Do I even need 120vac?

In the last two trips in my VW camper van I have used my 120vac inverter once: to power my laptop charger. As the years go by, more and more devices are using I low power (12v or 5v USB) chargers.

At the moment the only high draw electrical devices I have are a consumer window AC (500w) and a water heater (also 120vac 500w). But I almost never use either.

looking towards the future, consumer electronics will use lower power so I wonder: in 2020 will my camper van need any 120vac power?

I could easily replace the 120v4a water heater with a 12v 50a unit. The air conditioner ? Not so easy.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • JoshKJoshK Posts: 232Solar Expert ✭✭
    You might be interested to know USB type C is finally hitting the market. It's abilities include 20v at 5amp. This will give tablet and laptop devices the power they require for a proper charge. It will be popular. You will want to get your 12v pumped up to 20v.
  • lkruperlkruper Posts: 115Solar Expert
    JoshK wrote: »
    You might be interested to know USB type C is finally hitting the market. It's abilities include 20v at 5amp. This will give tablet and laptop devices the power they require for a proper charge. It will be popular. You will want to get your 12v pumped up to 20v.

    Do you know if devices could take 28v via the USB-C? A 24v bank would deliver something like that.
  • JoshKJoshK Posts: 232Solar Expert ✭✭
    lkruper wrote: »

    Do you know if devices could take 28v via the USB-C? A 24v bank would deliver something like that.


    That wouldn't work. USB standards use "regulated voltage", which have very tight tolerances. 4.75v to 5.25v are the limits on a "5v" USB today. You would need a regulator to get that 28v under control. A buck-regulator is one type and has very good efficiency.
  • soylentgreensoylentgreen Posts: 106Solar Expert ✭✭
    I don't think there's any need for a funny voltage battery bank: 12V is fine, and DC-DC converters are widely available for laptops (etc.) I'm sure that USB-C will be the same.
  • JoshKJoshK Posts: 232Solar Expert ✭✭
    I agree Soylentgreen, there will eventually be options on retailers' shelves.
  • ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Posts: 228Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    My feeling, if in a camp ground with 120VAC, I am paying for it might as well use it. That availability is not likely to change any time soon. When boondocking we use the solar and forgo the use of such things as the coffee maker (Use the french press), the use of the Hot Rod in the water heater instead of gas...
  • zonebluezoneblue Posts: 1,218Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Trawling through the archives today Shadow?
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Posts: 228Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Yep, been a while.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,088Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    There is a lot of new, low power computer stuff that runs off of USB... You can stay with low voltage/low power devices pretty nicely directly from 12 volts. I have been getting 2 and 4 port USB chargers that plug into a cigarett lighter socket--And they seem to work pretty well.

    However, if you start adding more and larger device (laptop computer, TV, soldering iron, lighting that is more than 5-10 feet away, etc... I do like the 12 volt 300 Watt AC inverter from MorningStar. For the cost of ~85% conversion efficiency (you "need" a 20% larger array and battery bank), the ability to use 120 VAC to send power a 100 feet, use standard AC sockets (instead of dreaded lighter sockets and/or converting to Anderson or similar connector schemes)--It is hard to not fall in love with keeping things "simple" (i.e., 120 VAC, no more 12 volt adapters, plugs that fall out of sockets, can use a simple extension cord for 100+ foot run, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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