What does being 100% solar powered mean? It means we're so serious about harnessing the power of the sun that we don't use any propane or a generator to power our home. Everything inside the Toaster that uses electricity gets power created from our solar panels.
Our day-to-day lives inside the Toaster aren't very different from yours in a house or an RV. We cook three meals a day, shower (with running hot water) when we're dirty, turn on our heater when it gets cold, and charge our gadgets when needed. But we're more conscious about the amount of electricity, and water we use everyday - just like everyone who lives this nomadic lifestyle.
Our Solar System
The Toaster has four 305-Watt solar panels mounted on the roof, totaling 1,220 Watts. When we first hit the road March of 2015, the Toaster was outfitted with 8 lead-acid batteries. Those powered our home until April 2017 when it was time for new batteries. We did a bunch of calculations and had several conversations before we decided it was time to upgrade to lithium batteries. But lithium batteries are not cheap. We knew the only way we could afford the upgrade was if we were able to get a good deal on the batteries and do the installation ourselves. And that's what we did.
Here are our solar components:
Four 305 watt Astronergy solar panels
20 LiFePO4 cells
Home-made BMS (battery management system)
Midnite Solar Classic 150 MPPT charge controller
Midnite Solar MNDC breaker box
Magnum Dimensions MS-2812 2800 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
Bogart Engineering Trimetric TM 2030-RV