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Thread: Solar Power equipment?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Solar Power equipment?

    Well trying to make head or tails out of all the solar power stuff. You start trying to look and there is 5 million selling and claiming that theirs is the best. Can anyone here point me in the right direction as to make and models of panels, inverters, montering systems etc.? Almost a comsurer reports kind of thing.

    Were Can I learn what questions to ask about panels, inverters, batteries etc?

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    I found Northern Arizona Wind and Solar's website to be pretty informative. I've also ordered things from there and it was less expensive than other places even after including shipping (to Anchorage). Still, it is confusing out there with so many products and claims.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    IMHO the two top brands for inverters, charge controllers, etc. are Xantrex and Outback.

    I like Backwoods Solar website and their customer service is great! I bought a bunch of batteries from them and with shipping included they were still $1800 cheaper than what I could get it for up here.

    Two good places in Anchorage are Susitna Energy Systems and Renewable Energy Systems.

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    Member willster33's Avatar
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    What type of batteries are you guys using? It looks like there are some very expensive ones out there, and are they really necessary?
    Thanks
    Will

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Well trying to make head or tails out of all the solar power stuff.
    Were Can I learn what questions to ask about panels, inverters, batteries etc?
    Pick up a copy of the Solar Living Source Book for a good overview. Currently on the 13th edition or you can get the 12th edition used. Backwoods Solar is a good online resource.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about the below guy. I have no direct experience yet. I think he's in Delta or Tok. Good info on his website.

    Jarrett Humphreys,
    Wolf Solar Electric LLC

    NABCEP Certified PV Installer
    Certified Energy Rater
    Licensed – Bonded – Insured

    www.wolfsolarelectric.com
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    A company called Solyndra seems to have a good rep. I would talk to them.

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    Batteries are expensive, but your battery bank will be the most important part of your investment. Can't store the solar power without a good set of batteries. But it is very important to maintain and take care of your batteries which is not hard to do. I have an Outback charge controller and two Sharp 175 Watt Solar Panels (made in the USA) and Jarrett helped me set it up.

    Had a good set of batteries, but froze 'em (not recommended). Long story. Bought a used set of interstate batteries for $250 and they ain't the best but they work and the price was right. Haven't used the generator since early March.

    Probably will have to fire it up soon, but for now the panels and batteries are holding up.
    “There's a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it.”
    George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    IMHO the two top brands for inverters, charge controllers, etc. are Xantrex and Outback.

    I like Backwoods Solar website and their customer service is great! I bought a bunch of batteries from them and with shipping included they were still $1800 cheaper than what I could get it for up here.

    Two good places in Anchorage are Susitna Energy Systems and Renewable Energy Systems.
    I've also had good luck with Backwoods

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    the Renewable Energy guys on Dimond are patient and helpful in giving advice, penciling out what works, etc. Probably not the cheapest, but they're local and stand by their products (they swapped out an inverter that went south on me soon after buying). The package they set me up with has otherwise worked flawlessly for 2 years.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Susitna energy I believe is the name of the place on Dimond.
    I have priced out a system for ours and they were extemely helpful and and the advice was free.
    My neighbors have two systems by them and I have not heard any complaints from either party.
    We plan to pull the trigger sometime this winter and will be purchasing from them.
    Don't forget to ask about the tax break either.
    BK

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    Susitna Energy is between Fireweed and N Lights. On Fairbanks St. I believe.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Susitna energy I believe is the name of the place on Dimond.....
    BK
    That's Renewable Energy. Susitna is on Fairbanks st.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Thanks for the correection...the guys on Dimond are the ones that were extremely helpful.
    BK

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Thanks for the correection...the guys on Dimond are the ones that were extremely helpful.
    BK
    Until you ask question number 23.... then they want to charge you an hourly rate.....

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    About 15 years ago I used Northern Arizona Wind & Sun. I still find their website very useful. These days I prefer to use Renewable Energy on Dimond or AK Battery Manufacturing on Potter. I've bought stuff from both places and both are top notch. I believe Ak Battery is affiliated with ABS Alaskan, another good source. http://www.absak.com/

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    We used Susitna Energy and were able to install the system ourselves with their help. Buying local gives you access to somebody who can answer your questions, which is worth the price if you don't know anything like we did.

    The Outback units may be outstanding products but they are way too complicated for us. Morningstar just has idiot lights.

    Good Luck, we are starting in our 2nd year and still haven't got a clue.

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