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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Portable solar generators
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# Posted: 23 Jun 2023 10:30 - Edited by: gcrank1

All good info Houska.
Ime, a 12v battery (pick the ah size and chemistry, but LFP has turned out to be great for us in the 'back & forth' mode (energy dense and waayyy lighter that FLA; read: Game Changer!). Alternative lithium based battery chemistries do Not have as many recharge cycles as LFP but far more than FLA.
Ours have a USB port right on the bat-box and the PSW inverter also has dual USB ports (work even if inverter is not turned on though there is some minimal draw keeping the capacitors loaded.
THAT IS IT for a small, usable bat-op 'system to provide 12v, 5v (USB) and 120vac (dual receptacles), the battery and a psw inverter (my small one is a 300w). Easy hook up, I think a cave man or woman could do it. Take it home to recharge at your convenience before the next return.
Btw, we only turn on the inverter When We Want To Use 120ac; ie, most of the day it is off.
If you want to recharge on site with your gen you only need a lith friendly ac charger with the proper amps output to maximize the charge for your choice of battery (ie, battery charge rate/'C' rate) to plug into the gen.
Or solar array fed into a proper capacity solar charge controller (SCC) which connects to the battery (thru a fuse).
LED lights and USB powered charge for devices or even some small 'appliances', like a personal fan, radio, etc. are Inconsequential to the power available in a decent sized LFP (or other lith based, energy dense bats)
Even our cheap home type 120vac ceiling fan runs a longgg time, as needed, summer or cold heating months (to kick the warm air around and mix). Our old energy hog tube tv c/w a vcr added in for an evening movie is not a problem.
The toaster and small microwave are, as was a small Heier fridge. The toaster at 600w will run fine on my 750w msw inverter and is very short term so I am pretty much willing to take the hit on the ah loss.
MW is also short term (though a small/lower watts unit takes longer to cook/reheat) but starting the gen for it is the way to run it smart.
The fridge trials were a bust. It takes a fair long time to get it to cold internal temp (and inside a warm summer cabin it is dumping heat from the exchanger inside; best to have it outside the cabin, imo) before it went to 'the 50%'. Then it was a constant draw-down of the bat-bank. Like watching the elec meter spinning on grid . Getting the fridge to cold running on the gen (and after that switching to the bat-bank inverter) was easier on the bat-bank but we do Not go to the cabin to hear a gen run All Day Long.
The other fridges tried were a small and mid-sized 'absorption units'. Fail, they both were a constant draw-down/no cycling like a compressor fridge.
A properly managed Yeti-Clone (Lifetime brand) has done 4 days! Properly managed is the operative on that. Ice bottles re-froze in our home freezer last far longer than 'bought ice cubes' and we have cold water from the jugs as they slowly thaw. We set them into two zones in the cooler, 2/3s is the 'fridge and 1/3 is the competely ice bottle surrounded 'freezer' with a folded towel as a 'lid'. And no drain water/damp food.

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