Posted by Franz on September 8, 2003, 8:08 am
I'm new to solar. I want to spend more than just weekends on my 12 acres
in the bottom of the Northfork American River canyon (Sierra Nevada). It's
off-grid, and without land or cell phone access.
The only electricity needs I'd have for the next year are for a 17-inch
Mac Powerbook, a 20-inch LCD monitor (original Apple Cinema Display), and
1 (or 2?) watts for a DirecWay satellite connection, and a Dell Inspiron
laptop (needed for the DirecWay modem).
Costco Online at
has this '100 Watt Solar Power System' to offer for 750 bucks.
Would it be sufficient for my needs, and is it a good deal, batteries not
Posted by tat-2 on September 8, 2003, 3:04 pm
Save your money on a "Kit" and buy the components and build your own.
You can get a 400W inverter for about $0-40
2- 55W panels for $63.00
A quality 12A charger (trace c-12) $3.00 or a 40A trace c-40 (btw skip the
optional $5 meter, looks pretty but not much real function.
and 2 (6-volt golf cart batteries) (about $00.00 Sam's club)
$56.00 including batteries, you need to supply #12 wire.
Btw: The reason I stated build your own is based upon my experience and
cost. I have one of those 7A charge controlers and they are absolute crap
(Send me $.00 to cover Shipping and I'll send you mine). I got it with a
30w Kit from ICP solar (basicly the same kit except for the type and wattage
panels.) I paid $40 delivered and at this price the panels alone were worth
the $0 each.
I own a c40 charge control with the optional meter (3-stage). If I were to
do it again I'd look at the morning star Pro 30 (with meter).
just my thoughts....
Posted by tat-2 on September 9, 2003, 12:20 am
I was tryi9ng to keep him within the $50, although looking at the site they
want another $2 and change for S&H...
I picked up a coleman 1000W inverter with meter built in for about $5
Posted by Newby on September 9, 2003, 4:49 am
I picked up a 1000W inverter from Costco for $0; doesn't have a meter. The
no draw load is .3 amp. Haven't connected it yet as I have to make-up the
cables to connect it to a battery.
Looked at one at BJ's for $0, again no meter but with cables; the no draw
load was .9 amp.
Posted by MSH on September 9, 2003, 5:16 pm
I am amazed in this thread at how cheap and mainstream inverters have
become. I'm wondering how this affects Trace who I thought owned the market.
I paid $00 for a 1524(1500w) about 8 years ago and I hadn't noticed an
appreciable decline in their prices. Ready to upgrade with the idea of using
the 1500 as a backup but is it unfair to compare Trace with these cheapies?
No battery charger, no low battery shutdown, is all that worth what they
charge?? btw, my Trace has run steadily without a glitch for ALL those 8