The Perfect Tow Vehicle is going to be a solar energy powerhouse on wheels!
Plans are underway . . .
A 200 watt, 27.5 volt, 7.28 amp solar panel will be mounted on the roof of the Perfect Tow Vehicle by putting it on a roof rack. The solar panel will have a tilt mechanism to allow for optimum energy collection. The panel will be connected to a 15 amp solar charge controller which will be connected to two, 12 volt, 75 amp hour, AGM Optima batteries. The 3000 watt inverter that is already affixed to an interior wall of the PTV, in front of the right wheel well (This inverter came with the PTV when I bought it) will connect to the batteries to make 120 volt AC that is accessed through the Casita’s power cord.
I’ll use the same cord from the Casita that I presently use to hook to shore power. The PTV cord will come out the back window to make the connection. I’ll plug the Casita cord to the PTV cord! Voila!
Putting the solar panel on the PTV rather than on the Casita has a few advantages.
No holes are drilled in the Casita. The PTV’s roof is flat; the Casita’s is curved. I can position the PTV in the most advantageous position for collecting solar power, regardless of how the Casita is positioned. The Casita can be in the shade while the PTV is in the sun. Batteries are not taking up space in the Casita. When I’m driving around in the PTV, the batteries are being charged by the sun!
What’s more, the inverter is already wired to the engine battery (It looks like it was factory ordered that way.), which means I could, if need be, charge the batteries by turning on the PTV’s engine . . . kind of like a generator.
That was a rough outline of the solar set-up plans.
I didn’t include all the components in my explanation, things like fuses and circuit breakers and the temperature sensor. I’d probably explain it wrong if I tried to include a more detailed description. You didn’t think I put this all together by myself, did you?
Ever since I decided to be a fulltime vagabond, my life has been “charmed.”
I seem to be in the right places at the right time for good things to happen. People appear out of nowhere to help me. They give me things. If I have a problem, someone comes along and solves it. It’s mind-boggling. Someday I’ll write a post about these “coincidences.” Anyway.
Mick Kent is part of my charmed life. He’s a guy who went to the same elementary, junior high, and high school that I attended in upstate New York, but I’ve never met him in person. He now lives in Tennessee. We’ve only communicated online. It just so happens that this guy Mick is an electronics engineer . . . . Now how fortuitous is that!
He’s the brains behind my solar set-up!
I’ll tell you more about the development of the solar set-up another time. I want to give you a glimpse of some work that’s being done to make solar happen for me and the crew!
I plan to show you all the parts, their specs, and links to where they were purchased. I also plan to post photos of the installation process. Today I worked on the custom battery box. More about that in tomorrow’s post.
The crew and I have lived at Elephant Butte State Park for quite a few days.
It’s a beautiful place to live, but I admit I’m getting itchy to move on down the road again. However, I can’t think of a better reason for us to stay put. We’re getting SOLAR!