Do they work? Yes they do. Are they reliable? Sure, if all you plan to operate for any duration of time is a LED light bulb and the occasional cellphone charge.
As someone who is well versed in solar power, this has to be one of the biggest orchestrated frauds I’ve ever seen.
They offer ONE solar panel that sits on a wheeled cart. This panel is likely no more than 240 watts of power. With an average of 6 full hours of sunshine, that means you can collect 1440 watts in a good day. If you’re planning on running your fridge with solar backup, think again. Your fridge will use 1440 watts in 2 hours. Not to mention, NO solar energy is 100% efficient. If you can’t run your fridge, you sure the hell cant run your household. Have you considered what an electric water heater uses? How about an electric cook stove or a microwave? If you try to run any two of these appliances at the same time, it will overload the generator.
The complete ASININE thing that just blows my mind, is the cost. Retails for over $3,000. I know people are stupid but come on… you may as well shove the money up your ass and shit it back into a golden toilet.
Worse yet, I could build their entire system myself of equal or better quality for around $1,200. The difference being that if I built it, it would be expandable should you need more than what it is capable of. No I do not take requests, sorry.
I do however intend to have one of the foremost solar experts follow up with more information regarding these systems. Keep an eye.
Response from Solar expert Erne:
A 100 watt 36 cell photovoltaic Direct Current solar panel will produce 100 watt hours of power per one full hour of unrestricted sunlight that is at a 90 degree angle to the panel. A fixed panel does not track the sun and produces less wattage when the sun is at a lesser angle. Thus a fixed panel produces 5 times its rated power in the summer and 4 times in winter in most of the central United States in cloud free weather. This is in the 500 watt hour range per 24 hour period. Temperature can enhance this production in cold weather or degragate it in hot weather.
This electricity is routed thru a voltage controller which protects the battery from overcharge. There are 2 types of controllers. The cheapest and most common one is the pulse width modulator (pwm) the other is the maximum power point tracker (mppt). These devices use a small amount of electricity while preforming this battery control. Wire also consumes a small amount of electricity even when properly sized. Improperly sized wire can often nullify a large portion of production. Breakers and or fuses also consume small amounts of electricity.
Deep cycle batteries are manufactured with a different lead composition than starting auto batteries, and are rated in ampere hours rather than cranking amps. (normally at their 20 hour rate) Batteries are combined in series or parallel depending on the voltage of said battery and voltage of the system. If 2 batteries are combined without increasing voltage (parallel) the ampere hours are combined. If the batteries are combined raising the voltage (series) the ampere hours remain the same. Any inter connecting cables need to be matched in size and length for safety and efficiency. Using more than 50% of the battery ampere hour rating can damage the battery. Also a battery needs to be recharged at between 7 and 13% of its 20 hour ampere hour rating.
This electricity can be used as 12 volt through a variety of automotive type appliances, or it can be inverted to 110 volt alternating current with an inverter. If the direct current power is converted, an amount of electric consumption is used by the conversion device (inverter) this can be from 3 watts to 40 watts per hour depending on the type of inverter. Higher end inverters have a search mode that sends impulses to look for appliances that may need electricity on a part time basis such as a refrigerator or furnace thus the 3 to 5 watt consumption per hour. The closer the consumption is to their wattage rating the more efficient inverters are. Some reaching 90% or better. These inverters need to be breaker protected from the batteries.
Considering the above information, using a single 100 watt panel, small controller and a single 45 ampere hour 12 volt battery (540 watt hours of storage) One half usage equals 270 watt hours. With a cheap inverter (no search mode)
A Black & Decker single cup coffee maker uses about 740 watts of power for 4 minutes
resulting in 45 watt hours of consumption. The inverter used an additional 2.6 watt hours bringing the total to a rounded 50 watt hours. Using this information a 5 or 600 watt inverter would have failed because they could only put out this much power for less than a minute in their surge capacity. A 750 watt inverter would achieve this task. Assuming one was watching TV at the same time, and has satellite reception the consumption would be TV 350 watts satellite 30 watts bringing the total to 1120 watts while the coffee maker was on. We have again exceeded the capacity of the inverter, making necessary a larger inverter. Thus a 1500 watt inverter would suffice. This shows how inverter capacity becomes important in planing ones system. Assuming watching TV for one hour before disconnecting would use 380 (TV VCR) plus 50 totaling 430 watt hours (35 ampere hrs) Assuming evening hours a 2 each 100 watt lights were also on for 3 hours before bed time (600 watt hours) within the limit of the inverter, (50 ampere hours) for a total of 1030 watt hours (85 ampere hours) This exceeds the safe storage capacity of the battery, requiring more storage capacity. So 2 each 45 ampere hour batteries are now required. One must also be aware of phantom loads, such as GFI plugs in the kitchen and bathroom, smoke detectors and appliances that are plugged in that have remotes (stereo CD players walk around phones) or clocks etc that can increase usage.
Now that we have used the majority of our storage capacity, lets look at recharging. 90 ampere hours of battery would need 10% or 9 amps of charging to maintain the batteries according to the manufactures recommendation. The 100 watt panel puts out about 6 amps. (7 to 13% recommended charging) A little short and there is not enough sunlight hours to completely refill without another panel or a generator. Three 100 watt panels plus 4 hours sun equals 1200 watt hours. Cutting it close especially if one wants to have 2 or 3 days of storage capacity for bad weather. Furthermore the 3 panels exceed the 13% recommendation by a small amount. This is why one needs to start with their consumption rather than just getting a panel or two and a battery.