July 8, 2020

Twenty-four hours in a small solar home | Innovation

There is an open bar sun outside. Every morning, while we prepare a coffee burning some fossil fuel, an inexhaustible and free source of energy greets us. Everyone knows the power of the sun but few, very few, enjoy its infinite generosity transformed into electricity or hot water. Precisely now, in a climate emergency environment, the sun is no longer a clean, friendly option for velvet consciousnesses and hippies Goodies. It seems the great answer.

Recall that, according to the International Energy Agency, two thirds of the electricity produced in the world is achieved by burning oil, coal or natural gas. The human being has been digging up everything that can burn from the underground for two centuries, returning huge amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. The civilizational problem that has been created has put the species on the brink of climate suicide.

Although this home on wheels cheat and charge from time to time thanks to the alternator of its pollutant diesel engine, it is a home free of bills and the capricious casino prices of electric light. The solar installation begins on the solar panels resting on the roof. These have dropped a lot in price and for less than 600 euros we have several flexible 150 watts. They collect the miraculous stream of light from which we orbit. Since dawn, the green LED light of the sneak charge indicates the solar charge, which will end with the sunset. In the central hours of the day we observe how they receive energy with all their flow reaching 20 volts peaks.

The first thing to consider before relying on the sun is to adjust consumption

The plates are friendly and maintenance free structures. Just give them a cleaning once in a while, like someone cleaning an image on the altar. They are divine. On its screen, the charge controller shows Spartan but addictive information. Throughout the day we regularly check the battery charge, the maximum flow of watts received from the sun and the outside temperature of the solar panels. An eye will always go to the two-color TFT screen to calm the cravings and know that we are within normal parameters. When the system is charged, at noon, and the sun pushes the independence of the home the satisfaction is infinite. The computer, the telephone, the lights, the fridge, the water pump … All the appliances dance to the electric compass, breastfed by the silent and clean light.

The first thing to consider before completely depending on the sun is to adjust your own consumption and, perhaps, in a second moment, decrease and adjust the consumption to the energy Marie Kondo. Humans in the developed world are quite clonic and with similar needs: light, refrigerator, mobile phone, computer, projector or television, audio system. In our case, the appliances work with the raw sunlight at 12 volts. Some must be transformed to 220 watts to be compatible with most household devices through a small power inverter. Many of them can be charged by USB sockets that run through the walls.

In full sun, the system can with everything. It is comforting to observe how batteries are charged and how, one more day, living is free and no entity will speculate on our energy needs. The batteries rest in a lonely place. Old models of lead and acid, which generate unhealthy gases, have been replaced by other sealed gel models that do not require any maintenance. Designed for an isolated home, this system provides, day after day, enough energy for two people. Its total price, below 3,000 euros, is a blessing. Every day the miracle of clean and free energy happens. In consciousness, the satisfaction of knowing part of the solution.


At noon, the batteries smile. There is some cloud in the sky, but the constant flow of energy reaches the solar panels. We see how they rise from 11.8 to 12.2 watts while feeding the 12v fridge, the laptop and the stereo. At mid-afternoon, the load capacity decreases until sunset: the batteries come into play.


The new models of lithium batteries provide great power and huge storage capacity. Gel batteries can be stored without danger to health. Two batteries of 250 amps each provide energy free bar, barely compromised when three or more cloudy days occur in a row.


Users of a solar home should familiarize themselves with certain concepts, calculating their light consumption to size the installation. A new consciousness emerges like this. Standby pots are removed. Only the necessary lights come on. All this to the beat of the solar dance, charging during the day so as not to abuse the batteries at night.

The lower prices of solar panels and the end of the laws on their generation allow you to set up a solar home anywhere. You can live – and very well – from the sun without giving up any modern comfort. A good first step can be a solar charger or flexible board to power small devices and consciously observe the miracle that happens every day.

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