Living the 12-volt life is easy if you know how. Without a mains connection, you can either generate power and then turn it into 110 or 240 volts using an inverter, or you can leave it as 12 volts to save money and power.
There are so many 12-volt gadgets these days – made for cars, RVs or boats that you can get anything from a stereo to a washing machine in a 12-volt variety. But this excellent book is overstating it by calling itself “A Do It Yourself Guide.” After reading it, I would be more inclined to hand it to an electrician and tell him, or her, to follow the complex diagrams.
When it comes to wiring a 12-volt set-up you need to be extra careful to use the right kind of extra-thick cable, because 12 volt cables become very hot and can cause fires. You also need to be careful you get your positive and negative wires the right way around, or you can cause battery explosions and fires.
And this is a guide to solar power, whereas you might want to use wind, or hydro depending on where you happen to live and what is available.
Finally, you can apply some of these prinicples to installing an extra 12-volt power source in your own car or RV/camper van. Its easy to add an extra power plug in the back of the vehicle, by running double wires back from the battery. You may opt to connect to the hot side of the ignition switch or, for constant power supply, directly to the battery. In our case, we connected to the ignition to minimize the possibility of accidentally running down the battery.
But follow the manufacturer’s instructions and diagrams, and consult your vehicle’s service manual for complete information on the factory wiring. Keep in mind that there may be variations among installations depending on the vehicle on which you are installing.
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