Saturday, July 27, 2013

Breaking Down the Costs: "A Work in Progress"

     It has become our habit to camp on the Boardman River just south of Traverse City each summer for a week.  It is an incredibly scenic and fairly remote location minutes from town.  Barb can commute to work from here; in fact it's only about a 15 minute drive.  She enjoys to be able to work and come home to camp in the woods as well as a home cooked meal each night.  The fishing can sometimes be worth it as well if I can manage to outsmart a few 'brookies'.    This was a pretty typical Northern Michigan week in the summer as rain and overcast/drizzly conditions for 2 of our 6 days kept Dharma, Bodhi, and myself inside more than we would like.  
     I decided to 'run the numbers' for this trip and see how our costs boiled down with solar vs. generator power for 6 days.  Power consumption was used for lights, music, TV, DVD, water pump, showering, flushing, and recharging our electronics.  We were in camp 142 hours this trip;  120 hours on solar and 22 on the generator.  Honda generator power was utilized to top off batteries on both overcast days, provide A/C relief several hours one day, and to pump 40 gallons of fresh water midweek.  As such 22 hours of generator equals 3 gallons of gas (yes, the Honda EU-3000 is this efficient) totaling $10.95 (@ $3.65 per gallon).  This equates to 86% of our total power consumption from solar and 14% from generator power, resulting in a total power cost of $1.82 per day.  If we were to use solely generator power for the same services our total cost would be $25.55 or $4.25 per day. 

1 comment:

  1. Your figures seem to prove the wisdom of using solar power. That is a beautiful scene.