I now have a solar panel on the roof of my caravan! This means I can stay off-grid in beautiful spots of New Zealand. One step closer to being completely self sufficient.
AA Solar & Sun Power Plus have been recommended to me multiple times by different people. They seemed to be the trusted guys in the industry. I had been told how much it might cost before approaching them. My estimate was on the higher side, because I had a few extra items included, like a Battery Computer. But the end price was $1000 over the estimate! A 1/3 of the price was labour. I had a very, very quiet melt-down while paying. But to be honest, they have done an impressive job. It’s very neatly done – the fittings look like they have always been there. Under the seat is also extremely complicated looking. I imagine it would take a decent amount of time to put it all in. But this means I will be stuck in Auckland longer to budget for the extra amount.
The main components are:
When getting the estimate, I listed all the electrical items I hoped to use and mentioned that I planned to live in it permanently. They put on the strongest solar panel they had that would fit in the small space on the roof – 330W! The MPPT was needed to controlling the power going into the battery. The invert converts the power to the right amount for my appliances. The Battery Computer was not necessary, but highly recommended by Gone with the Wynns who have lived in an RV and boat for over 6 years – they know their stuff! The battery computer is to make sure I don’t damage my battery… I definitely need help in that area!
I’ve been living just off solar power this weekend.
Here are some things I’ve learn already:
I’ll see how I find living of solar power, while going to work and bad weather due. I suspect I’ll end up plugging the caravan into the power just to make life easier. Go crazy on toast for a few days.
And I can’t wait for my little road trip after my work contract. Really test off-grid living then.