May 23, 2015 at 10:38 am #17830
I found a company that offers great solar generators for 1/4 of the price of most companies. They are called Be Prepared Solar. Their setup is simple but uses some of the highest quality parts. No fancy boxes or logos hence the lower price. They are a small independent company and are very friendly and pleasant to work with. The setup I got has 3 100aH batteries and 4 150 watt panels. It produces 2500 running watts and 5000 peak watts. It is mobile to a point. The batteries are heavy, but the container they are in has a nice retractable handle and heavy duty wheels. It was less than $3000.00. Another company’s setup is almost $2000.00 for one 100aH battery, 2 30 watt panels, and only 1250 running watts and 2500 peak watts.
This is not a house energy replacement setup. But a very nice setup for running the basic household appliances. They can make any size and setup you want. Just ask. The owner’s name is Tammy. Very nice and knowledgeable lady. Their site is http://www.bepreparedsolar.com. Attached are some pictures of the setup I ordered. This was just a quick test run and setup. Not the way it would actually be setup.
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"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 23, 2015 at 10:53 am #17835
Forgot to add that they do offer a Veteran discount.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm #17838trailmanParticipant
How much are the batteries and how long are they good for. I have a data center system we run at work and that’s the killer factor. Essentially you are running a solar charged UPS. Batteries are one of the things that has kept us from investing at home.
CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion
Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.May 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm #17840
Batteries are good for about 1000 cycles/ 7 to 8 years according to the manufacturer. They were 189$. There are better batteries bit these are good foe small things in a grid down scenario. Small fridge, chest freezer, fans, wood atove blowers, ipods, laptops, cell phones of they work, recgarge batteries for optics, recharge battery packs for hand tools, etc. I use eneloop rechargable batteries wooth a Goal Zero usb charger or a Powerizer charger. So far it works really well and cant beat the price. Longevity is comparable to a Goal Zero yeti. I plan to get more batterirs and charge them every month from thus system and keep them in reserve. Care for a lead acid battery is to never dicharge over 50%.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 24, 2015 at 10:38 am #17843RobertParticipant
We’ve been producing our own power at our house since 1999. One thing we learned quickly with our Trojan L16 batteries was to set the LVD higher than the factory settings on the inverter. This way the batteries are not drain down more than they should. It’s a 24 volt system and in full sun you regularly see 25.7 and up on the inverter display. I have the LVD set at 23.5 so worse case the batteries are never drain much under 24 volts.
First set of L16’s lasted us 3 years. Second set lasted us 8 years after making little adjustments like that. Keep in mind this is a larger home system though that gets daily use, so “wear and tear” on the battery bank is much higher than normal.
Also, despite the warnings of all the tech nerds that said “NEVER mix old and new batteries” of this type in a battery bank- we have done that now for years and have never had a problem. Talking about 28 L16’s at $275’ish a pop, so replacing 28 of them at a time wasn’t working. The problem being with the 6 volt batteries is that if ONE goes down, you have to pull at least 4 (string of 4 to make 24 volts). So one battery crapping out on you takes 4 out of the game.
Kinda like the “weak link breaks the chain” analogy.
Keep your water levels good, with distilled, keep your LVD set to a decent level on your inverter, check your fill levels regularly, clean connections well and keep the batteries somewhat well protected from the elements and a decent battery will keep well for a while under a good charge.
Cool setup brother!
Another good resource is
Their prices are great and for a DIY’er type of guy like yourself, you can easily expand your system. They have all different sizes of panels, controllers, etc.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19May 24, 2015 at 11:17 am #17845
Yeah for a larger setup you have to get the larger battery banks. This one is a good setup to play with, serve a grid down purpose for small items, and learn with. When priced out for a diy similar setup, their price wasnt too much higher. Robert, do you have any knowledge of Iron Edison batteries? A friend of mine is looking for a larger whole house setup and ive heard good things about them.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm #17847shooterParticipant
I use deep cycle Optima dry cell batteries for my surveying GPS base system. They get charged and discharged over and over, and last for years. Is there any reason not to use them for a solar system like this (besides the fact that they’re not cheap)?
We are all victims of our perspective.May 25, 2015 at 10:41 am #17850
Ive heard lots of good things about Optima batteries. Price is the main down side. This system could get upgraded in batteries but the price would soar up. Tammy states the reason they use the parts and pieces they do is to keep the price down. They are high quality parts that work well but not the highest quality out there which saves cost. It will last and work well. Kind of like a SE truck versus an LE truck.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm #17853shooterParticipant
Thanks. I have a friend who’s an electrician, and it turns out he used to work on a solar farm, so he’s going to help me get sorted out. These kits look like really good deals! I just need to figure out what I need so I don’t end up with too little, or too much.
We are all victims of our perspective.May 26, 2015 at 9:04 am #17856
Talk to Tammy. She can guide you through what you need with what you want to power. very knoeledgable. Mention the forum and if you are a vet. Best way to reach her is email and then from there line up a phone call. One woman show at the moment.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."May 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm #17989
As a side note, these systems are designed to be upgradable. If you plan to do that let Tammy know so she can put the right parts in for you. Mainly, the charge controller. Get a higher amp one now to handle more panels later.
"... rainbow colored unicorn farts."June 23, 2015 at 12:46 am #18653MaxKeymaster
I also live off grid, have since 1995. I’m an electrician. I design and install grid tie and off grid solar systems. The prices on their web site aren’t bad. I charge $10 per watt for a complete NEC compliant system. That has underground wiring, pole mount, everything. So 600 watts for $3000 is not bad, considering what it is.
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