Solar is suplimental - not alternative energy

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In the Home

Solar energy is a viable supplement to your power company and can be a life saver in the event of power losses, especially extended power outages like hurricanes. My primary residence is in Florida so I get my share of storm related power loss and know full well the issues related to having no power.

I was here for hurricane Vilma and the area I was in (Parkland) suffered power loss for more than three weeks ... three weeks from hell in the Florida heat. I like most of my neighbors had generators, great during the day but the noise and drone of their engines meant zero sleep at night and most couldn't power a full A/C system either. The biggest problem here was that the fuel stations couldn't get gas and the propane deliveries also started to dry up for the bigger generators. I understand that some of these issues with fuel and propane have been lessened.

The biggest problem for me with this approach (other than the damn noise) is the money spent on a generator that gets no daily use and even has to be exercised to ensure they will be functional when the the next big one hits.
There is a better way. For me it's about using solar on items every day that draw major power (pool pumps) and then having those solar panels available to power a room or two with a small air-conditioner for comfort and a good refrigerator for food and cold drinks. This is simple, cost effective and provides a SILENT reduction in power to my bill every month. I will also install any panels needed on a pergola so I make no holes in my roof and can remove the panels to repair or protect them (till the hurricane has passed) when needed.

Here are the practical ways I am using solar in my home.

On the Yacht

I want to have the bedrooms on my Yacht run on smaller BTU A/C units which will be run soley by solar pannels and marine batteries. Yachting involves a great deal of time at anchor and that means running generators with all the noise and expense of fuel. The best approach here is a small BTU system in each bedroom which will also cool the salon to a degree but will allow for comfortable sleeping quarters.

Combine Yacht and Home

I want to have the Yacht at the dock behind my house and will tap into the solar panels on the boat for home use when the yacht is docked. This way I am buying the panels only for where they are needed but gaining dual usage from them.