Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
A good backup
on November 19, 2012
I have two of these panels. The installation was easy although it does not come with any intructions. I would suggest a youtube tutorial if you are tackling a solar project on your own. Also suggest some splicing experience ;)
- 2 Instapark 100W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel
- Sunforce 11240 1000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter with Remote Control
- HQRP Pair MC4 T-branch Solar Panel Connector M/M/F & F/F/M (1F2M & 2F1M) for PV / Photovoltaic System (connects solar panels together)
- HQRP Pair 144 inches (3.66m) 1x4mm² Photovoltaic Solar Array Cables with MC4 Connectors (connects panels to voltage controller)
- Sunforce 60032 30 Amp Digital Charge Controller
- Cobra CPI-A4000BC 4-AWG Heavy-Duty AC Power Inverter Cable Kit (Connects the last battery in the chain to the inverter)
- HQRP Pair MC4 Solar Panel Connector male & female (M&F) for PV / Photovoltaic System plus HQRP Coaster
- Instapark® ZJ-02 Solar Panel Mounting Hardware Kit (mounts panels to roof. If you need to change the pitch of the panel do not get these)
- Other stuff: Junction Box, 3 outlet boxes and plates, 3 conductor electrical wire (romex), wire nuts, conductor clamps and wire ties.
I have the panels going to a sunforce voltage controller, the controller is wired to three 12v marine gel batteries that are daisy-chained together. The batteries are wired to a pure sine wave 1000w inverter. I have a secondary system rigged up for when we lose power (winters are harsh). I have an outlet in the living room, guest room and master bedroom. I will have 2 more outlets added by the end of this project. The solar outlets have a different shape then my normal outlets to differentiate between what is grid electric and what is solar. (solar has square plates, electric has rounded corners). We had to put a junction box up to accomodate the lines going into the house (so from the inverter to the junction box).
We recently tested the system by plugging in our 48" flat screen tv and dvr. 5.5 hours later, it was still going strong but I was tired and wanted to go to bed. There were no artifacts (lines in the tv screen, scrolling etc.) on the tv at all. I switched the tv and dvr back to electric and went to bed but left the inverter on to draw any more power that the batteries had in them (we were trying to drain the batteries and see how long it would take for 2 panels would recharge 3 batteries.) but alas, when we woke up in the morning, the batteries still had 1/2 charge on them. The next day it snowed and the panels still charged the batteries to 3/4 full. I expect that they will be full today as it is sunny and clear.
Another great thing about solar backup vs. generator backup... no noise, no smoke, and no gas needed. Downside is that you cannot deploy the whole house, you have to be very aware of what you use... nothing with high amp draw like an oven, water pump or hot water heater. We bought three 8w lightbulbs that put off 40 lumens of light...expensive compared to a regular lightbulb but hopefully we will never have to replace them in our lifetimes! We also bought many rechargeable batteries so that we can spread around the power! Good luck to all.