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Old 07-09-2021, 01:10 PM   #1
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How much solar will I need?

I know this is a really vague question but I really have to figure this out and i'm ripping my hair out.

So i've done extensive research and will be putting the following appliances in my conversion (please let me know if these seem ok).

I'm planning to purchase how ever many solar panels that will fit on my bus.

Potential appliances to run of Solar:
-GIRARD 2GWHAM Tankless Water Heater

-LG Electronics 27 in. 4.5 cu. ft. Black Steel Ultra Large Capacity Electric All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo

-Unique Classic Retro 24 in. 2.9 cu. ft. Gas Range with Convection Oven in Summer Mint Green

-Unique Retro 21.6 in. 9 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in Summer Mint Green, ENERGY STAR

- Also, macbook pro, iphones, lights, cameras, printer, etc (wont be charging all day or using all day)

Thank you so much for the help!

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Old 07-09-2021, 01:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
I know this is a really vague question but I really have to figure this out and i'm ripping my hair out.

Well, I'll stop at this for now:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
-LG Electronics 27 in. 4.5 cu. ft. Black Steel Ultra Large Capacity Electric All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo
is likely to be your biggest load. I looked briefly into this unit and I couldn't find details on the drying tech but I'm going to assume it is condensation rather than heat pump.


Normal cycles of this unit to wash and dry will take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours... keep in mind this being a 120V unit and condensation drying will be one of the more efficient options on the market, but residential laundry is one of if not the hardest things to accomplish with solar. You will need a large array of solar panels, and either a very large battery bank or to time your laundry with good sun.



There are RV-oriented washer/dryers out there but I think they're toys compared to typical household laundry machines. Meant for weekends out, not full time use.


What it sounds like you're looking for is a "residential electrical experience" with solar. That's not impossible, but it is hard, and requires an investment. I'm one of the few folks here going for just that. I don't have laundry in my build as I have nowhere to fit it at this time. I did make a place for a combo unit like the one you reference, but after I got a lemon off of Craigslist I gave up and put a residential fridge in that spot instead.



Could you let me know what your total electrical budget would look like, and what your use case is (full time? getaway vehicle?)
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Old 07-09-2021, 02:47 PM   #3
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Agreed with K. The water heater is 12V, so hardly a load. Same with the range, both run on propane. The fridge will probably draw 8-15A inrush, then 3-5A when running, minimal when not.

So other than the dryer, a SWAG would be 280 AH LiFePo battery; 1000 watts of solar, and a 2000 watt inverter. Battery and Solar sizing depends on how much you boondock.

If you are looking for the residential experience with a washer/dryer, maybe double that?

Again, emphasis on the W in SWAG. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:29 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for being blunt and straight to the point! I need the realty here. So nothing will be taken harshly.

I forgot to mention the most important part with the laundry is that it will only be used if connected to water and power. I really only do laundry only once a month anyways. As for the hot water heater if I’m not showering at a friends than only once a week it will be used.

The only things that would be on constantly would be the fridge and maybe lights and charging my computer and phones almost every other day. I will be a full time student trying to save money on rent in the big city (:

I have money saved for the entire build out and maybe looking to only spend 5k on solar if possible, but I am flexible.
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:31 PM   #5
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Thank you for your reply Rucker, what is SWAG?
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
Thank you so much for being blunt and straight to the point! I need the realty here. So nothing will be taken harshly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
As for the hot water heater if Iím not showering at a friends than only once a week it will be used.


I have a very similar water heater, its very light on electric and gas usage.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
The only things that would be on constantly would be the fridge and maybe lights and charging my computer and phones almost every other day. I will be a full time student trying to save money on rent in the big city (:
This is very reasonable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
I have money saved for the entire build out and maybe looking to only spend 5k on solar if possible, but I am flexible.
$5k will build you something very nice. If you'd like, I can share a wiring diagram I made for another user here, helping them build out their electrical. Its a 24V system. Number of solar panels and batteries not shown, as those components can vary greatly without much effect on the actual wiring of the system.
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Old 07-09-2021, 05:11 PM   #7
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Thank you for your reply Rucker, what is SWAG?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_wild-ass_guess
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Old 07-09-2021, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
Thank you so much for being blunt and straight to the point! I need the realty here. So nothing will be taken harshly.

I forgot to mention the most important part with the laundry is that it will only be used if connected to water and power. I really only do laundry only once a month anyways. As for the hot water heater if Iím not showering at a friends than only once a week it will be used.

The only things that would be on constantly would be the fridge and maybe lights and charging my computer and phones almost every other day. I will be a full time student trying to save money on rent in the big city (:

I have money saved for the entire build out and maybe looking to only spend 5k on solar if possible, but I am flexible.
If you intend to only run the washer/dryer on shore power you can probably get away with 280A LiFePo battery, 2000 watt inverter, and 500 watts of solar, though again, full time and cloudy days will limit you.

You may also want to consider A/C. Lots of other forum threads on what that takes. I have a portable AC unit I run on the above configuration; others use split systems that will draw more, so double the battery, and triple the solar and you'll be close, at least for budgetary purposes.

Nothing pays off more than careful research and pencil to paper though. Use this as a guideline, then begin doing the homework and let us know what you think you need. If we see your homework, so to speak, you'll get much better feedback.
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Old 07-10-2021, 09:22 AM   #9
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you mentioned a 27" appliance. Does it have a dimension smaller than your door?
I had to remove my door to get some kitchen cabinets in.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:45 PM   #10
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Yes, if you wouldn't mind sharing the wiring schematics that would be amazing!
Thank you all so much for the help!!!
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:58 PM   #11
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Yo Jacky, if you could stop posting adorable designer colored appliances that my wife would kill for, that would be great!! We are already doing a mint green and white bus, I 100% promise she will be demanding these now!!
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Old 07-16-2021, 07:24 PM   #12
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Diagram below. Not meant to be comprehensive, but rather illustrate components at a high level. Keep in mind there are lots of details missing like Ground/Neutral bond concerns... Do your own research, and if in doubt seek a paid professional.
ww_diag.jpg
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Old 07-21-2021, 04:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Well, I'll stop at this for now:

is likely to be your biggest load. I looked briefly into this unit and I couldn't find details on the drying tech but I'm going to assume it is condensation rather than heat pump.


Normal cycles of this unit to wash and dry will take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours... keep in mind this being a 120V unit and condensation drying will be one of the more efficient options on the market, but residential laundry is one of if not the hardest things to accomplish with solar. You will need a large array of solar panels, and either a very large battery bank or to time your laundry with good sun.



There are RV-oriented washer/dryers out there but I think they're toys compared to typical household laundry machines. Meant for weekends out, not full time use.


What it sounds like you're looking for is a "residential electrical experience" with solar. That's not impossible, but it is hard, and requires an investment. I'm one of the few folks here going for just that. I don't have laundry in my build as I have nowhere to fit it at this time. I did make a place for a combo unit like the one you reference, but after I got a lemon off of Craigslist I gave up and put a residential fridge in that spot instead.



Could you let me know what your total electrical budget would look like, and what your use case is (full time? getaway vehicle?)

How about an old fashioned solar clothes dryer, no electricity required.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacky View Post
.
[edited for brevity]
.
...do laundry only once a month anyways...
.
.
.
Our experiences with nearly two decades full-time live-aboard:
* dirty clothes and sheets require a separate building after a week or so.
[gags, shudders at memory]
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:04 PM   #15
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UNIQUE brand appliances

-Unique Classic Retro 24 in. 2.9 cu. ft. Gas Range with Convection Oven in Summer Mint Green

-Unique Retro 21.6 in. 9 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in Summer Mint Green, ENERGY STAR

I'm looking at these appliances too. How do you like this fridge and range?

Hope you are settling in wonderfully to school and bus life!
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