I have been utilizing a Kyocera photovoltaic panel, with a Blue Sky (solar boost) regulator, and golf cart batteries wired in series. It has supplied all my needs, except for the heavy loads that I use most days. The coffee maker, the microwave oven and the toaster oven get a workout that is too much for my set-up. That is when I start the Honda 2000E generator. It is small and QUIET, and has an economy fuel setting for when it is not running heavy loads.
I have a 1400 watt inverter, which is fine for supplying power for the television, tools and other low-draw use. I don’t want to add more batteries and a larger inverter. I try to be frugal with the lights, water pump and other 12v DC equipment. My refrigerator is on propane, as a rule. If I am low on gas, or in the process of changing bottles, I can run the fridge through the inverter….for a short time.
The one change I have been working on this week, is to get more charging from my solar panel. I have only one, presently. It is 2 feet by 5 feet. I have made provisions for its twin on the other side of the roof, and I could add a small third panel as well. To get more out of what I have requires TILTING TOWARD THE SUN! I have now hinged the outer legs, and rigged a raising lever through to my kitchen, so that the panel can be moved to any angle up to 60 degrees, or so.
Ideally, I would have the panel on a rotating base, but the return, vis a vis the difficulty of building and securing that application, are not worth the trouble.
So now, when I park, I need to take into account that the panel is no longer flat on the roof when parked in the daylight. I will choose the optimum sun exposure direction, and raise the panel to get the best rays. My batteries will be so happy!