This is a post I wrote for the Tumbleweed blog back a year or so, but I felt the information would be good to have here on the Tiny House Blog too.
Adding Solar to your tiny house can be a daunting task if you are not up to date on all the latest technology and how it works together.
What if there was a simple solution to this and all you had to do was plug and play? SoleMan a company based in Willits, California has come up with just that kind of solution.
They call their system the “one small, easy to move, all in one integrated unit, ready to point towards the sun at your best location, and deliver up to 1200 watts of AC power, and 12 volts DC power, and even charge all your Ni-Mh smaller batteries.”
This little unit is on heavy duty bicycle wheels so you can have your Tumbleweed home in the shade and easily roll your solar unit where it gets the most sun.
The cool thing about the SolMan is that if your needs grow, so can the SoleMan. You can add another solar panel easily and even a third. The second one sits on it is own stand and can be adjusted as needed. If you chose to get a third panel they have a bracket that attaches all three together that can be folded up for moving.
No need to deal with big panels and connecting them to your roof and knowing you have to park your home in the sun to get the most voltage to your system.
Here are list of the SolMan features:
- Silent Operation: No sound whatsoever. Won’t bother your neighbors or you with gas generator noise.
- Clean Operation: No gas needed, no gas cans to transport, no fumes or exhaust to worry about.
- No additional costs EVER! : Once you buy a Solman, it doesn’t cost anything else to run, as long as you can point it towards the sun.
- No recurring gasoline costs, that are only going to go up, no oil changes, no short life span, as unit is designed to keep working for years. ( 20 year PV panel warranty)
- Completely self contained, integrated unit: Ready to go, plug and play green power. No engineering or electrical skills needed.
- Transportable: With ramps, the Solman can go with you in the back of a small van, SUV or truck. It can be laid horizontal safely.
- Mobility: 26 inch heavy duty aluminum spoke and rubber bike tires and perfect balance allow the unit to be wheeled to any location for the best sun, and can easily be turned thru the day for maximum solar tracking and optimal PV energy input.
- Deep Cycle Batteries: “2 or 3 -100 (200 to 300 amp-hr total) deep cycle sealed gel cell. No acid spills or venting. No maintenance.
- Enclosed battery Container: Optimizes battery life.
- Two 12 Volt Auto Plugs: Plenty of places to plug in your 12 volt accessories, lights, chargers, etc.
- One heavy 30 amp marine trolling motor plug on exterior, for water pumping, external battery charging, or additional external inverter.
- All external plugs have covers and are set up for outdoor use, even in the rain, and all critical components are inside and protected from the weather.
- Array only switch: to route unused, excess PV power during the day to external battery charging or water pumping.
- Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E MPPT PV Charge Controller: can handle up to 25 amps or 3 PV panels, and Maximum Power Point Tracking gives additional 10% to 20% charging efficiency to PV input.
- 120 Volt Magnum MM-AE 1200 watt Inverter/Charger: this unit has a built in 70 amp charger for when your batteries are down, and you have access to a gas generator, or the grid, you can just plug in the unit and bring your battery bank up to full charge in as little as two hours, also has an AC transfer switch, that automatically senses external power and switches load to that when on.
- Magnum Inverter remote switch and status lights on back of unit.
- Fuse Protected: 150 amp inverter fuse, triplex plug 20 amp and exterior 30 amp plug.
- Heavy 15 amp solar PV-in plug, wired to solar controller for adding an external solar panels.
- Toe piece L on bottom, allows for easy transport of optional external PV panel.
- Solar PV panel hinged for easy access to internal box, and latches and locks if needed.
So if you are looking to take your tiny house off the grid and become independent and want to use solar as your main component this SolMan option is worth looking at.
Of course there other other RV and home options so do your research and choose what is best for you and your situation. I just like the idea of plug and play and having everything put together where you need it and mobile to boot.