New Electrical Gadgets
February 11, 2014 § 1 Comment
We are planning to visit the Northwest this summer and winter in the Southwest desert. In anticipation of this, we are practicing water saving techniques and assuring a continuing electric power supply.
The first tool was a battery monitor to hone in on efficient charging efforts.
The monitor is routed through a shunt in the negative feed from the battery. It’s algorithm allows an accurate display of the net amps in and out in real time and cumulatively. It also displays other info such as volts and percent of charge.
This allows us to schedule battery charging when it will do the most good with the least gas. We can also keep the percent of charge high enough to reduce damage to the battery.
Our generator is large enough to run the air conditioner but we don’t do that very often because it makes the generator work hard.
Another gasoline saver is our new solar panel with a charge controller. It folds in the middle and has a carrying case which fits nicely in the van when not in use.
We look forward to more sun than the spotty amount we get here in the Ocala National Forest (Florida). Even so, we are getting valuable amps to reduce generator use some what.
We gave up an electric razor long ago as being to inconvenient to keep charged. Safety razors also took up less room. In an effort to reduce water usage, we took another look at electric razors and discovered one that operates with double A batteries.
It does a surprisingly good job and runs a long time on a set of two batteries. It stores easily in its hard sided case.
Balancing water savings with convenience and comfort is a work in progress. We’ll probably study that until April 2015 after already spending a winter in the desert. Until then, we will continue to record our usage so we at least know how we use our water.