Is moving to DC a more ecological lifestyle?

"Just shoot me if I ever take up power walking."

One of the things that you learn in dealing with solar power is that it is generated in the DC style. Most of us have a lifetime of AC experience but know little about DC. That was me at least. I had to learn about why DC is around when AC is so popular.

"Just shoot me if I ever take up power walking."
“Just shoot me if I ever take up power walking.”

It turns out that DC is just a different way of building things. It isn’t better or worse just different. Solar power enables an entire lifestyle with DC products, and to me, it seems like a more environmental choice.

For example, people who RV and live outdoors away from the main power grid are used to DC appliances. There are any number of DC appliances that run directly off DC. One of the most interesting to me is the fridge. I admit I couldn’t understand how a 12-volt cooler/fridge/freezer could work when it didn’t have 120 AC power. How could it have enough energy to work?

It turns out that many AC appliances are wasteful. First, most AC appliances have to convert the voltage back to DC. That’s why we have computer adapters and other power interfaces. That conversion process takes a little energy so automatically you are wasting energy. Then because of the heat created by this process, it wastes even further energy. Finally, most fridges were not built with efficiency in mind so the design of a cooler/fridge/freezer is more efficient power-wise. Yes, it is a smaller space, but even given its smaller dimensions it is more efficient.

That got me thinking. If DC is a superior way to run power and it comes from solar power, then why buy AC items? I think the answer to that is that most people are connected to the power grid. However, in an emergency, those things don’t help you. Or if you are camping or RVing they don’t help you. It seems to me that the most responsible thing to do is to grow the DC market and support solar power so that it can generate power for these appliances. Oh yes, boating also uses DC power and is a perfect fit for solar panels. There was even a boat in 2015 that went around the world totally on solar power. This is a study that talks about DC power in regard to boats.

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I won’t buy any more AC power items. The way of the future is power efficiency and I think solar panels and related technologies are the way to go.