Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Solar Ripoff

Moved the last of my "stuff" out of view this morning then took a nice long shower (4 minutes, 4 gallons). Checked my list and added some items, hit the GrubShack then on to Alpine. Picked up parts to enhance the GrubShack electrical systems. Also got some plumbing parts for the gas water pump to be ready for the next rainfall then ordered more materials for the greenhouse including lumber to build a large tabletop jig for welding up the 11 roof trusses I need to build. Swung by Bennett's house to check out his jungle of a garden (actually, I believe Yvette and Lydia are in charge of the garden) - quite a change from the photo I took for the May 1 blog entry.

FIELD LAB CONSUMER ALERT!:
Amazing "Solar Generator"Is Like Having A Secret Power Plant Hidden In Your Home! A number of friends have asked me about this site on the internet... http://www.mysolarbackup.com/ Been thinking I should write about it here for some time and now that I know someone who actually shelled out money for this piece of crap, I reckon it's time I said my piece. First of all - just the look of the web site and the video of doom and gloom should be a dead giveaway. The old adage "if it sounds too good to be true..." is a giant red flag especially for the alternative energy market. They truthfully claim that the unit will power all sorts of appliances but fail to mention that it will only be able to power ONE OR TWO of them for only a couple of hours before the unit will need at least one full day of sunlight to recharge. Of course a radio will be able to run a long time but a refrigerator/freezer will only get a short lease on extended run time. It's up to you to do the math on what and for how long a 60Ah battery can power something through an 1800 watt inverter. One guess....it ain't much and it ain't long. MySolarBackup sells their system for $1597.00 with FREE SHIPPING!...marked down from the retail price of $2097.00. I surfed the web for about 5 minutes and found all the components for this system from just two different retailers for under $1000. On a scale of 1 to 5....I give this product a generous 2 only because a complete moron might find this usefull in a pinch....but because of the web sales pitch, I give it a ZERO! Bottom line - don't waste your money.

17 comments:

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

I reviewed that garbage for some friends a couple of weeks ago. You were to kind about the crap they put in their ad. Another case of a salesmans lips moving.

Ben in Texas said...

I have been trying to remember what the system was from Australia that I had seen at the Texas State Fair one year,, finally found a link.. The Stringling engine system uses heat differential to drive a motor.. in Australia and New Zealand they use them on the remote stations.. Just something else for you to tinker with and think about.

This link has an explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine

Frances said...

hi- for your phone booth, try eps@pacinfo.com

541-484-0180
It's in Eugene, Oregon.
Maybe you already have looked at this site, but they have American Clark Kent booths as well as English reds.

good luck!

Grant Wagner said...

Just to play devil's advocate, we're looking at a 90 watt panel (in adjustable, portable frame), attached to a battery pack, and a 1800 watt inverter.

We aren't commenting on build or component quality, so unless someone says otherwise, I'm going to assume that it's a solid build.

I don't see where it's mentioned to be a 60 ah battery. But let's lets given them they benefit of the doubt and say it's actually 1800 watt hr of 12V battery, so about 150 AH.

So, just looking at the above facts and estimates, we can believe that it could be built for:
panel.....$500
2x golf cart batteries or deep cycle marine....$200
1800 watt inverter (modified sine wave) $300 (http://www.realgoods.com/product/solar+power/inverters/off-grid/go-power-+modified+sine-wave+inverters.do)
Small Charge controller...$60(http://www.realgoods.com/product/solar+power/batteries-controllers/charge+controllers/sunkeeper+sk-12-amp+solar+charge+controller.do)
Other small parts and pieces, $100.

Total: $1160

Given suburban America's love affair with simple, turn key toys, I think there might be plenty of people who would take them up on it. There is clearly a demand for something of this nature. Marketing approach, completely shameful, and there will be a lot of unhappy people when they realize just how little power it is.

But, if it is a solid unit, especially if it has a true sine wave inverter and sealed maintenance free batteries (which it would have to be to be as simple and maintenance free as it attempts to sell itself as), then it might actually be a reasonable price for those who don't actually want to know what they are doing.

For a do-it-yourselfer, then yes, utter rip. But seriously, not very many people are, and that is a sad, sad thing.

Brian said...

Hi John, I did a quick search and there are several phone booths on ebay. None are in Texas, but here's the auction numbers.

280369508891
230355807700
170358417556

Good luck and look forward to seeing what you have in mind.

Bob from Athens said...

Hey Grant go check out Northern
tool they sell the duracell powersource 1800 and they say it has an 60ah agm, rated for 12 hours for a small office or up to 4hours for appliances.

John, thank you for using your site to educate and inform. All too often these days we run into these high pressure tactics to scare us into a buying something like this. Granted it will work but not in the way they are saying.

Winterchill57 said...

So does anyone know what has happened to Ms Belinda?
She used to post on a fairly regular basis and I have not seen her post for sometime now?

Debbie said...

Winterchill57, I enjoy MsBelinda's comments as well. She also posts on Barney's blog (http://ofmadventures.blogspot.com/), and on Billy Bob's Travels, (http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com)/, both very entertaining blogs. Check them out if you haven't already.

Marc said...

I luv my job, but hate where I have to do it. I just want something in the terligua area so I can just move out to my property already and compete with the Field Lab for self sustaining lifestyle. ( good competition)

Is there year around work there, that would put 2,000 grand a month in my pocket? Now remember I am a genius and can do anything but show up to work on time and perform tasks.

looking forward to hear fro anyone.

Ben in Texas said...

Ms Belinda is around I know, I get a post from her on occasion, I think she travels a couple of times a week and has no internet connection. I/we need to talk her into a wi-fi card and get her to start her own blog.

KE5MIL said...

Gitcha one of these hummers...4500watts of pure sign wave for 1500 bones...sup it with wind and your in biz. I'm thinking you can run everthing needed with that kind of head room.
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200359918_200359918

Grant Wagner said...

As a side note, for "backup power" as this device seems to be used for, the panel is a bit of a gimick. Just the battery with a plug in charger will give much of the same benifit with much less cost.

Grant Wagner said...

I stand corrected, I just took a look at that Duracell Powersource that Bob mentioned. This product is now a completely rip.

Winterchill said...

Thanks Debbie and Ben in Texas, I am glad she is okay and I will check those other blogs. I think I may have some of them alreaded linked into my bookmarks but havent gotten there yet.

javieth said...

Solar energy is the best natural resource that we have this time even more that fuel is too expensive. In fact i want to approach costa rica investment opportunities and look all the alternative this country can have because it climate. We must to find the way to save our planet and to use solar energy could be the first step.

Daniel Kelley said...

i like it, thanks & i saw that.. http://www.sumppumpsusa.com/duracell-powersource-1800-sump-pump-backup-system.html
Duracell Powersource 1800

suki lee said...

I am glad to read your post!! pretty informative..thanks for providing such a nice post. Keep sharing more.

solar inverter