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Comments for Disillusioned new solar panel owner seeks advice

  • I had the same experience as “lincoln.” I spent $2500 on panels, controller, and batteries. After struggling with dead batteries for a year and a half I finally bought a Honda 2000 generator, then a year later another one. I can run one for 30 minutes to recharge batteries without any of the “Shrinks” sucking of fuel, noise, or pollution. PLUS, I can run 120 volt appliances, PLUS the air conditioner, PLUS jump start my tow vehicle. PLUS when the power goes out at my house I can run the refrig, lights, TV, etc. My solar panels couldn’t do any of that. I’m still pro-solar though.

  • We’ve got 375 watts of solar on our trailer roof, which feed two 6-volt golf cart batteries. We also have a Cobra 2500 watt inverter which can run everything in the trailer except the a/c. We never use the ‘nuker’ anyway, but wifey can use her hair dryer. Living in Nevada helps because we’ve got lots of sun. But on the cloudy and rainy days (yes, it DOES rain in Nevada – occasionally) we just watch our power usage. Swapping out all our light bulbs for LED’s has also paid huge benefits. We’ve been using solar for 20 years now (on two trailers) and can’t imagine life without it.

  • We have eight roof top panels that feed three lithium ion 12v batteries. We can run everything in our rig for a period of time. The “period of time” is the key. Normal lighting and occasional use of major appliances will not drain the batteries. Use the air conditioning and the batteries are drained in about an hour. We watch the voltage reading and space out appliance use to avoid dead batteries.