Have portable solar in your rented home, Have portable solar in your rented home – updated February 2019

You can easily have portable solar in your rented home. Here’s how to do it simply, safely, legally and cheaply using readily bought parts. Doing so requires space that faces the sun for some daylight hours year-round. It works best within 50 degrees latitude north or south. Use high efficiency (plus 20%) solar modules to maximise input. You must not connect the system to any fixed mains wiring. This precludes using existing lighting. Use portable light fittings instead. Also, slash lighting cost by fitting LEDs. You take all that when you leave.

Have portable solar in your rented home – here’s how

Group electrical units that you use at much the same time. Examples include a home office, child’s study or entertainment centre. Depending on individual needs, make-up one or more systems, each accepting solar input. You can do this by using readily available portable inverter/chargers and battery packs. Grouped electrical devices connect to a multiple power board that can switch each socket individually. The solar unit then powers that board. If solar is adequate it can be used to power a second or more system.

Have portable solar in your rented home – where and what you can use

Top solar modules produce about 180-200 watts a square metre. In most cases, your solar input is thus limited to about 500 watts. This will be a probable 1500 – 3000-watt hours/day if north facing. This runs computer systems plus LED lights, and good LED TVs up to 60 cm or so. It will not run air con, nor heating/cooking appliances.

All that’s needed is stocked by solar equipment suppliers. The parts needed are used also in caravans and motorhomes. They readily interconnect. As pictured above, inverter-chargers combine all required apart from the battery. They are often buyable secondhand at bargain prices.

My books Solar That Really Works! and Solar Success provides ample background for people considering this.