Thursday, July 28, 2011
My solar power comes from roof mounted 80 watt panels that I bought from AM Solar. These people are super nice and very knowledgeable! I store my power in (2) AGM Lifeline batteries, 220 amp hours each. I use a Cobra model 1500 watt inverter that I bought from Amazon.com and it has a low voltage alarm, which lets me know when my batteries are getting low.
Because the batteries are sealed, they do not require venting. Which means I can have them in the trailer and not have to worry about getting poisoned from the gas! The solar panel cord runs into the trailer right to the batteries, and the inverter is tied direct to them as well. Naturally, the batteries are tied together, so they both charge equally at the same time.
My wind turbine is a 400 watt low wind (4mph) that I bought from Mikes Windmill Shop in Show Low, AZ. Mike and his wife are another couple who are very nice and extremely knowledgeable! Again, the power cord from the turbine runs down the front of the trailer directly to the batteries. I have a water heating coil that serves as my dump load to dump excess power from the turbine when the batteries are full. You need this, because these batteries are $265. each, and you don't want to risk burning them up!
The mast for the turbine is custom built by Dave Hoskins at Aluminess Products in California. There are only 2 of these in the world, and my friend Pat Bonish in Cedar Key, FL has the other one! This mast is made of ALUMINUM, and it telescopes up into the air and locks in place with a pin......hook an air hose onto the nipple at the base and raise it up into the wind! When you are ready to bring it down, you add a shot of air to take it up a little, pull the pin, then pull the air release valve at the base and it slides down. REALLY, REALLY SWEET!! Trust me, there is no one making a mast like this for RVs, much less custom mounts for cargo trailers, NOWHERE in the USA!
I could go on and on about my solar/wind power system, but will just say it is doing EXACTLY what I need/want it to do for me! One reason I have both is because I have learned that when the sun isn't shining and charging the solar panels, then the winds are usually blowing like crazy! So, I can pull off the road and KNOW I have power available to run a cooling fan or watch my satellite tv or make coffee or sleep under my electric blanket, or charge up my cell phone or my laptop, or watch a DVD! All with FREE power supplied by Mother Nature!
The finishing out of the interior of the trailer is a work in progress, and will be documented here as it happens. Meanwhile, check out these links for solar, wind, cargo trailers!
And heres a GREAT site of my friends Pat and Cindy Bonish.....
I will be heading out tonight for Bluewater, New Mexico. May not make it online for a few days, but will update when a connection is available to me.