I crunched the numbers for a solar system, before springing for a honda generator, and came up with close to what Dave posted. I even re-ran them at 20 watt output (giving up ~1 S unit at the other end of the string) and concluded the generator was still more cost effected.
Couple of the "gotchya's" Dave didn't mention:
1) Ancillary equipment drain:
A) I'm running a RT-100 and need 3 amps* injected at the Bias Tee for a few seconds at beginning of each transmission to feed the tuner.
B) it's takes 12 watts/hr* to keep an iPad charged for logging and running PSK31 and 5 watts/hr* to keep an iPhone charged up so you can tether to the iPad for QRZ look ups and checking DX Sherlock for spots, E paths and MUF.
C) A small 12V low wattage CFL lantern for night ops.
D) FT meter, draws only a watt or so*
*All numbers are from memory but the point is they all add up and must be taken into account.
2) The BIG Gotchya: The price of the solar controller. You can't use the el-cheap-o Pulse Width Modulated Controllers as they put out way to much hash. You'll need to run a MPPT controller. When I was pricing them out a quality (read no Chinese knock offs) 200 watt MPPT controller was half the price of what I paid for the genny.
Last edited by Seldom Seen; 12-10-2013 at 01:06 AM.