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Stacey

Can you run a little caravan on solar?

The plan is to have a small (12ft) caravan outside for my eldest to move into so my 13yr old can have his own room (don't tell anyone though - it's not allowed Wink) His concern about it is that he has a fair bit of music equipment and he's worred about damp. He'll need heat and light, obviously so I was wondering if solar panels would provide enough energy for him to have heat and light and run a small dehumidifier? I know nothing about solar or any kind of power come to that Embarassed so I don't know if it's possible. It would have to be a bodge it yourself off ebay job as I can't afford posh panels or anything.
RichardW

Not for a reasonable cost.

Light yes, music yes, heat no


You would need solar panels, charge controler, batteries, inverters, thick wires.

To give you some idea of costs.
to run a 1kw heater for 1 hour you would need

1200w inverter
combined battery bank size of 300amp/hrs
solar panel sized to charge bats each day of 300watts in the summer & 1200watts in the winter (see the problem worst performance at time of greatest need)

The solar panels alone would cost 1k to 4k JUST to run the heater for one hour per day.

Cheaper to run cable out from the house.

However for lights only its a much better bet as you could light the van for 5 hours using low energy / wattage 12 v bulbs using a single battery & one 100watt solar panel.

If you realy want to take this further I will do acurate figures on it but its a bit of a non starter to be honest

Richard

PS why is it not legal? Most houses have a right to site a tempoary structure as long as the useage is incidental to the ocupation of the house which your use does come under.
vegplot

It's certainly possible for the electricity, for which you'll to work out what the average usage will be. From there you can work out what size battery pack and no. / wattage of solar PV's you'll be needing.

However, this won't be cheap, I'd budget around from 700 or so upwards, unless you can source second hand. A lot more cost effective solution is to run an armoured cable from your house supply out to the caravan (if it's reasonably close).

For heat, a small wood burner is cost effective (mind the fumes). Solar hot water will require a thermal store, again quite a large expense if buying off the shelf.
Stacey

RichardW wrote:
Not for a reasonable cost.

Light yes, music yes, heat no


You would need solar panels, charge controler, batteries, inverters, thick wires.

To give you some idea of costs.
to run a 1kw heater for 1 hour you would need

1200w inverter
combined battery bank size of 300amp/hrs
solar panel sized to charge bats each day of 300watts in the summer & 1200watts in the winter (see the problem worst performance at time of greatest need)

The solar panels alone would cost 1k to 4k JUST to run the heater for one hour per day.

Cheaper to run cable out from the house.

However for lights only its a much better bet as you could light the van for 5 hours using low energy / wattage 12 v bulbs using a single battery & one 100watt solar panel.

If you realy want to take this further I will do acurate figures on it but its a bit of a non starter to be honest

Richard

PS why is it not legal? Most houses have a right to site a tempoary structure as long as the useage is incidental to the ocupation of the house which your use does come under.


It's not that it's illegal - it's part of our tenancy agreement

Thanks both - looks like it's a no-go Neutral
RichardW

How far from the house?
Stacey

35 - 40ft
RichardW

If safe a good quality extension cable (2.5mm2 artic cable).

Richard
Stacey

It's actually only a few feet from the goat shed, which has electricity but I was trying to save money. I can't cope with the fuel costs now, let alone when there's a 40% increase and an extra 'room' Sad
RichardW

Like most things its possible but costly to set up. Would take a very long time to pay back.


Richard
Stacey

That's the major problem with wanting to be 'greener' but being poverty stricken Sad
Jonnyboy

What about 'eco' bulbs in the caravan.

Or maybe a set of headphones for him? Very Happy
RichardW

Its not the light or sound thats the problem its the heat. What about using the LPG gas fire? or wood stove?
Stacey

Jonnyboy wrote:
What about 'eco' bulbs in the caravan.

Or maybe a set of headphones for him? Very Happy


He's a DJ, mixing his toons and dat.

I'm down wit da yoot ya knaw
Stacey

RichardW wrote:
Its not the light or sound thats the problem its the heat. What about using the LPG gas fire? or wood stove?


I wouldn't trust him with a tilly lamp let alone a wood burner Laughing
vegplot

Stacey wrote:
That's the major problem with wanting to be 'greener' but being poverty stricken Sad


That is a big issue. Being green is often seen as middle class, in the monetary sense. Something needs to be done to address that.
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