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22 Tiny House Questions Answered in 22 Days With A Builder – Day 8

You’re on day 8 of 22 with Aldo Lavaggi and his tiny house.

We’re answering 22 questions in 22 days with a tiny home builder.

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Aldo Lavaggi's Tiny House and his Solar Power Details

Photo Courtesy of Aldo Lavaggi

22 Tiny House Questions Answered in 22 Days With A Builder – Day 8

Alex: Can you tell us about your plans for solar power?

Aldo: I’m going to have about 400W of solar panels.

Which, I am hoping, will be enough to meet fairly modest needs.

My lights and fridge will be running on 12 volt DC and I will have a small inverter to power a few AC electronics like my computer, kitchen appliances, etc.

Batteries store DC electricity and as I understand, there is an inefficiency associated with the inversion to AC.

The more I can run on DC the better I will be able to maximize my power.

Learn more about Aldo Lavaggi over at his blog Gold Thread Tiny House.

If you want to learn more about solar power, click here.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • You may want to consider a propane fridge as that will take a huge load off the batteries. leaving more for lighting and other uses. Not cheap but a good investment since you can reduce the number of batteries and solar panels.

    I’m using propane for the stove/oven, fireplace, instant hot water and fridge – LED lights help too!


  • Avatar Charlie

    Also many computers run on DC. For example, I have a Mac Mini, perfect for a tiny house. It has a regular AC power cord because the inverter is inside the computer shell. If I was going to go solar, I would investigate how to disconnect the inverters in computers and use the AC for things like coffee mills or blenders. The propane suggestion also makes sense but then you are not technically off the grid if you have to buy propane although many models have the option of running on either/or.

    • Thank you Charlie. The Mac Mini is great for a tiny house. Have a great day.

  • Avatar Anthony

    This is a problem we are currently considering for the planning stage of our tiny house. I’m thinking of not using any propane at all because it is a manufactured gas and therefor we will always need to lean on society to provide that at whatever cost it sets. Instead I want to run all electrics from solar & a mini wind turbine, electric hob, fridge, lights and power to laptop etc. For heat I’m considering either a multi-fuel stove or an air-to-air source heat pump from Vaillant boilers (I’m a heating engineer). The latter would require electric so may over-burden our set-up but does supply cold air in summer and hot in winter very efficiently. A multifuel burner is my favourite option though as this can be fed with pretty much any wood or coal which are far easier (most of the time free) to source. Also it can be used as a hotplate for minor cooking tasks.
    All the best

  • mini-box has power supplies, they run straight from dc, can just pop them into an atx computer case, run them direct from the household battery. they also have extremely small computers for sale, about mac mini size, though most aren’t the kind you can 3d game on.

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