Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Solar Power & Motorhomes

One careful owner.
Whilst the majority of us think that household roofs are the best place to site PV panels, our continental cousins have other ideas. 
I've previously written about the increased output we could achieve if we had the bigger gardens required to site our panels on tracking frames. What I hadn't noticed until this autumn in Portugal, was the massive increase of "snow-bird" motor homes slowly moving south for the winter.

If you're retired, in reasonable health and have an adventurous spirit, the idea of blowing some of the childrens' inheritance on a second hand camper van must seem very attractive.

Based on the ever increasing cost of winter energy bills in the UK, the economics of warm days, cold beers and "rough camping" in quiet spots and municipal car parks are obvious to thousands of people each autumn. Whilst the idea of being cooped up in a small box instead of your comfy lounge doesn't sound ideal, the reality is probably based on spending lots of time outside. Deserted campsites in high teen temperatures which wouldn't disgrace an English summers day. Does that sound great?

All of these snow-birds had a solar PV panel attached to their south facing windscreen. Presumably they were charging their leisure battery during the day which would power their 12v DC lights and equipment once the sun went down.
I think I'd adopt the system used by our ancestors before becoming "civilised". I'd go to bed when it got too dark to see and get up at sunrise.

Have you any experience of the lifestyle? Would you enjoy winters abroad and summers in the UK?

I'd be interested in your views. 

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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