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Old 01-02-2018, 12:36 PM   #1
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electric appliances on solar power?

Hi All,

My husband & I are very new to this and have no electrical experience.

We were hoping to be able to run all-electric appliances to avoid propane, but we've seen mixed reviews on this when it comes to pairing with solar power.

We do have shore hookups, however, we'd like to be able to go off-grid on adventures once we install our solar panels.

Any and all insights are appreciated. Thank you!

Cheers,
Laura
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LauraB View Post
My husband & I are very new to this and have no electrical experience.

We were hoping to be able to run all-electric appliances to avoid propane, but we've seen mixed reviews on this when it comes to pairing with solar power.

We do have shore hookups, however, we'd like to be able to go off-grid on adventures once we install our solar panels.
Hi Laura, In my opinion, it is best to think of your battery bank as your electrical energy storage and then size it and your inverter to run whatever you desire/require. The solar panels are an input into that electrical storage bank.

So, yes, you can run whatever electrical appliances you desire from inverter/battery bank. What size inverter and battery bank do you need? it depends on what you plan to use and for how long. Answering that requires an energy budget/audit (Energy Audit - Watt For? - JdFinley.com).
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LauraB View Post
Hi All,

My husband & I are very new to this and have no electrical experience.

We were hoping to be able to run all-electric appliances to avoid propane, but we've seen mixed reviews on this when it comes to pairing with solar power.

We do have shore hookups, however, we'd like to be able to go off-grid on adventures once we install our solar panels.

Any and all insights are appreciated. Thank you!

Cheers,
Laura
Focus you research on wattage of appliances...there is plate on every appliance that states the amperage...voltage is minor issue...you need to know amperage for wire size...and wattage to determine how much battery you need...typically electric heat is bad...consider propane...or diesel heat...if your rig is diesel that's a good option...diesel most expensive...good luck

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Old 01-04-2018, 01:27 PM   #4
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Hi Laura, In my opinion, it is best to think of your battery bank as your electrical energy storage and then size it and your inverter to run whatever you desire/require. The solar panels are an input into that electrical storage bank.

So, yes, you can run whatever electrical appliances you desire from inverter/battery bank. What size inverter and battery bank do you need? it depends on what you plan to use and for how long. Answering that requires an energy budget/audit (Energy Audit - Watt For? - JdFinley.com).
JD, Thank you so much for your input! After doing the calculations, tt appears utilizing a combination of propane/solar might be the better option for us.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:29 PM   #5
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Focus you research on wattage of appliances...there is plate on every appliance that states the amperage...voltage is minor issue...you need to know amperage for wire size...and wattage to determine how much battery you need...typically electric heat is bad...consider propane...or diesel heat...if your rig is diesel that's a good option...diesel most expensive...good luck

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Jdawg, i appreciate the insight! I think I'm going to go with propane for the kitchen appliances. it seems more practical and allows for better agility.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:45 PM   #6
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Jdawg, i appreciate the insight! I think I'm going to go with propane for the kitchen appliances. it seems more practical and allows for better agility.
Awesomeness...have fun

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Old 01-05-2018, 10:28 AM   #7
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JD, Thank you so much for your input! After doing the calculations, tt appears utilizing a combination of propane/solar might be the better option for us.
Good choice - I think a combo setup is generally the best option for most folks. Stove, oven and refrigerator do not use much propane so you can expect good economy from it. It is usually the furnace that sucks down the propane.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:14 AM   #8
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I'm working on an idea right now on building something like they use on a hot water pressure washer only a thermostatically controlled closed system with something like a heater core for the fan to heat the air with. Wouldn't be running constantly and it could be run in dc coach power. Whatcha think?

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Old 02-05-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
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I'm working on an idea right now on building something like they use on a hot water pressure washer only a thermostatically controlled closed system with something like a heater core for the fan to heat the air with. Wouldn't be running constantly and it could be run in dc coach power. Whatcha think?

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For? A heater?

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Old 02-18-2018, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LauraB View Post
Hi All,

My husband & I are very new to this and have no electrical experience.

We were hoping to be able to run all-electric appliances to avoid propane, but we've seen mixed reviews on this when it comes to pairing with solar power.

We do have shore hookups, however, we'd like to be able to go off-grid on adventures once we install our solar panels.

Any and all insights are appreciated. Thank you!

Cheers,
Laura
There's always a compromise to be made here. If you want to run everything off of electric, you can definitely do it, but it will cost more in larger solar panels, charge controller, batteries, and inverter.

Propane is nice because it's super energy dense, both in volume and in weight. Carrying around a 20lb cylinder of propane for just water heating and cooking (for example) might equate to an extra 150 lb battery that then needs extra solar panel area to charge it. Exchanging a propane tank every once in a while is also a lot cheaper than buying an extra $1,000 of solar equipment.
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