Solar Power For Apartment Dwellers
We have often had comments that go like, "I'd love to lower my dependability on the electric company BUT I live in an apartment." Here is a very detailed article over on Lowtech Magazine's website, where the editor tries to power their office with a solar system placed on his apartment's window sill.
I'll leave it to those who are fimiliar with the nuts and bolts of such systems to comment on his numbers.
He also has a discussion on the merits of staying DC. Solar panels generate 12 volt DC current that is then converted to AC current by and inverter. Most appliances reconvert that 120 volt AC current back into DC internally. You have approximately a 20% loss from such a DC/AC/DC system.
In larger system you could shrug off such a loss, but for a smaller system like this, used in a apartment might it make more sense to connect only DC powered appliances and lights?