20 kW Solar

The process of upgrades started on April 19th when we took delivery of a Tesla Model Y Long Range. We used to have a Jeep Wrangler that was heavily modified for off-roading, but a pain to drive for longer time on the highway. The Tesla can drive itself with supervision and we have been driving close to 3000 miles each month with long road trips.

One of the major benefits of an electric car is the ability to charge at home, both for cost and convenience. With a mobile "house" without a grid, the energy required to charge an electric car is very high, especially during the winter with short days and low sun. This year we have a "Base Camp" at the Snowbird West RV Park that is a remote community of people living with the minimum services, basically water between 4 PM and 6 PM and a truck that empty your tanks when needed. Each site is very large and minimal rules allows you to experiment with different things. We even have a second large RV staying with us.

Since we are close to Phoenix and Santan Solar, that sells used Solar Panels at a very good price, we could add a lot of capacity for a low cost and pick it up with a small trailer and the Tesla.

The 33 SunWorld 285 Watt Solar Panels we bought were only $75 a piece or $2500 with wiring and other equipment under $3k. The panels are 12 years old, but still produce good energy for the price if you have plenty of room to deploy the panels.

The combined setup is close to 20 kW of Solar Panels and 10 kW of inverters for charging the Tesla with 9 kW or a full charge in less than 10 hours from 0% to 100%. Unless we drive hundred miles a day we can actually keep 2 Tesla's charged when the weather is good.

A full day can produce over 50 kWh even in the middle of November. We also try to ensure the battery pack is at a high level of State of Charge in the afternoon so we can run an electric heater in the RV overnight.