So as of a few days ago I have harnessed the power of the sun for my own purposes.
At the moment the system consists of an 18 watt solar panel, the cheapest charge controller on the planet, the cheapest deep cycle marine battery I could find, and a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter.
I have been keeping very nerdy notes and tracking how it does for a few days and I am a little disappointed. A full day of charging got me about four hours of power running my modem, router, and a laptop… The battery never charged past 11.66 volts. This is probably pretty good for such a minimal setup in the winter, but I hoped for more. In the near future I hope to add another solar panel which will, in theory, get me up to a full 12 volts much faster. I am kind of seat-of-my-pants learning this as I go and it’s a lot of fun.
More as things develop with lots of really nerdy numbers.