for solar: Much simpler to use a PV panel to generate, one or more 12V batteries to store, and 12vDC lighting and heater units. No inverter needed unless you want to run a corded drill.

a century ago, the Delco light plant worked in a similar manner. A generator, generating DC, batteries, perhaps a wincharger for "free" electricity, Low voltage DC incandescent bulbs for light. Perhaps a DC motor on the Maytag washing machine. It worked in homes and farms for decades before "lectricty" came on poles.

As practicality, bury a 12-2 WG type UF wire with a trenching spade and quit whining.


 > Andrew wrote:

 I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
 solar setup.

A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
750 W.

The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC.
The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
the size of the load.

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