backchannel/backlog: inverters aren’t magic

I just noticed I have 28 (!) drafts I never publshed.  Will start pushing them out if they are anywhere near done.

Beginners have many illusions about powering things offgrid.    In this exchange we see two of the biggest ones:

  1. heating/cooling using electricity made from solar

  2. the apparent belief that inverters or other devices create limitless power from (the air?  the ether?)

OP:  I'll prob be running a few led lights, a laptop, small **a water heater,** a water pump and fan, but those will be connected to DC...  **it's all very low amperage drains**

Me:  The water heater is 1440w.

OP:   Watts are not amperage.

Me:  divide 1440w by your battery voltage

OP:  Water heater is running of the invertor feed at 120v with 12amps

Me:  The inverter is powered by the battery, ~120A before inverter losses.

OP:  Well the invertor is going to be hooked up to a 200A breaker.
I like helping people.   Life is difficult enough without having to make every mistake for onself.  I am reminded of something Dennis Miller said (pre-9/11):  _"there are people you can't help;  the best you can do is not be sitting next to them when they blow themselves up."_