Solar instead of generator
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Stryker 19-Sep-21
HDE 19-Sep-21
Dirty D 19-Sep-21
JSW 19-Sep-21
From: Stryker
Was wanting information if anyone uses solar for lighting at hunting camp instead of a generator. Would love to hear what are some ideas on this good or bad. Thanks for any info in advance.

From: HDE
Neither is better over the other, both have tradeoffs.

One is consumable fuel and noise, the other is heavy batteries and the issue of no sun to recharge with. Best of both worlds is solar and a backup generator.

From: Dirty D

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Dirty D's embedded Photo
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I agree with HDE. I've got a 2000W Honda and picked up a 2000W Bluetti solar generator this summer for our semi-permanent "glamping" platform. I loved that I can get up early, while everyone else is still sleeping and brew a pot of coffee with our Mr. Coffee but it's draws the Bluetti down maybe 35% of so. It's really about the worst way to use the solar generator but I like my coffee. For lighting at hunting camp it would work great. My biggest gripe with solar is it takes a lot of babysitting. When conditions are optimal it's great I can go from about 30% up to 100% in a couple hours with two 100W panels. But most days are not optimal and might require tilting panels to maximize sun angle, etc.

For lighting and small eclectic loads the solar is great. For bigger loads I'd stick with gas.

From: JSW
I have solar on my hunting cabin and seldom have to use a generator. I do have 6 deep cycle batteries and I don't recall if it's 6, 60 watt panels or 6, 80's. I have all 12volt lighting, a 12 volt furnace out of an RV and 12v water system. Unless it's really cold and the furnace runs all night I can get about a week out of the batteries with no sun. That's a more robust system than you probably want. Realize, solar is good for only 8 hours a day and you have to have storage in the way of batteries once the sun gets low. That's why a solar system is so inadequate for consumer power. It works fine as long as you have batteries to store the electricity for when the sun doesn't shine, which is over 66% of the time even on sunny days.

So do you want to haul around a solar cell and a couple of batteries for night time lighting or listen to a generator every evening and morning?

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