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I built a small solar system a couple months back patterned off of a youtube link I've posted elsewhere. It consists of a lawn tractor battery, a simple 12v charger/maintainer from SunForce, and a Black and Decker inverter. With a winter storm about to pummel the east coast in the next couple days, I thought it would be a good time to test it out.

I'm currently pointed directly north which is far less than ideal (solar panels in the northern hemisphere should be pointed south), but I'm still picking up charge anyways. If we lose power, I'm planning on running a space heater in my room from the system and maybe a string of LED's or charging my iphone.

I will let you all know how it works!
 

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Best check your math a space heater uses around 10 amps @ 120 volts your battery would have to deliver 100 amps at 12 volts to an inverter without any losses.
 

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Heating takes a lot of energy. I will rely on a Mr. Buddy heater and a few 20 lb cylinders that can heat a room for a couple of months in the winter. That will give me more than enough time to access the situation and come up with a more permanent heat source. Solar would power everything that uses AA batteries 50 watt should do. I think I could just fine on that.
 

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You know what? I didn't even think of the draw of the heater... I just assumed electricity would run an electrical appliance... Such a beginner when it comes to this. I always hated physics anyways. The propane heater seems like it's the way to go... thanks for the pointers... I'll stick to lights and phone charging on the battery.
 

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Having a large boat with a considerable battery bank and several large panels I will also chime in that your not likely to be able to run that space heater long with the kind of juice they draw! For heating I think you will find propane or my personal favorite, kerosene heaters a better option than electric heating. A decent panel and large amp hour battery though should run LED's for you just fine and perhaps a few other low consumption items occasionally.
 

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If using a propane heaters be sure to get one rated for indoor use. Another thing is to have CO2 detector, or 4 up and going. Asphyxiated bodies don't really need all that much heat........
 

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Yeah I have about 720 watts of panels and a Windmill generator mounted on my mast and 980 amp hours of gel cell marine batterys on my 37 ft lancer Sloop. It sounds like a lot but trust me it doesnt take long to drain those 8D batterys down even without running a space heater!

Under good conditions they usually generated about 3/4th of their rated wattage for about 6 hours a day, sometimes longer when in the tropics, thats not much. The windmill would produce about 400 watts an hour if there was a good 15-18 mphs of wind hitting it. The batterys held enough of a charge to allow me to go about 2 days or so off shore power if I didnt use the Radar, Microwave or electric stove and only ran the fridge a few hours a day. Solar power is great but its not effcient and its expensive to set up an array and battery bank that will hold you over. It is a pretty decent investment though when you consider the cost over the long haul of 15-20 years. Good batterys will only last about 5-6 years if you dont completely drain them very often. And yes I had a gas genset on board below deck in addition to the desiel engine the boat had. Sometimes I needed it!
 

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Yeah I have about 720 watts of panels and a Windmill generator mounted on my mast and 980 amp hours of gel cell marine batterys on my 37 ft lancer Sloop. It sounds like a lot but trust me it doesnt take long to drain those 8D batterys down even without running a space heater!

Under good conditions they usually generated about 3/4th of their rated wattage for about 6 hours a day, sometimes longer when in the tropics, thats not much. The windmill would produce about 400 watts an hour if there was a good 15-18 mphs of wind hitting it. The batterys held enough of a charge to allow me to go about 2 days or so off shore power if I didnt use the Radar, Microwave or electric stove and only ran the fridge a few hours a day. Solar power is great but its not effcient and its expensive to set up an array and battery bank that will hold you over. It is a pretty decent investment though when you consider the cost over the long haul of 15-20 years. Good batterys will only last about 5-6 years if you dont completely drain them very often. And yes I had a gas genset on board below deck in addition to the desiel engine the boat had. Sometimes I needed it!
Sound like a similar set up to mine minus the wind generator. I have a 6kw diesel genset and about 450w of solar with a 600amp's in 6v and 12v batteries.
 
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