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Living in an RV : Day 10

I've lived in my RV for 10 days now. I have only gone back to the condo to get clothes, and to sleep one night (basically I picked a loud parking spot that was 10 feet from the condo and it was 5am so I just went inside instead of driving to a quiet spot). A lot of things have panned out as expected, but there have also been some big surprises.

I could go on and on, but you probably get the idea. I totally love living in this RV. It's a great feeling to drive over to my mom's house and have her say "Oh, you didn't happen to bring those tickets, did you?" and to just be able to walk into my house and get them.

My parents are really into the RV thing, which is funny. They're always a bit skeptical about my schemes. My dad helped me take out the CRT TV and the Microwave which I replaced with a flat panel and a flash bake oven. My mom made me nice curtains. I'm trying hard to resist the urge to totally trick out the RV. The carpet smells a bit musty so I might put in granite tile or bamboo floors. I think that would be neat.

Micro inverters

On Travelling light

Last Thursday, I attended a seminar on residential solar organized the MIT club of Northen California. Thanks Victor Huang for getting me in ! Among the guest speakers was Paul Nahi, CEO of Enphase, a forward thinking company specialized in micro inverters for PV systems.

An inverter has two role in a solar PV system:

1. Convert the direct current generated by panels into alternative current 2. Optimize the power produced by the system through Maximum Power Point Tracking.

If there is shading or any other issue with a single panel on the array, the inverter in a conventional setting will adjust the MPPT for the whole array, leading to a large diminution of the power production. Micro inverters adjust their MPPT independently at the panel level, significantly improving the efficiency of the system. Here is a technical study on the difference by Mr. Lee and Mr. Raichle from the Appalachian State University

An other big advantage of micro inverters is that they eliminate the high voltage part of the system, making it not only safer, but also cheaper to install and repair. Any electrician can install systems with micro inverters, while conventional systems require a high voltage operating license.

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