A common and useful question asked by those considering the purchase of PV solar and other renewable energy equipment. How long does it last? This goes straight to understanding of return on your investment over time and is an important consideration for most of us that haven’t won the lottery. PV panels have always had amazing life spans. I’ve seen solar modules in the back country that have bullet holes through them and are still functioning -albeit at a little lower power than their original rating. Here is an excellent article on tests that were performed on a thirty year old module that is still performing at it’s original rated power. These days most reputable solar panel manufacturers have a 20 - 25 year warranty. This usually means that they are warranted to perform to a minimum percentage of their rated power output (often 80% over say 25 years). go to the article
A 12 cubic feet refrigerator uses about 800 kilowatt hours per year
A 500 Watt portable heater uses about 150 kilowatt hours per year
A 3 ton central air conditioning system uses about 2000 kilowatt hours per year (assuming 4 months summer usage)
A clothes dryer (4 hours per week) uses about 1000 kilowatt hours per year
A 10 gallon fish tank with light and heater uses 400 kilowatt hours per year
Lighting for 5 rooms uses about 1000 kilowatt hours
A 100 Watt light bulb (for 5 hours a day) uses 180 kilowatt hours a year. Fluorescent lights use about 1/4 of the energy of a regular light bulb
A Color Television (6 hours a day) uses 600 kilowatt hours a year
A TV (3 hours a day) uses 200 kilowatt hours
A Video recorder (3 hours a day) uses 75 kilowatt hours
A personal computer (10 hours a week) uses 150 kilowatt hours. A small laser printer uses 90-100 watts while printing and 5 watts when electricity connected, but not printing.
Those living on renewable energy systems rapidly become aware that selection of energy efficient appliances is the all important key to optimizing the home energy budget. If you’ve got a watt sucking refrigerator or washing machine or tv then you’ll spend two to ten times more on your system to keep up with the demand.
When it comes to food storage the Sundanzer refrigerators and freezers are some of the best power misers we’ve seen. They operate directly from the batteries, avoiding inverter inefficiencies, and will operate from either 12v or 24v.
SunDanzer was founded by the leader of NASA’s Advanced Technology Refrigeration Project with the goal of utilizing state-of-the-art technology for solving age-old earth-bound problems.