We employ as 12V electrical system on the island, using solar panels and wind generators to charge a bank of batteries from which we draw power for our lights, water pumps, and refrigeration systems. The system is very efficient and we love using a renewable energy source so we can do away with noisy gas generators. We also appreciate the fact that the system is very safe since it is such low voltage.
In recent years our guests are bringing ever increasing numbers of ‘personal devices’ with them on the trips, such as smart phones, iPads, and of course cameras, which need recharging. We provide a 12V recharging station in our dining hall which requires a ‘cigarette lighter’ style plug. Guests have to bring their own inverters if their devices require a standard 110V plug; these inverters are inexpensive and easy to find at any electronics store. The inverters plug into the cigarette lighter plug and convert the electricity to 110 for standard chargers. However, recently we are finding that many devices now are recharged with a USB plug system, which is much more efficient since this will bypass the inverter system. Guests can now bring a cigarette lighter receptacle that has a USB plug in the back of it, which are available in electronics stores such as Radio Shack or Best Buy.
[top photo by Wil Thijssen, bottom photo by Charlie Woodward]