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September 19th, 2012

Electrics is an area of the van conversion that is very close to my heart. Partially because I have a passion for lighting design and partially because I need electric power for almost everything that I use for my livelihood which happens to be centered around two key tools – the computer and the mobile phone. I admit it, I’m an electric junkie. I could not survive in the wilderness without these tools of my trade and my connection to the rest of the world. The Mongolian shepherds I met during previous travels had it right – be out in the wilderness, but have solar panels to power your gadgets.

I estimated a minimum power requirement of 1.2kW per day. == CR200 fridge 33Wh, laptop 45Wh, Fan 23Wh, LED lights 20Wh => 121Wh x 10 hrs/day => 1.2kW/day == On top of this, I expect to use power for moving the bed, using the toaster, and recharging small gadgets. I have 2 4D AGM batteries installed underneath the van, from which all the power is drawn. There is a power inverter to feed the batteries from either an AC source or from the solar modules (200W system) which are mounted on the roof. And, in case you’re wondering, I have internet access through Verizon’s mobile personal hotspot.

The main set of switches to control the lights are just on the inside of the sliding door with another set of switches by the back door to turn on/of the lights in the garage.

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