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  1. The RV energy consumption, while boon-docking, is a study within the efficient use and production of off grid power. Actually, the entire industry has maximum concerns of efficient use of energy from vehicle to living needs. This zone of study is excellent for alternative energy solutions. First, they have a large population of consumers with money in hand that desire to decrease cost and improve traveling life. They are not afraid to invest in good solutions and willing post the results. Their are many experiments on practical solar power, generation of power, battery calculations, propane comparisons, engine selection, tow vehicle performance, air drag, etc.. The savings for this group, from ability to go off grid are more pronounced as compared to home use. So, I've run many a calculation and read a ton. It is frustratingly complex with many a trade off and the solution must be compromised by your needs. First, I will say, much hyperbola out there for solar. This solution is touted by the professional bloggers that attempt to maximize readership. You have to dig into their costs, benefits, and hopefully follow up articles to dig out the truthful evaluation. Per my cost accounting training, most of solar is not a worthy way to generate all you power needs. However, just like were discovering in grid applications, solar power is best utilized as auxiliary supplemental. Withing the RV use it is best to avoid all but the simplest setups with low cost. Second, high wattage generators, sized to power every possible device at the same time. No, just to heavy, expensive, an loud. The smallest Honda or Yamaha more than enough that can be moved to location to minimize noise or transported for additional needs, that will double the device usefulness. It's not max power the real concern, but minimal fuel consumption for long periods. For example, battery charging is all about low wattage and long cycles. Propane should be the energy of choice for all high btu heat needs. Electric devices should be selected for minimal power draw and high efficiency. A couple exceptions would be AC, that is currently just has minimal alternatives other than grid connections. Sure, you can spend thousands to make it happen without grid power, but not a good use of your hard earned money. Buy a DC fan instead or use the smallest window shaker with the small generator power. Better yet, relocate to cooler region of country. Efficient minisplit AC technology is zeroing in on solving this problem. Lights, TV, and even DC powered refrigerators are all very useful. Propane/grid power refrigerator is the common accepted provided refrigerator, currently, within the RV industry, but high efficient DC refrigerators is the best option when that fridge dies. About 25 watts/hr for 10 cu/ft. The device will pay for itself as the traditional RV ridge will consume a $20 propane tank/month. Electric power is 10x a normal fridge and most hookups charge a premium for power. It appears to me that every efficient device that must use electric power, is basically DC. We are wasting energy within the home with AC power. Were wasting energy by using electric for cooking and heating. Propane or natural gas is way cheaper and better for the environment. Refrigerators and AC appear to be equally efficient operating on DC. I can see no reason that households will eventually become powered by DC current. I think the battery car technology and adaptation will play into this as well as solar, and CHP power generators. The future household requirements will not depend on grid power, but only natural gas or propane. However, one can see a very formidable solution of ethanol fuel. Consider, the ease of use of ethanol and the very potent environmental benefit as well as low cost and simple infrastructure required. The solution works well with transportation and I do think there will be a crossover of auto and home energy solutions. I can think of no better solution to both household energy needs and transportation then the following: - Small auxiliary IC power plant to greatly augment battery storage needs and bring the car home upon low of power within limp mode. The power plant to be utilized for home power needs as well. The ICE utilizes ethanol fuel and high boost provided by hybrid charger/turbo or just electric. Variable boost pressure would make the engine efficient at low power needs or high power. Waste heat captured per the developing technology of vacuum bottle system. Heat to be dumped to household and the vehicle becomes an efficient CHP device for homes hot water and power needs. Efficiency of this setup above all possible power plant production systems. Factor in the costly and inefficient grid as a comparison, well, this system would just be a real winner. One must realize the power needs of an efficient home should evolve to a mere fraction of current practices. Natural gas can supplement the more efficient heat production of the automotive CHP system when needed. Remote housing may just standardize all energy needs on ethanol. Third world economies should do very well with this solution. Political and Corporate interests would fight such an inexpensive and independent of government solution. That would be the biggest hurtle.
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