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Old 01-27-2017, 01:46 PM   #1
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Skoolie girl maintenance....

Hey guys!

So my SO is very concerned about her girly appliances, namely a hair dryer and a curling iron. We're fully solar, so naturally my first suggestion was to spin in circles with her head out the window while we're going down the highway... But she doesn't believe that it would work.

We've got a 1000W inverter, so plugging in her existing appliances just won't work.

She's been looking onlie for options, and found this 12v hair dryer: http://amzn.to/2kBQhih but the reviews indicate it doesn't work very well. She's looking at butane curling irons.

So I'm looking for opinions on how to solve this issue. What have you folks done?
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:20 PM   #2
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How many watts are these electric appliances? You may need to increase the amount of solar (PV is still cheap) and the size of your battery bank, and use a larger inverter. A cheapo MSW inverter works just fine for purely resistive loads such as a curling iron, but reactive loads such as motors usually work better off a PSW inverter.

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Old 01-27-2017, 02:54 PM   #3
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Just put down the windows and have her dry her hair in the wind.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:56 PM   #4
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Well her existing hair dryer is a whopping 1600 watts so I just laughed that off.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
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There's just no getting around the wattage of a conventional hair dryer. One of the variables has to be adjusted:
  • get by without a hair dryer
  • find a way to power a conventional hair dryer (more solar plus bigger inverter, a generator, or do hair someplace like a gym, public rest room, etc where grid power is available)
  • get accustomed to a non-conventional hair dryer such as the 12 volt model linked earlier. One has to realize that's only a 120 watt unit -- one tenth of the power of a conventional dryer, and its heat and airflow performance will be scaled down accordingly. Maybe the trade-off works for her, maybe it doesn't.
I have a hard time imagining a curling iron over 1000 watts. Perhaps a big hair iron could be this high, but a basic 3/4" to 1-1/2" iron I'd expect to be (well) under 250 watts. Butane is a fine alternative too.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:56 PM   #6
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Yikes, a 1600 watt hair dryer! My hot air gun that's hot enough to solder sheet metal is only 1500 watts. I can run it from a 2000 watt inverter, but the inverter's cooling fan comes on fairly soon for that size load. You will need a good 2000 watt inverter, ideally a PSW, for her hair dryer, and it would draw about 150 amps of 12V DC to produce that much AC. 150 amps from your house batteries will require a sizable battery bank and equivalently large PV array and charge controller (based on a charge rate of 5 to 13% of the batteries' 20-hour capacity), and some hefty cables. So, this is a long-winded way of saying that her hair dryer will need a considerable investment from you.

I feel like saying something facetious at this point, but I won't!

John
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:57 PM   #7
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why not just get a Genny for the purpose of running those appliances.. you are only gonna use it a few minutes per day so your genny gas should last forever..
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
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I have sweat many hours stressing over hairdryers and bathtubs for the wife.

I too have a 1000watt Inverter.

Since the wife absolutely MUST have a hairdryer, I am going to get a cheap 3000watt modified inverter to use specifically for when we need to use some big wattage. It doesn't need to be efficient, or perfect, it just needs to keep high wattage (assuming batteries support). If the hair dryer is on for only 20 minutes, the electrical draw is manageable

Someone else should correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm going to attempt to do some electrical math. I'm going to try and be conservative.

1700watts/110v=15.5amps an hour.
15.5amps/3=5.3 amps for 20 minutes.
5.3amps/0.8= 6.63 amp draw after 20% inefficiency is added on.

In my case, I intend to have 600 watts of solar panels on my roof.

600watts*0.70=420 (calculated assuming 70% efficiency)
420*4 hours=1680watts.
1680 watts/18=93.33 amps generated per day.

After using 6.6 amps, that should still give me 86 amps or so to work with for the day. Probably more because my math seems pretty conservative.

I also have a 1000watt Honda Eu2000i genny, so any electrical deficit will be compensated with the power of gas. I am prepared to buy another one to run parallel in order to compensate but I am going to wait and try out my solar setup first. I'd prefer to spend that money on new batteries which I'll need once I destroy my freebies. If you don't have a genny yet and want to buy one, a Honda Eu3000i will solve most of your problems.

We had an "emergency" once on a vacation, and we resolved it by using our rental cars heaters on full blast. It was a 6/10 resolution, got me out of the dog house but wasn't satisfactory.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:10 PM   #9
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I really don't want to get a generator... Part of that is that I don't need gasoline for anything else so adding another fuel type will ruin my chi, or something along those lines.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:47 PM   #10
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I really don't want to get a generator... Part of that is that I don't need gasoline for anything else so adding another fuel type will ruin my chi, or something along those lines.
gota have one, no way around it if your on solar. if your batteries get low you have to charge them and you need to do it efficiently so your not running your genny for hours. check out inverter chargers. good luck
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:52 PM   #11
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I really don't want to get a generator... Part of that is that I don't need gasoline for anything else so adding another fuel type will ruin my chi, or something along those lines.
If one fuel type is important, you could get a diesel generator.

What're you using for heat? (...other than the hair drier? )
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #12
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If one fuel type is important, you could get a diesel generator.

What're you using for heat? (...other than the hair drier? )
I want a diesel genny. With a 40 gallon tank I can use as auxillary to the main tank.
But I'll likely end up with a gas unit and a 5 gal can of gas to go with it since a gas genny is about a third the price of a diesel unit.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:27 PM   #13
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TAOLIK, the general approach is sound but the units got a little fast and loose and I'm not sure the final answer makes sense..

I'd approach it like this:
1700 watts for 20 minutes, aka 1/3 of an hour: 1700 Watts * (1/3) hours = 566 Watt-hours (Wh)
increase a bit to account for inverter inefficiency: 566 Wh / 0.8 = 707 Wh used by the hair dryer daily

solar panel production: 600 Watts * 4 hours = 2400 Wh
de-rate 70% efficiency: 2400 Wh * 0.7 = 1680 Wh available on a good day

1680 Wh production - 707 Wh hair dryer = 973 Wh left for other things. 20 minutes of hair dryer consumes almost half of a good day's production from a 600 Watt solar array.

What's the 70% efficiency factor for? Charge controller and battery bank losses?
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:07 PM   #14
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2000w Yamaha with a 10g remote tank. I fill up less than once per year.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:09 AM   #15
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2000w Yamaha with a 10g remote tank. I fill up less than once per year.
I would argue that this is a thousand dollar solution to a fifty dollar problem. I like the head out the window idea the best so far!
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:16 AM   #16
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I would argue that this is a thousand dollar solution to a fifty dollar problem. I like the head out the window idea the best so far!
You asked "So I'm looking for opinions on how to solve this issue. What have you folks done?"

Never saw anything regarding a dollar limit.

Our gen is used for many things not just to dry hair.
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:18 AM   #17
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You asked "So I'm looking for opinions on how to solve this issue. What have you folks done?"

Never saw anything regarding a dollar limit.

Our gen is used for many things not just to dry hair.
Of course, not trying to diminish your reply, just stating why it's probably not the solution I would go with!
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:47 AM   #18
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I would argue that this is a thousand dollar solution to a fifty dollar problem. I like the head out the window idea the best so far!
....orrr you could shave your head and move on to the next problem
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:49 AM   #19
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....orrr you could shave your head and move on to the next problem
That's exactly what I did.. But 6 years later I haven't convinced her to do the same.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:01 AM   #20
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Heehee.. I did a quick search on Amazon for energy efficient hair dryers and this one came up:
Gentle Dry 650 Low Watt Pet Dryer, Professional Animal Grooming

I'm not going to feed into the title, but the very first review was from a lady who full-times in an RV and uses it on herself, not her dog At 650w it's going to take longer to dry hair than a 1500w model so in the end it'll probably use the same amount of energy. It can be run on a 1000w inverter, though, and will be easier on the house batteries.
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