No More Electric Bill

Tuesday, 07 September 2010 – By Bernie

I have been saving my pennies to buy my own power plant. OK, it is not a huge power plant, but it will work for a minimal amount of needed everyday needs.

Needs like:

1) Cell Phone Charging
2) Sound Therapy – Gotta “HEAR” & “FEEL” the music!
3) Lap Top Computer power
4) Lights
5) Perhaps power for my 12v cooler
6) Fan and 12v swamp bucket cooler in summer
7) Furnace blower in winter

The best answer for the A/C and heating issue is to just hang out in the right climate. Flagstaff and Williams in the summer, and Phoenix or Vegas in the winter. There are plenty of places to pick, those are just some of my favorites here in this area. Most any place out west is good for getting rid of the humidity, which is what runs up your electric bill the most.

The start of this power plant system is going to consist of:

1) One 135 watt solar panel

solar_panel2) Two Batteries – 165 pounds each!

battery3) One charge controller – Not sure which one, so no picture of it yet.

UPDATE: Here it is below. It will handle 2 of those 135 watt panels. Not sure I will need 2, but I bought one big enough to expand if I need or want to in the future.

charge_controller4) One 1750 Watt Inverter – Bought many years ago and still new in the box. Hum, hope it works!

1750_inverter5) To keep all the extra weight up off the ground, and to help out when I am towing my trailer, I am adding a set of “Helper Springs“. What you see in “Purple” in the picture below would actually be the current springs on the vehicle. This is just a second set to help.

helper_springs_p6) New Tires – Gotta keep everything in tip top shape. I just bought the tires about a month ago. So, with this set up, I will be able to run everything I need with out a generator. WOW! A “Simple Stress Free Lifestyle” with out any noise and pollution living a “Green” lifestyle with plenty of power to spare. A generator would be nice addition in the future, but I’ll just keep saving my pennies.

The lights I add to the interior of my “Condo On Wheels” will be “LED” lights. They take very little power. I will also have 12v florescent for the times I need more light. I have not had much experience with LED’s, so I will let you know.

I will get the “Helper Springs” ordered this weekend when I get back to Phoenix, and installed in a week or 2 after that. Then it is off to Flagstaff to get the batteries, charge controller and solar panel. There will be other wires and end connectors to buy as well. I am going to do most of the work up there, so when I have a question, the experts are right there to guide me along on my first install.

The van is already set up with an “Isolator”, but I don’t think it works. This is a nice option as it will allow me to charge my power plant batteries as I am driving down the road, and when the van is not running, it will not let the power plant batteries drain my van battery. These items are around $60 or so, so it is worth the money to have the option of charging your batteries as your engine is burning fuel anyway. I may have to add a high output alternator just to get some extra “Juice” going into those monster batteries.