Recommendations for suppliers & off-grid local monitoring inverters

SHTF Power Anyway

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
17
Hi all!

We had carefully reviewed a package through SunWatts for a 10kwh system using Rec360 panels, a Sol-Ark 12kwh inverter and were going to add a 18.5 Fortress Evault Lifepo4 battery. There were some serious downsides to this so we're looking for alternatives:

1 - Sunwatts is asking for credit card verification that, as an accountant, I can tell you is complete nonsense and leaves your credit card data vulnerable. The alternative of paying cash leaves the customer vulnerable if their company doesn't perform. Given our current state of affairs in the world, I'm wanting to use my credit card to get all my parts here quickly using a reputable supplier. So can someone recommend a supplier that would have all parts to build a 10kwh system off-grid with generator backup (I have the generator)?

2- The Sol-Ark inverter (as one of your members pointed out in another thread) uses monitoring that's based in China. After other points were made in that thread, I do not want to connect my solar system in any way, shape or form to an outside entity that could have the capacity to alter, shut down or damage my system. Victron was recommended for this off-grid purpose. Are there any others that might also work in this fashion?

3 - We have 4 sets of 280Ah lifepo4 cells. We bought two sets from a guy on CL and another two sets from Solar Supply House. Again, they are all lifepo4 cells but not from the same company. It appears the cells from CL are Grade A from a company called Basen. The others have caps on them showing they are EVE. I have two Overkill 12v 4s BMS. I'm concerned that my batteries purchased won't match because of the difference in manufacturers. I hate to give up the cells as they are hard to get these days. But I only have BMSs for 2 sets. Do I build 2 12V, 1 24V or 1 48V? This decision drives the decision on inverters obviously. If I continue with a DIY Lifepo4 build, I can save THOUSANDS at the cost of a few hundred more for the BMS but if I have mismatched cells, I'm throwing money down a dark hole. I could use some recommendations here. If it were you....

I have tried to do as much research as possible not being an electrician. My husband is a retired plant electrician and our neighbor an electrical engineer but neither of them do much on the internet leaving me to do all the buying... Help!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
 

Bluedog225

Texas
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
178
I don’t understand your point #1. Do they want your credit card info to complete a purchase? That seems normal. How would you propose to complete the purchase without providing this info?
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
8,351
I do most of my shopping through eBay. A la carte.

Alt E Store can design your system and sell you a complete package.


Many of us also buy from SanTan Solar


I use SMA Sunny Island battery inverters and Sunny Boy PV inverters. Sunny Island will talk to REC BMS if you use lithium batteries.
This is premium equipment at a premium price. But you can find some bargains, liquidation of inventory due to one large company's bankruptcy, also old-model equipment that is fine for off-grid but maybe not new grid-tie systems.

The link below is one example of a bundle that can produce 120/240VAC 11.5kW, couple to a generator, and support up to 24kW of AC coupled PV. In this bundle, a Midnight Classic SCC is included for some DC coupled PV.

You can also buy a complete systems on a trailer, or individual inverters.

Monitoring over internet is available as an option. It can be monitored locally with Ethernet or RS-232, or just use front-panel and removable SD card

 

SHTF Power Anyway

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
17
I don’t understand your point #1. Do they want your credit card info to complete a purchase? That seems normal. How would you propose to complete the purchase without providing this info?
I have no problem paying with a credit card through an online application designed to collect this info in a secure fashion. These systems are designed to mask the numbers to prevent card numbers from being stolen. I also have no problem paying through Paypal and that was what we discussed. Paypal verifies their members on both sides of the transaction which provides a measure of security for both parties. They want me to hand write my card number leaving off the last four digits (now they're saying ANY 4 digits) to be sent to them for final completion over the phone. That means the majority of my card number would be sent via internet with little security. Missing a simple 4 digits is not really security especially when they will be added by the vendor to a piece of paper over the phone. As a former Controller, I know credit card theft often happens within the company that takes the credit card data which is why the world has evolved into taking card numbers online with receipts masking all but the last 4 digits of the card number.

There is no service that "verifies a credit card" in the fashion they're implying they're using for this purpose which makes me extremely uncomfortable. When I went to check out on their system initially, I got to the cart and noted they were improperly calculating sales tax. I'm not sure if, otherwise, it would have allowed me to proceed to Paypal without this nonsense or not. But I get a very uncomfortable feeling when I've never in all my life been asked to provide this kind of data when Paypal has been an option and involved in the transaction. I called Paypal and they said the same thing. Something stinks, if you ask me.
 

SHTF Power Anyway

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
17
I do most of my shopping through eBay. A la carte.

Alt E Store can design your system and sell you a complete package.


Many of us also buy from SanTan Solar


I use SMA Sunny Island battery inverters and Sunny Boy PV inverters. Sunny Island will talk to REC BMS if you use lithium batteries.
This is premium equipment at a premium price. But you can find some bargains, liquidation of inventory due to one large company's bankruptcy, also old-model equipment that is fine for off-grid but maybe not new grid-tie systems.

The link below is one example of a bundle that can produce 120/240VAC 11.5kW, couple to a generator, and support up to 24kW of AC coupled PV. In this bundle, a Midnight Classic SCC is included for some DC coupled PV.

You can also buy a complete systems on a trailer, or individual inverters.

Monitoring over internet is available as an option. It can be monitored locally with Ethernet or RS-232, or just use front-panel and removable SD card

Question, shopping for equipment on eBay doesn't afford you a tax credit, does it?
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
8,351
No issue with tax credits regarding purchase through eBay so far as I know.
Many merchants (include Home Depo, Grangers, etc.) use eBay.
I think you just have to comply with whatever requirements. For some things energy efficiency ratings might be required.
Back when I first did solar under California's rebates, the equipment models had to be on CEC's list.
Permits of course will require U.L. listings.
I've seen very little regarding federal solar tax credits. Just that thermal systems can't be for pool heating.
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
2,343
Have thought of purchasing through these guys which have some sort of brick and mortar business and are located in Flagstaff, AZ and seems to have built and assisted in quite a few builds in the area:

 

SHTF Power Anyway

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
17
Have thought of purchasing through these guys which have some sort of brick and mortar business and are located in Flagstaff, AZ and seems to have built and assisted in quite a few builds in the area:

I just started looking at their site. Thank you. <3
 
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