As the cold weather creeps in I scrabble to finish up a few thing that need to be done on the outside of the bus. Mostly solar panel installations. It just feels like Mother Nature is mocking me, beautiful days throughout the week and cold and rainy on the weekend. I think I may have to take a couple days off work if this continues. So fracking frustrating! Hopefully, this weekend will be kind to me. Fingers crossed.
The more I get done on the skoolie build the more I realize I have to do. The list never seams to end. I know this is issue is a product of my own making, it is still stressful. I gave myself a deadline when I got the bus to get her ready to be titled as an RV and travel able by Labor Day Weekend. That deadline is creeping closer and closer and although I think I will make the deadline for titling. The reality is much more needs to be done before she is travel ready, including the solar system up and running. Clearly, more days off are in my future. I hope the weather cooperates, I really hate losing days to the heat and rain.
We ran into a little problem with our solar panels. Shortly after we left Tampa Bay, one of the solar panels came lose from the roof rack on the van. It was already lose and I had tied it down with duct tape. It was actually the duct tape that kept the solar panel from flying away and maybe hitting someone or something. Fortunately there was no damage to the panel. When we got home I went to work repairing the mounting for the solar panels. I also want to send a shout out the the Florida Highway Patrol, an office stop and offered to help.
So last night I upgraded my inverter, a change I had to make due to my refrigerator change. So let me back up a bit. I had a dorm size mini fridge I had bought off Craigslist. The fridge worked fine when I used it in the van, but the compressor never stopped running. It was just really old. So I replaced it with a newer more efficient refrigerator. I choose the BLACK+DECKER BCRK25V Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 2.5 Cubic Ft., VCM – https://amzn.to/2syL6pH. It is running great, but I ran into one problem when I got it. My inverter was under powered to run it. I ordered a new inverter, the Cobra CPI 880 800 Watt 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC Power Inverter with 5 Volt USB output – https://amzn.to/2xLws3d. I got a deal on a refurbished one. I last night I had a chance to switch out the inverter, I plugged the fridge in and it ran great. So I shut it down and planned to do some testing today. My house battery bank was at 13.1 volts when I parked here at work this morning. Just took a walk out to van over lunch, the house batteries are now at 13.7 and the fridge is ice cold. Everything is running on the solar panels and a surplus of energy is being produced.
Next round of testing will be to see how long the inverter and fridge and run with now power being supplied by the solar panels.
Over the weekend, we got a ton of stuff done and it was warm enough to wire in the solar panels. That video will be coming soon. But here is the video for installing the WindyNation 200 watt solar panel kit. Sorry, it took so long I had some camera issues to over come.
You can find it on my YouTube channel.