This noon on my lunch break I've started writing a spreadsheet to calculate our power needs for the house. But I’m not making much headway on it. I'll use it to work out what we can run with the storage capacity available in the batteries I already have. Once I know that I can determine if the photovoltaic rig from Harbor Freight will be big enough to keep the batteries charged and how much of our ‘stuff’ we can expect to run in a typical day from the batteries.
I’ve already drawn a preliminary sketch of how I can wire the system to be able to safely switch the refrigerator (or any other appliance for that matter) back and forth between grid power and the inverter that will draw power from the bank of batteries. I’ll post a link to a better version of the sketch once I’ve redrawn it up to my standards.
Once the generator is squared away I’ll work out how to tie it in to the system both for direct power and to charge the batteries if there isn’t enough sun.
Another thing I want for the house is this really neat ventless gas fake wood stove that can run on bottled propane. I spotted that at Lowe’s the other night. It looks much like a larger version of the electric space heater we have in the living room. At $450- plus installation by a licensed gas fitter I’m afraid that’s out of my reach right now. But we WILL have one eventually. We already have propane for the water heater. It would be silly not to be able to use it.