POWER to the Tree House: Bring Electricity to Your Tree House Without Using a Generator
Tree houses (for adults) jumped into popularity in the past few years, springing TV shows like Treehouse Masters and
Ultimate Treehouses. What used to be pint-sized structures limited to a rope ladder and single window are now full-fledged tree cabins (some could even be classified as tree mansions). Whether the idea is to build something extravagant for a TV show, create a backyard getaway unlike any other for your kids, or develop an “off-the-grid” paradise perfect for mini-vacations deep in the woods, you’re probably going to want access to at least a few modern amenities—amenities that require electricity.
Chances are if you’re part of the tree-house movement, you want to use cleaner energy than can be afforded by a noisy gas generator. Well, good for you, tree-dweller; you have options!
First, ask yourself if you’re looking to convert power from the sun to run your devices, such as your coffee maker, griddle, TV, iPod charger, lamp and more. If you are, consider the location of your tree house. If you’re deep in the forest, could you place solar panels in a place where they’d collect enough sunlight to afford you sufficient power? A small bank of solar panels is going to need more than an hour of sunlight to bank much power. If you don’t have the perfect permanent location on or around your tree house where panels can absorb sufficient sunlight, consider portable panels that you can move a few times a day to achieve about 30% more power:
Check out these portable solar panel kits for between $200 – $550.
If you’re not into going solar for your tree house, you’re likely going to haul batteries into your tree house as a power source (and then haul them out to recharge them at your home after your trip). This is also a very worthwhile option, as you’ll likely not need huge amounts of power (and huge, bulky batteries) every time you get away to your tree house.
So, whether you solar charge your battery or charge it at home and bring it with you each time, you’re still going to need a Power Inverter that will pull DC power from the battery and convert it to conventional AC power (aka the kind of power that comes out of your outlets at home, but you probably knew that). A power inverter will allow you to use any electronic device with a plug, as long as the power inverter (and battery capacity) is large enough to run it. The good news is, you’re likely only using small devices in your tree house, so you should be able to get away with a smaller power inverter. Even better, the types of devices you’ll be using can likely power just fine from a Modified Sine Wave Power Inverter, which is the less expensive of the two main types of power inverters. Click here to view a variety of Modified Sine Wave Power Inverters available in different sizes.
If you’re looking to run microwaves and variable-speed power drills, you’ll need to upgrade to a Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter.
Now, all that’s left is determining how big of an inverter and battery you need to run your desired devices. Then you’re all set … unless you haven’t built the tree house yet; then you still have a lot of work to do. ;D