with "granny low" and 4.11 rear diff. Easily towed my house from my first build site to my current one.

                Comment

                • Share


                  #23
                  Doug This is actually an important point about towing ... just because your truck can haul the house on a flat surface, doesn't mean that you won't completely destroy the transmission when you encounter a hill or a mountain. You might make it to where you are going, but then find a week later that your truck is grinding. Like all things mechanical, the proper tool makes all the difference and as Doug has said, the right tool for this is a 1-ton/dully.

                  Comment

                  • Share


                    #24
                    Originally posted by ThinHaus View Post
                    Doug This is actually an important point about towing ... just because your truck can haul the house on a flat surface, doesn't mean that you won't completely destroy the transmission when you encounter a hill or a mountain.
                    Absolutely right. In fact, I made a point of not just getting a 1-ton duely with manual transmission and "granny" low, but one with a lower ratio differential than stock, and then I had one of the best shops in the county (specializes in all manner of performance vehicles, ranging from race cars to heavy haul trucks) check it out. Wouldn't trust most automatics to haul 12,000 lbs up some of the mountains around here. So it may be old (1979), but I trust it, and I can fix it if it does break.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X