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Sunday morning dawned with the sun shining in my window, and I hadn't seen that in so long it actually woke me up. We weren't supposed to get any sunshine until late afternoon today but it turned out to be just scattered clouds all day which was no problem for the solar panels to charge up my batteries.
I was very happy to say the least to see the sun come out and end my solar panel test. And I have to say the system passed with flying colors. Just so everyone will know what I'm talking about let me describe my solar panel and battery system once more.
I have six kyocera 140 W solar panels capable of putting out a total of about 48 amps under ideal conditions. The house batteries are four Trojan T145 6 volt "golf cart" batteries hooked up in series for a total of 520 amps. And since you're supposed to use less than 50% of a battery, for a long battery life, that gives me 260 amps of normal use. Oh, and my solar controller is a 60 amp controller.
Now if you read my previous posts you will know that I put six solar panels on the roof of the Arctic Fox so they would give me plenty of power even in the winter so that I wouldn't have to get on the roof and tilt the panels when the sun is low on the horizon.
And all of that worked out just as I had hoped. The suns not as low on the horizon as it will be but it's getting low and it's definitely not right over the top of the solar panels where they work the best, so I think it was a fairly accurate winter time test.
So the result was I was down 110 amps after four days of no sun whatsoever, which gave me 150 amps still available that I could have used had the sun not come out.
Bear in mind that even though I was conserving my power I was by no means suffering, I wasn't living in the dark, cooking over a campfire, and carrying around a dead phone. I had the same lights on in the Arctic Fox at night that I always use, I stayed warm with my catalytic heater, I cooked on my propane stove, my refrigerator ran on propane 24 hours a day just like it always does, and when I turned on a faucet my electric pump came on and water comes out.
Looking back on it the only things that I didn't do was, leave my laptop running for most of the day even though I'm not using it, turn on my desktop computer, that hog probably would've killed the batteries the first day, and I didn't use my microwave it all, bear in mind that I don't use it very much anyway when I'm Boondocking. So all in all I would have to describe living without sunshine for four days straight as no more than a minor inconvenience... I think I'm ready to do my happy dance now.