Going Solar in Pahrump Nevada

No place on earth is more suitable for a Solar power renaissance than Pahrump, Nevada. The Pahrump Valley is ridden with old mobile homes on 1-acre properties.  In addition, the sun shines robustly pretty much every single day of the year.  During the summer months, the temps rise and the sun shines like crazy. Meanwhile, the interior temps in the under insulated mobile homes soar as does the electric bill. Many cool their under insulated mobile homes with swamp coolers that use copious water.

When my father and mother in law passed away, they left us a nice prefab in Pahrump. The first thing we did was pressure wash and paint all the structures. We then removed the carpet and installed hardwoods along with new roofing. Now we are looking at replacing the coil heat system with a heat pump and a solar powered ductless mini split.

In the winter time, it is crucial that a home’s crawl space is heated or the water lines will freeze. Hence, it is appropriate to operate a heat pump system that uses existing ducts that are in the crawl space. In the summer, this is not the case. In fact, in Pahrump, Nevada,  it does not freeze from March to late late fall and the beginnings of winter.  With no requirement to heat the crawl space, all heat can be ducted directly into living space. This is where a low wattage high seer rated solar powered ductless mini split comes into play. Then again, a  low wattage mini-split head unit could be installed in the existing ducting in order to heat the crawl space etc.

Many of the newer ductless mini splits have SEER ratings that exceed 22.5. They are Energy Star rated and only require a modest amount of wattage to run.  An 18,000 BTU mini split will cool a 1500 sqft home and use between 700 watts and 2000 watts.  The initial wattage it takes to start the unit’s compressor may eclipse 2000 watts for only a few seconds. Once the unit is running, the wattage usage may back off to less than 1000 watts or even 700 watts depending on the size of the unit.  When a home’s temp is stable, the mini split logic will only operate at a level that maintains the temperature. In most cases, a 2600 watt solar array will be more than enough to cool a Pahrump mobile home. In fact, if the water heater heating element is only 1440 watts, the solar system will heat the water too. The best method to heat water is a heating panel that uses black heating tubes to absorb heat from the sun.

Installing two separate 12,000 BTU mini-splits may be a better option. This way, it only requires 12-2 Romex wire. Moreover, the master bedroom and living room would be heated separately. In addition, a 12,000 BTU mini split could run constantly at 1000 watts in an open floor plan.

Even a 3000 watt grid tie inverter would be enough to cool a mobile home for 8 months of the year in Pahrump.

These solar panels are going to my property in Boulder County, Colorado. I will be installing a gas stove, gas on demand water heater, and gas dryer so I can make room in the 100 amp electrical panel for additional circuit breakers for a  master bedroom addition and a 4000-watt solar power system.  the home will then get a 18,000 BTU mini split, so I can heat the home for nothing when the sun is out. The gas furnace will be used only at night. I will also be able to monitor and control the temp inside the house and crawl space with a smartphone app.

Once I determine the worthyness of the solar system, Pahrump is next.

I cant help it if I am brilliant !

Oh and the Dumont Dunes are only an hour away. Nice!


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System Type : Heat Pump
Power Supply : 208-230V/60Hz
Rated Current Cooling : 4.05 A
Rated Current Heating : 4.72 A
Cooling Capacity (Min-Max) : 12,000 Btu/h
Heating Capacity (Min-Max) : 12,000 Btu/h
SEER : 21.5 Btu/w
HSPF4 : 9.8 Btu/w
HSPF5 : 7.7 Btu/w
COP : 3.24 W/W

Indoor Unit
Air Flow : 306/212/147 CFM
Noise level – Hi/Mi/Lo : 36.5/30/25 dB(A)
Indoor unit dimension (WxHxD) : 31.57×7.44×11.69 inches
Net/Gross Weight : 18.1/22.0 lbs

Outdoor Unit
Compressor Type : rotary
Noise level : 57.5 dB(A)
Outdoor unit dimension (WxHxD) : 31.50×13.11×21.81 inches
Net/Gross Weight : 81.6/88.2 lbs
Refrigerant : R410A

Nevada’s energy renaisance

To Brian “Sunny Boy” Sandoval


As a former ASE certified auto mechanic and shop owner, aircraft technician, Boeing engineer,  C-141C flight engineer, in addition to a B.S.  degree in Industrial Science, I have learned one thing well: when things are complex people run away, but when things are easy to understand, people become instant authorities.  On the C-141C when a light bulb failed, even the loadmaster could understand the technology. However, when it came to a thrust reverser problem or fuel control, they busied themselves with rolling up tie down straps and hid in the back of the airplane. This same analogy can be applied to both residential electrical systems and residential solar systems. People are afraid to get electrocuted. Fair enough. Compared to an aircraft electrical system, residential solar systems are at a Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble “plug and play” level. Even Wilma could install a solar system with a “Solar systems for dummies book!” Then again human bureaucracies and “Unions” love to make things extremely complex and then charge hundreds an hour. In reality, it is all smoke and mirrors.

Today, residential solar systems for the DIY crowd have become inexpensive.

Below are 24  each 320 watts American made UL listed panels at $144 each.  That equates to 8000 watts of continuous electricity for free after the initial investment of $3700.  This means free fuel for the Tesla model 3 or the Chevy volt for the next 30 years. All that is left to buy are solar roof racks and a Grid Tie inverter. This reflects .45 cents a watt, or powering a 40 watt light bulb for over 30 years for $22 dollars. The cost of power generation is also frozen in time, meaning the power will never go up in cost and stays at the initial baseline investment cost.

Then it is a matter of replacing the electric stove, electric water heater and electric dryer with gas appliances if one prefers a low watt system. The light bulbs can be replaced with LED lights. The old inefficient air conditioner or energy sucking  45 amp heat pump system can be replaced with a  20 amp high seer ductless mini split. At that point, the house can be cooled during the day with a mini split along with running the fridge. At night, the only electricity required from the grid will be to power the gas furnace fan, burner control,  low wattage LED lights, miscellaneous high tech related gadgetry, and the fridge. Adding a tesla power wall at this juncture would eliminate the need to be on the grid at all.

The most appropriate battery source would be the family electric car. To propel an electric car at 100 kilometers per hour, it takes at least 60 to 100 amps of power. This is equivalent to two electric stoves with all the elements turned on. During the acceleration phase, an electric car requires amperage levels that may exceed 180to 300 amps. Nothing in a house comes close to these levels of power consumption. In fact, the battery pack from a Chevy Volt or Tesla could power a  24,000 BTU high seer ductless mini split for cooling and heating night and day for days on end if not weeks.

The U.S. House and Senate must submit a bill that requires electric car manufacturers to install a reverse power feed outlet that can be connected to a Grid tie inverter.

The large electric oven can be replaced by a 120 volt 1500 watt countertop toaster oven.

An energy renaissance in Nevada would create copious jobs and reduce dependence on an overloaded energy grid. Clean solar would eliminate the requirement for coal burning energy plants and nasty dirty nuclear-powered facilities.

The biggest bang for the solar buck relates to the employment of Nevada’s children and the elimination of heating and cooling costs for seniors.  The economic benefit to Southern Nevada would be extraordinary and create copious State revenue via cottage industry, logistics, and skilled trade employment. Moreover, Solar power goes hand in hand with America’s vast natural gas reserves.

Lastly, in places like Pahrump with copious water wells that are sucking up precious Pahrump valley aquifer water, the elimination of swamp coolers would save water. As it is, the valley’s  fossil water aquifer system is being depleted. When it is gone, it is gone.  Lake Mead is also at risk of being depleted below the turbine intakes.

Brodheads voted for the funding of the topography surveys for the transcontinental railroad. We helped lay the tracks that transported the immigrant pioneers to the Battle Born State of Nevada. Now we want to lay the tracks that lead to a clean energy economy for the Silver State and the American dream for our children. It can be done, but we cannot run away.

We must look into the requirement for mortgage loans that incorporate the funding of a standardized on-grid solar system during the buying and selling of homes in Nevada.

Written by:  Stephan Andrew Twain Brodhead

SMA Sunny Boy 3.0-US


“Sunny Boy” Inverter “Made in Germany”