Megawatts…  Now, why would I start with that?  Because megawatts are what is needed in the grid tied world.  It is time for the left wing environmental wacko’s to figure this out.  The batteries for my home system store WATTS, not megawatts.  OK, maybe my batteries will hold almost 40KWhr, but my nightly battery use is around 3KWhr.  That 3000 watts is 3/1000 of a megawatt.  Think about this for a minute.  I have about $4000 worth of batteries.  If you want to back up megawatts, you need BILLIONS of dollars worth of batteries.  Now we are starting to get to the truth.  Our existing power plants are our battery storage for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing when you use alternative energy for generation.  In Korea they have been experimenting with using batteries…

A fire engulfs an energy storage system at a cement plant in Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province, Monday. / Courtesy of North Chungcheong Province Fire Service Headquarters

OOPS…  These Lithium Ion batteries everybody is talking about are not what they claim.  522 systems in Korea have been shut down after 22 fires.  There has also been a fire in Arizona, but do you hear the news talking about it?  Try this one:


It is estimated that this fire cost the US taxpayers over 2 BILLION dollars and ended in the entire program being scrapped.  Again, they won’t blame the Lithium Ion batteries and try to say it was controls or procedures.  Oh really?

Our news media is ignoring the truth because it does not fit into their left wing bias.  They are trying to say that improper charging and monitoring are to blame.  Sure, let’s rely on complicated electronics to prevent fires…  What could possibly go wrong?  Go wrong, go wrong, go wrong… The truth is that they do burn and the environmental aspects of mining and refining of Lithium are also frightening.  We have Tesla telling people to hang these things on their houses.  This is insanity.  It would be like hanging gasoline tanks on your house and relying on electronic control systems to keep them safe.  Sure, everything is fine until something goes wrong…  Then what?  Musk says that gas tanks in cars are more dangerous than his batteries, but do they self combust while the cars are parked?  Google “Tesla fires” and then try “Wind turbine fires”.  OOPS  You might also look for recycling of batteries.  There are videos of what happens when a Lithium Ion battery is crushed after some unknowing fool puts it in a recycling conveyor.

Now in 2021 a Lithium factory in China that supplies Tesla blew up in a giant fireball.  The news is claiming only one person died…  Bullshit.  Look here:


They are not telling us the truth…  Really?  The truth is that fire departments are scared to death of Lithium Ion batteries and they are very dangerous.  The good old proven lead acid battery is safe and the EPA is now saying that 99% are recycled.  It is the biggest success story of the 20th century.

There is hope for the future, but I don’t think we will ever be using batteries in mega scale applications.  If you are unhappy with your electrical bill today, how will you feel after it goes up 1000%,  when you are freezing to death or your food is spoiling because some environmentalists convinced your state to ban fossil fuel generating plants with no alternative in place?  That is exactly what has been going on in California, so don’t say it can’t happen.  The following link will show you what may be coming, Silicon-Joule bipolar technology, but it won’t solve the cost issue for megawatt sized systems.  I didn’t show this until I knew these have actually been produced and they are in beta testing of small batteries.   We might be seeing larger batteries for off grid homes in the coming year.  One thing I know for certain is that Crown will not release something until it has been thoroughly tested, unlike so many other manufacturers today.


By the way, my Crown batteries are now over three years old and still working as new.  Generator time is up this winter to over 30 hours due to cloudy conditions, but snow has been just about non-existent.  The news reports about Montana snow records were about the mountains only 100 miles away, but we live in the “banana belt” of Montana.  The generator has not been run for over a month as of March 1 and the days are getting longer.  I may just drain the gas out of it soon and put it away for the summer.

Now go back and reread my 2019 page “Nothing Changes”.  I had to add some things to address the stupid reactions I was getting.  Off grid life really should be called battery powered life and you must have a brain to be successful at it.  I can’t help people who are brain challenged.


  1. I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the information that you have shared over the years. I have been reading your blog and forum posts since 2015 and have learned so much about solar, controllers and energy management. I just put 200w of solar on my 42′ toy hauler, upgraded my batteries and have ordered a Morningstar Tristar PWM controller to replace the cheapo controller that came with my solar kit. Once I install an inveter, I look forward to enjoying the peace and quiet. We’ve been running the 5500w Onan generator to charge up the batteries, make coffee and charge the wife’s CPAP battery. Running that generator two to four hours a day for these tasks seems ridiculous. Again-m thank you for being a true resource and your no-nonsense style.

  2. i second jeremy m comments. i always come back each year to check for more pearls of wisdom. never dissappointed

  3. Yes. If I want to know what is watt, I come here. Not only do I get a charge out of what you say, I also know you stay current. Powerful wisdom. Maybe all won’t get the play on words, but per amps they will get the message. We know liberals will continue to joust at their windmills.

  4. Great articles and very informative. enjoyed the read and know that the info will help me with a solar system on my RV.

  5. I have read and studied all you writings and have read them over and over. Then I applied all i read to a rv solar system based off your writings and have found them to work exactly as you just like I read they would. Our results have been outstanding. I do believe all you write as fact and will continue to follow your writing. You made our life much better in solar in RV use.

  6. I’d hesitate to blame the Lithium-ion bias on left-wingers… The corrupting influence of corporations on news coverage is hardly a partisan problem. Li-ion battery manufacturers want good press for their products and can easily lean on the news corps to influence coverage. As with all “free” products, when it comes to news media… what’s being sold is *us*, it helps to remember that sometimes. Plus, we have the usual biases towards “new” technology… lead-acid batteries are old-fashioned, Li-ion is “modern” and “cutting-edge”, but cutting edges make you bleed.

    Anyway, I’ve read your stuff repeatedly over the years, and I’m really glad you took the time to put this online.

  7. Glad to see your PV to DC water system worked out. I’m Photowhit from the NAWS forum, we discussed it quite a bit.
    I’m still doing nicely with AC water heating as an opportunity load. Has been a great fall for solar and I’ve not had to resort to hot water off the woodstove! It’s Dec and I’ve been 100% off solar to AC electric this year for hot water!

    I’m on my 10th year with the forklift battery, expect it’ll work out for 12 and I might be thinking I will get 15 out of it, but we’ll see… So far it’s been a grand experiment. My local utility went to charging $39 a month + 12 cents a kWh. I’m now cheaper than the grid again!

  8. Thanks Bob for sharing all your solar power knowledge. I have read and re-read all of your articles many times. I currently have 1200 watts of solar, powered by 2 Morningstar 60 amp MPPT controllers and a Hybrid Magnum inverter. Does it work? You bet it does! Better than I had ever imagined. I wired everything with #2 wire, as that is what I had. At least from the combiner box down through the controller to the batteries. I don’t tilt my panel so I added a couple more so I don’t have to get on the roof. I have way more power than I really need but it’s a good feeling to know I can go 3 or 4 days if I need to. Thank you again for your expertise!

  9. HandyBob, thank you for all the experimentation and work these years and mostly for sharing with us. I agree with all the comments above and plan to follow your suggestions for building my travel trailer for boondocking. I believe you’re right about the solar systems and equipment to use. Your shared experiences and education will make it easier for those of us who will listen. For comments by everyone about those attempting to find better batteries and equipment; industry does try to sell before their products are proven. However, don’t discourage them too much. After all it wasn’t too long ago we had to cook by open fire, walk where we were going, and write on tree bark. But for those with ideas brave enough to try them, we would still be using slop jars and candles. I’m happy that Musk and others with the finances are searching for that “best” way to generate and store energy. One day, maybe someone will find that magic bullet but if they stop looking, we for sure will have only what we have now.

  10. Bob, I know you are one cantankerous SOB, but I love ya, anyway! I learned so much from you when I set up my solar system 6 years ago, and my 8 Crown batteries are still going strong. It’s great to get your insight on lithium batteries because you brought up some issues I’d never thought about. FWIW, it sucks that Trump was screwed out of his obvious reelection, but that’s a whole other subject.

  11. Bob we should all relax now that John Kerry is in charge of the Green team, He said he is going to excel everything now as as fast as possible. ( who gonna make billions on this new wave of spending again) I remember all the money wasted in 2008 Salindra and all the green idea shovel ready programs and the billions nobody could account for a couple years later from the swamp.
    I laugh at these solar backup systems they sell to power your house stored on the side of your home, how long will it last in a storm. I live in rural northeast of Pa . I have 3 feet of snow on my roof and we lose power sometimes for 3 days. Now how will this help me after spending thousands for a system like this..? Lies Lies Lies!!!!!!
    I pull out the old Briggs gen take my 220 line and plug it in to cutover switch. and it all cost under a 1000 bucks. The waste of money people are lied into spending makes me laugh for something they can get done for a fraction and run for days in stead of hours.
    I love my 500 watt solar system for my Motorhome ( thanks to Bobs help) which is great for a small setup and pair of Trojan batteries that keep going year after year, but we are powering a tv a few led lights not a whole house.

  12. You would not believe some of the reports I have gotten from people who ran an extension cord from their RV into the house in emergencies. Yep, we are watching the new administration destroy America over climate change predictions that have been wrong since the 60’s. I have to look out my windows to see if the lights are on across the valley or I would never know if the power went out.

  13. THANK YOU BOB! 8 yrs ago I built my solar according to your plans and it’s worked perfectly for 8 years! I live off grid in a 30 toy hauler, (permanently installed).
    8 T105RE’s, Outback FX24, Tristar 60amp, 8 panels, and a Trimetric 25.
    This was before you started recommending Crown, but the 105’s have been working great so far.
    If it hadn’t been for you, I’d still be scratching my head!
    Thanks again. Tom F

  14. Thanks Tom. This is the kind of review people should be doing for everything. When you see a review by somebody who just bought something, you need to ask yourself what they would say after eight years. The Trojan GC’s have been fine, but they are having problems with L-16’s.

  15. HB
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge ~ In 2015 I found your website and was able to understand the fundamentals of a solar system. What I learned from your site enabled me to add solar power to our 5th wheel consisting of: 4 100 watt Renogy solar panels; 2 Trojan 145s; a Trimetric TM-2030-RV and a SC 2030 Trimetric controller. Other than watching the water in the batteries and cleaning the terminals when I changed some wiring, the system has been trouble free ever since.
    Thanks again

  16. I somehow couldn’t comment on the blog about laptop batteries & e-bikes. But I wanted to tell you, my Macbook Pro laptop battery was expanding and I thought that something bad would happen. I was told that it might explode but nothing like the link described with it catching fire, toxic gasses and burning so fast that it could take a house down. So glad I had it replaced!

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