C. West wrote:I was wondering if anyone is running some normal appliances on nothing but solar. By normal I mean fridge, freezer, dishwasher, computer. Is it even possible with current solar and battery tech to run a "normal" house?
My house started as purely on-grid when I built it in 2005. The area where we live is very prone to power outages, we watched for ten years as our town every calendar month had outages, every year. In 2015, we installed 4400 watts of photovoltaic panels and a 48vdc 600ah battery-bank [I can give details if requested]. We can shift breakers back and forth between power sources.
Our house has a fridge, chest-freezer, dishwasher, two computers, two ceiling fans, one wholehouse exhaust fan, a well pump and two septic pumps.
Over the course of 2019, I had continuing problems with the batteries, until they finally died completely this Fall. The individual cells went dead, cascading across all batteries. Now I need to buy an entire battery-bank, and we are strapped for cash.
All along I have been talking with neighbors who run solar-power systems and gaining from their advice, etc.
I blame two things for the early failure of our batteries.
1- Our charge-controller can not perform an equalize charge. I have spent hundreds of man-hours fighting with it to perform an equalize-charge. Next time I will have a separate free-standing charger here [output:53vdc/20amps].
2- My wife insisted on using solar power every day, while our electrical load grew more appliances.
[our market could not absorb how much pork we were producing, so we had to get more chest-freezers.
We fell in love with a hybrid plug-in sedan that re-charges from our solar-power system.]
If we were exclusively 1 fridge, 1 chest-freezer, 1 dishwasher, 2 laptops, 2 ceiling fans, 1 wholehouse exhaust fan, a well pump and 2 septic pumps. We would be fine, once again [if we also had a grid-powered charger for performing an equalize-charge once a month].