A Solar Treehouse?

The Goal Zero Extreme makes for a solar treehouse!

If you read my last post, you know that I’ve fallen in love with one of the coolest sites ever for treehouse and tiny house lovers.  One of their subsites is Tinyhousegear.com where you can find some pretty cool stuff for living in small spaces.  I got fixated on the possibilities offered by the Goal Zero Extreme 350 Power Pack.  It makes the idea of a solar treehouse attainable by the average person. I find the idea of being able to use power without having to run a gas generator very appealing.

Solar has come a long way in the last few years in terms of size, efficiency and price.  If you’re dreaming of a solar treehouse, this little powerhouse weighs in at 26 lbs (11.7 kilos), and is 9 x 10 x 3″ (23 x 25.4 x 7.6 cm), making it pretty portable.  It can run a number items It’s got really good reviews, and costs $300.  That’s some pretty awesome environmental value.  If this isn’t enough juice for your solar treehouse plans, you can connect multiple units.

One of the problems for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest is that when we most need power — in the late fall, winter and early spring — the sun is most frequently obscured by cloud.  This makes the solar treehouse option impractical in these parts.  Ironically, the milder cold season of the northwest (southwest if you’re living in Canada like me) makes this the best place for treehouses, climate-wise.

That being said, perhaps a solar treehouse isn’t likely to give you reliable year-round comfort in your perched dwelling, but it sure can extend your stay by several weeks or a couple of months.  October and even November offer a lot of sunny days generally, and the last couple of winters and early springs have provided a freakish amount of sun.  Toting one of these solar units could allow you to capitalize on that bounty by powering some lights and a heater.  That’s all you need for enjoying some cool days in your favourite getaway.

If you’re running your treehouse or other off-grid dwelling using this unit, or other solar technology, I’d love to hear from you.  Drop us a line about your experiences in the comments section.

Image credit: Tinyhousegear.com