How to Calculate Power Requirements For Off The Grid Solar Power - #OffTheGrid

November 12, 2015  •  2 Comments

With a little bit of time and by using the approach I outline below, you can easily calculate your power consumption while Boondocking off the grid.  

The first step is to figure out a typical day’s consumption. Now all you need to do is multiply the amperage draw of each piece of equipment by the number of hours it will be used each day. You can find the amperage information on the equipment labels or in manuals. Don’t be worried if you only see watts, just convert the wattage to amps by dividing the wattage / 12V and you get the amps.  In other words, P / V = I.  P equals watts, V equals volts and I equals amps.  

If you have a 100Ah deep cycle battery for example, then you will subtract your daily consumption from 100 to budget your daily usage and capacity requirements.

To illustrate my point, refer to the example below:

Three lights for 4 hours (4 hrs. x 4.5 amps) = 18.00 Ah
TV/DVD combo for 2 hours (2 hrs. x 4 amps) = 8.00 Ah
Miscellaneous (clock, fan, etc)  = 2.00 Ah
Total  = 22 Ah
Now Divide your daily load of 22 by your battery capacity of 100 (22/100) = 22% In other words, you will use 22% of your battery capacity per day.  You could also use this information to know how often and how long you need to charge your batteries.  

If for example, that was not satisfactory, you could of course lower your consumption or you could add another battery to your bank to double your capacity or acquire a higher capacity batter as well.

​I look forward to your comments below.



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-Tim Layton

Tim Layton | Darkroom Photographer
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Tim Layton Fine Art
Thanks for your comment Tim. I am exploring a variety of options right now. I will be writing new articles and posting photos as I work my way through the process. Stay in touch.

What's your plan for water? I've lived without running water or indoor plumbing for 21 if the last 29 years. I still don't have running water in my darkroom. I have a system of buckets that works fairly well, but I'm hoping you'll post some ideas that make my process easier or more efficient.
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