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bgdawgrr

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Did a search, but everything is dated and battery tech keeps getting better.
Want to get more into solar. Debating if there is a good “off the shelf” solar generator, or go down the path of building my own. Looking for recommendations from the experts out there that do this. Jackery 500, 1000, inergy, Baldr, GoalZero?
Some of my parameters and questions:

* Portability would be nice, but not primary. Capacity is more important. 500Wh min. 1000 better.
*Price/value sweet spot? Don’t mind adding panels etc later or expanding system. Want the best bang for buck. Love to keep it under $1000 but if something is way better, I’m open.
*Noise and op sec is a primary reason for solar. Want to have power available at quiet times and be able to keep it inside. (If I run the gen set, I can plug in to recharge as well)
*Can it recharge in a day in typical WA weather with panels?
*How long do they last? Is this a ten year deal or major rebuild/trash after a few?
*Are say two Jackery 500 better than one 1000?

Thanks for your input. I watch a bunch of YouTube, but it’s hard for me to figure the unbiased views vs those vested interest ones.
 
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I just purchased the Rockpals 330W battery and 100W solar panel. They do have a 500W model. I decided on that brand after watching a video (
) where the guy tested charging rates of different models. It was interesting that some models were not able to use all the power from the solar cell.

It should arrive Friday and I plan on using this weekend. I can give you a report on Monday.
 

bgdawgrr

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I just purchased the Rockpals 330W battery and 100W solar panel. They do have a 500W model. I decided on that brand after watching a video (
) where the guy tested charging rates of different models. It was interesting that some models were not able to use all the power from the solar cell.

It should arrive Friday and I plan on using this weekend. I can give you a report on Monday.
I like that guy. He feels the most real as he does actual “don’t buy” reviews.
The Bluetti 200AC looks interesting. That $1600 price now hurts though.
I’ll check out the link as well. I’d like something big enough to run a fridge so the Inergy and other systems that don’t draw full power bummed me out.
 

Nick Burkhardt

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I plan to run a gas generator during the day and use the powerbank at night. The Rockpals 330W looks the same as the Baldr 330.
 

bgdawgrr

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Found out I am finally getting a commission on a house I sold June of LAST YEAR. Title issue didn’t let it close. Since thats a surprise, I jumped into the deep end and went for the Bluetti AC200 with 2 120w panels and all the stuff. $2k total investment.
Wish I would have jumped on in at $999 or $1199, but study long, study wrong lol. (Actually didn’t even know about it at those prices)

@Nick Burkhardt Can’t wait to hear how your tests come out. Everything I’ve read is positive, so I’d expect good things!
 
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I tested the Rockpals 330W today with the 100W solar panel. The 330W was at 80% when connected to the solar panel. It took ~1.5 hours to reach 100% with full sun (full Oregon sun at least). This equates to 7.5 hours for a complete charge.

Like Nick, my plan is a generator during the day and battery pack at night. I purchased the iGen2500 to run the freezer&fridge during the day and hope they maintain temperature at night.
 

bgdawgrr

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Update on my solar journey. Lots of Black Friday sales going on so you might get some super deals.
So far I’ve got a small 240wh battery bank/solar gen branded by Energizer that is pretty nice and very portable. Charge your phones, iPads and smaller stuff. 200 watt inverter. 2000 cycles.
https://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Portable-Generators-Phosphate-Emergency/dp/B07ZFSW98T

I have a mid size on order and went with Bluetti AC50S. It’s 500wh, 300 watt inverter. About 1000 cycles. Shipping is delayed, so looking forward to it soon.

Now the one I’m REALLY excited about is in Kickstarter and won’t ship till February, but looks like super bargain at early bird price.
https://leoch-worlds-largest-battery.kckb.st/bgdawgrr
(FYI This is a booster link if you end up backing. Been backing a lot of campaigns lately for stuff and sharing when appropriate)
It’s a Leoch 2048Wh with 2000 watt inverter and it’s a UPS. That’s a feature that makes it exciting for me. Stand by power.
LiFePo battery that’s literally two Battleborn batteries. 3000 cycles to 80%.
im going to use it as a UPS for my freezers and upcoming 3D printer. This literally can run anything in your house! For an extended outage, I’m really liking the idea of using my insta pot for cooking and this can run any size no problem.
For panels, I bought 2 Rockpals foldable 100 watt panels.
I went with the new version as the updates were worth it IMO.
Watching for deals, but I’m leaning toward some 180 watt BougeRV panels for the big boy, but they seem to be going up in price vs down...
 
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Meridian7750

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Smaller than your probable needs, but I’ve been using a Rockpals 60 watt solar panel to maintain a Jackery 240.
it does a great job...a few days ago, in weak November sun, my 60 watt panel was putting 35 watts into the Jackery.
The 240 is a great unit, and I’m thinking about getting a 2nd one during BF sales. My thinking is, I can be charging one and using one simultaneously.
Jackery’s DO have pass-through ability, though, which allows them to power a load while receiving a charge at the same time.
2 smaller units just seems more flexible to me, but my uses are mainly for remote camping, where size and weight matter.
Good Luck
 

arakboss

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I recently bought the Rocksolar RS650 from frys for $360. It has 444 watt hours of storage in Lithium Polymer batteries. My wife ran her CPAP with heat/humidity function on and used about 20 to 30 percent of the power for one night. We are going to give it a good test this weekend.

 

bgdawgrr

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What exactly are you trying to run off the solar power you plan on generating? The demand determines the array.
Right now, solar is only back up and long term power generation. I have whole house gen moded for tri fuel, a 2300 watt inverter gen that’s quiet and sips gas, and now “solar generators” to store power and keep it quiet at night.

With the big unit coming, I’m stepping up my generating ability. 2x180 watt panels are my next goal. If grid power is not available or I’m not (or can’t) run my gensets to recharge it. The foldable panels more than take care of the others.

I’m also looking into eventually building my own setup, but that’s further down the line. Not looking to do whole house solar or permanent set up now.
Mostly this is a learning adventure to eventually be able to do an off grid cabin and/or RV.
 

Nick Burkhardt

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Found out I am finally getting a commission on a house I sold June of LAST YEAR. Title issue didn’t let it close. Since thats a surprise, I jumped into the deep end and went for the Bluetti AC200 with 2 120w panels and all the stuff. $2k total investment.
Wish I would have jumped on in at $999 or $1199, but study long, study wrong lol. (Actually didn’t even know about it at those prices)

@Nick Burkhardt Can’t wait to hear how your tests come out. Everything I’ve read is positive, so I’d expect good things!

Sorry for the late reply. The MAXOAK Power Station 500Wh 300W Solar Generator BLUETTI AC50 ran my CPAP all night with full heat and humidity. Only used 2 out of 5 charge bars, so you should get 2 to 3 night or more with lower CPAP settings. I also bought a 100watt flexible solar panel, but have not tried it yet.
 
I have done solar systems with my last 2 RV's and sold generators for a long time back in the day.

Everything comes down to knowing how much power you consume before you start building/buying.

While a 100 watt solar panel may seem like a lot to some, what it really equals is about 5 amps @ 12v. Of course that is under peak conditions.

In my RV I have 675 AH of batteries, 960 watts (about 55 amps) of solar, a 3000 watt hybrid inverter and a 5500 watt generator. Typically during the day time we draw 15-20 amps and overnight around 10 amps. We also use the air fryer/coffee maker/toaster oven, a ~ 130 amp draw about 15-20 min per day. During the summer the solar is easily able to keep the batteries fully charged. In the spring and fall, or a couple of rainy days I typically have to run the generator 1 hr in the morning and 1 in the evening to power the 125 amp battery charger in my inverter.

The main point I am trying to make her is that if you have a 100 ah battery and you use say 60% of it you need to know how long it takes to charge. If you need to put in 60ah, then a 100 watt panel, ~5 amps (at peak) would take 12 hours to charge. If you have 1000 watts, ~50 amps (at peak) it would take you just over 1 hour to charge.

Know how much output you need and know how long you need it to last followed by how fast you want it to recharge.
 
I just picked up a Generac IQ3500 from Costco. They had the best price over everyone else. $999 delivered.
I just need to run two refrigerators and this will work nicely. It is quieter and cheaper than the comparable Honda and is push button start, which works for my household. It also has a pull start. I am getting a Duracell power station to run things at night while the Generac recharges that and runs the fridges by day.
Also made in USA. I like the Yeti options but I'm not ready to dump that kind of money into it.
This also runs on up to 10% ethanol gas.
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