• Greg F
    159
    We get somewhat regular power outages at our sticks and bricks. Today power went out and PG&E forecast 3 pm for it to turn on. Being a warm day I drug out some extension cords to the RV so we could power the fridge, some fans and keep the internet working through the campers inverter. No sooner than is everything set up...yup...power comes back on.

    All of which got me thinking about utilizing our campers solar to partially power the house. I discovered our large residential fridge only uses about 15 amps DC with the compressor running. (less than half of our Dometic 8cf propane fridge running on AC power) so our system could easily power it 24/7 while weather is good.

    Does anyone utilize their RV solar power at home to cut back on their grid usage? Maybe just add a couple outlets in the house to use for fridge, TV, Internet.

    0z9f98aktk6483f5.jpg
  • RVsolar
    184
    Are RV is our home but I do have a grid tie unit to send power back to the grid when we are at my daughter's place.
  • Eddie Aileen
    89
    @Kimberly Is always threading to hook her toy hauler to ours on a rainy day! :smirk:
  • Greg F
    159
    How does your RV to grid tie system work?
  • RVsolar
    184
    hi it is a cheap Chinese grid tie inverter I have it tied into 2 of my solar panels so 720w then the grid.tie changes it to AC and it feeds back into the RV . I believe in the kiss method.
    Little video kind of show how I do it .
    I did move the grid tie to the front of my 5w

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x9VRYchLlC8
  • Greg F
    159
    Thanks. I have checked those out. Missouri wind and solar has a few videos and sells these. None that I have seen are UL listed or approved for a permitted install.

    I have read that with the smart meters used in CA that feeding back into the grid could set a flag for my house for inspection of a permitted grid tied system as the meter can alert the power company that I am manufacturing power to the grid. Not sure if that's true.

    While I think these grid ties are pretty harmless and they have islanding protection getting hassled/fined doesn't sound like fun.

    I have also checked out some of these inverters that have a clamp on amperage sensor at the house main that only lets the inverter power usage on the customer side of the meter. No back feeding when the grid is on. That seems to be the route to protect yourself from detection.

    The low cost and easy assembly of as system like this is appealing.
  • RVsolar
    184
    sure is last year we parked at a RV park where you had to pay for power over top of of the site so out comes the grid tie it took the cost down by half. Because you use the units power first .
  • Rush and Lola
    113
    Living in hurricane country we learn many moons ago to be prepared. Now in an RV I have a solar setup installed by Mobilehomestead solar services. Two Honda's for backup.
    Power went off here last night and the campers come beating on our door, asking why you got power and we don't. He says I'm missing the evening news. They seen the TV playing when they walked by.
  • RVsolar
    184
    sure is nice and the neighbors bug you to much just drive away LOL.
  • Rush and Lola
    113
    Not if your a camp host.
  • George
    2
    I don't know how it is in the US . In Canada Specifically BC you need to have a mechanical isolating switch(this could something as simple as breakers where both cant be closed at the same time) in your house if you have an extra power source like Solar. This is to protect the Hydro workers from back feeds ( your house)to the grid in case of a power outage.
  • Greg F
    159
    My idea was just to add a couple outlets completely separate from house wiring. Right now I have a couple extension cords pulled into the campers inverter to run the fridge, internet and TV equipment just in the house to see how things work.

    If we were going to be staying in this house for a while I would install a grid tied system using micro inverters. Installation is simple. The microinverters convert the panels to 240v right at the panels and tie in is simply adding a double breaker into the house breaker box through a disconnect. The have islanding protection and produce no power when the grid is down so no back feeding power. This is a pretty common set up now but the obvious drawback is that when the grid goes down so does your power. Ultimately I would like to build a complete off grid system for our next property. Back up would be via a generator when solar can't keep up due to weather.
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