Self sufficient

At Lucky Bay we started to realise what it means to have our 2 x 150 watt solar panels, our 1500 watt inverter, Ctek battery charge and our generator. I can’t pretent to understand any of it, but after a few days at Lucky Bay without power and a bit of time to start looking at our own energy supplies, Paul started to work it out. There’s no shortage of willing and able blokes in camp grounds all willing to share their knowledge as well.

Firstly we took the fridge off gas and had it running on 240 volt from the inverter. However that was a mistake, the fridge draws to much power and ran our battery charge right down. The next day was overcast so re-charging the solar panels was slow. That’s when the generator came into it’s own, a couple hours of running that and we were fully charged once again and the fridge was back on gas.

So, we found running the big fridge isn’t possible from our own power source, but the things that are possible amazed me. I used my thermomix for making dips, we ran our TV and charged all our phones and computers, and I used my hair straighteners, all with hardly a change to the battery charge level.

As our microwave is only 850 watt we think that’ll be okay, but aren’t sure if we’ll be able to cook with the thermo mix yet. I still have to check the wattage of that before I try it, and I haven’t as yet tried the washing machine.  Those things are still be tried yet.

Currently the only things we know for sure it won’t run is the big fridge and my hair blowdryer. The fridge runs very well on gas and it takes hardly any gas, and as long I let me hair dry naturally, I can still use the straighteners to make it look passable.

This all means we can lived in a very civilised manner with only a few exceptions providing we have sun. When we don’t have sun, we can still be very civilised by using the generator.

Compared to our last caravan in which we had to boil a pot for hot water, I am amazed at how far removed from the pioneer feel this is. We really could live very well and for a very long time in one place providing it’s sunny, there’s a water supply and our cupboards are stocked. The biggest problem though of course is often there isn’t water, so once the water in our tanks is nearing it’s end we either have to look at finding a way to bring water to us, or move on to a water supply.

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