Amps X Volts = Watts
Who knew there would be a quiz so much later?
Our ultimate goal is to have a small solar set-up installed on the Duck. Even though this is a "green" area, we've had a hard time finding anyone willing to do this around here. Most solar businesses are familiar with the stick home applications, but solar RVing just hasn't caught on in the Northeast.
Instead, we've decided to buy a smallish Honda generator (reviews say the Honda is relatively quiet) for the trip, and have solar installed when we get somewhere. Arizona is crazy with solar technology, and even bigger with RVs.
Batteries: Unless we plan to plug in every night (we don't), we'll need a battery bank. A solar panel or two can keep batteries charged. So can a generator. So can plugging into shore power. [lingo alert] It's the shore power we want to minimize.
But, how much storage do we really need? This is tricky. I know what we need living here in our house - about 10 kilowatt-hours a day. Batteries are rated in amp-hours. What ... ?
(Amps)(Volts) = Watts
I know the DC system is 12 volts. If I wanted to use the same amount of power that I do here at home, I would use 10,000 watt-hours (10 Kwh) every day. If you stick an "hour" on both sides of this equation, you can make it work. I did. Squeeze the math until it cries.
(Amp-hours)(Volts) = Watt-hours
(Xamp-hours)(12volts) = 10000watt-hours
X = 833 amp-hours
So, we would need batteries that could store 833 AH, and would need to replenish them daily, for this kind of load.
But, this is not an experiment in living the same life we live now. What might we really expect to change?
- propane refrigerator
- propane range and oven
- no dehumidifier
- no cable telephone
- no sump pump
- no Ms. Coffee
[You see that we are shifting a lot of the energy to propane. I'm not claiming that this is ultimately greener, only that it permits another kind of economy.]
I really think we could get by on much less, maybe the equivalent of 5 Kwh/day. Less? You out there - tell me what kind of usage you've experienced.