By Carolyn van GurpBattery box

Until two weeks ago, my mainland Nova Scotia 8 X 16 woods camp had been powered primarily by candle, making for long winter evenings.

With the guidance of a patient solar-powered neighbour and after finding a 40 watt solar panel on sale at Canadian Tire, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade.  

I was a bit concerned about installing the panel outside so was pleased to see how well it fit indoors in the end of a window, albeit at a less than optimal angle, with exactly enough under-counter space for the battery and peripherals.

Add a 400 watt inverter, an on/off switch, beautiful box on coasters to house the battery, and external fuse (still to be installed) and Bob's your uncle.

I am using the system to power two LED lights at night, run my laptop for writing, and charge my phone.

I have done little monitoring of power use but the indicators on the controller and inverter suggest that not much power has been drained so far. It suits my needs exactly and allows me to stay at the camp for extended periods of time.

City? Grid? Who needs them! Greatest challenge so far? Learning volts, watts, amps, and wire gauge!Inverter