Solar need not be such a chore

by Derek
(Dominican Republic)

These have been adapted to remove the bar in front which creates shadows.

These have been adapted to remove the bar in front which creates shadows.

WE lived for 10 years in the Dominican Republic, where we only had street power 8 to 12 hours a day. However, with our inverter and battery system ALL switch-overs were automatic, and we rarely knew when they occurred.

Here are a few things I would do to simplify your life.....

1. Convert all cooking to Propane.. or at least add a small propane stove, so you can cook at night.

2. Add a water storage tank as high as possible on the roof.

3. Add a timer to water pump so only works in good sunlight hours. overnight you have low pressure water.
4. Our pool is about the same size as yours, and after much arguing, I have proved that 2 hours a day is adequate, so add another timer, so it also runs only during peak hours.

Never mind if I could jump thru the hoops you do hourly, my wife would not, and my options would be divorce or move somewhere with reliable power.

PS.... the sign-on below is appropriate... BLOWUP... Not sure who would blowup first... my wife or ME!!!!

Hello Derek,
Thank you for your letter and it's given me cause to stop and ponder that I could have come across so negatively about solar, when I'm 100% behind it.

Seamless switching over is something I should consider, rather than a change over switch; but it's reliant on batteries than can be drained without damage. How often were you buying new batteries in the DR? Mine are six years old, and I see little diminishing in their storage capacity.

The Australian Redflow battery is just a storage device that can be completely drained without loss of life; it's expensive, but has a ten year guarantee. It's capacity is roughly equal to eight 200Ah batteries.

1. We do all our daytime cooking using solar power; I could never go back to propane; it's slow, expensive and we use it only in emergencies, when the utility is down and the weather inclement. And what would I do with all the free solar electricity that we generate? Let it go to waste?

2. A truly high water storage tank is indeed the best option, but not feasible in our situation; it would mean a return to dribble showers.

3. Our water pump indeed works off the utility at night.

4. The beauty of solar pool filtration, the same as refrigeration and airconditioning is that it's needed mainly during sunlight hours when there is plenty of solar electricity.

Now you wouldn't want your wife to blow up! It's interesting that my own lady has grown into solar not without grumpy days. It's about saving the world for our children's children, and comes at some cost of inconvenience. Since adding more solar panels, and especially the highly effective mobile carts that follow the sun, that there have been a lot less long faces!

Thanks for your contribution.


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