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Old 12-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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Go Power! Solar Kits

Hello! I have been lurking around this board for inspiration and ideas on my recently started conversion of a 2008 Chevy Express 3500 extended cargo van. I've been researching electrical systems for the past few weeks and I recently came across a company called Go Power! that sells solar kits for rv's.

I am very interested in this package

I did a search but could not find any other threads discussing this company and their products. This package appeals to me as it meets my power needs and since I am a noob when it comes to electrical stuff. I like the idea buying all my gear from one company that has it all laid out for me and can offer support if problems occur (vs buying all the components individually and doing my best to piece them together properly).

I am hoping people here can give me some perspective on this company, the quality of their products, their price point etc

Do you guys think this is a good product and a good company? Over-priced? It retails for around $1600
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: Go Power! Solar Kits

It looks sorta like it's OK, but hard to tell. Whether it's worth it depends on whether you need all that stuff. If you are having someone install it for you I'd recommend you consult with them before you buy it. By way of comparison you can get a Kyocera 180 watt panel for $300 from http://www.solar-electric.com; they're a very popular supplier for PV and RV folks. And you can get a 200W inverter from HarborFreight for $160 even before using a coupon. So not sure about the value.

Rob
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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Re: Go Power! Solar Kits

That deal looks ok. You might look at components, though, to get the best quality/price combo. Costco has good 100W monocrystalline solar panels for $190 shipped and a 1500W modified sine wave inverter for ~$140. If you need a pure sine wave inverter (if you want to power electronics) and want the best, Xantrex is expensive but if you add to the above solar you're probably still ahead. For a charge controller, look on eBay and find a Blue Sky MPPT unit. It will give you a lot more power so you can spend less on panels.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: Go Power! Solar Kits

Awesome thanks for the advice! My thinking has begun to match yours in the past few days. The go power is a nice all in one solution but I like your suggestions better. Thanks again.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: Go Power! Solar Kits

I've been doing some shopping around and have been considering this inverter.

http://www.amazon.com/TN-1500-112F-INVE ... B005T7NWH2

It's a 1500w pure sine wave inverter that also has a 30 amp solar charger and an AC charger. This thing looks to be almost perfect for my van conversion. It gives me 1500w pure sine wave, the ability to add solar and the ability to plug into AC power when available.

Then I saw this thread discussing the pros and cons of this unit

http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/showthr ... x-inverter

The two most legitimate concerns that I saw were that the AC charger only charges @ 5.5 amps (ie you would still need a battery charger to recharge quickly) and that the solar charger is not MPPT.

But since I don't have any hands on experience with 12 volt electrical and solar systems I'm not sure how much these concerns will matter for me. I really like the idea of knocking out essentially 3 birds with one stone for $600 (inverter, solar charger and shore power hook up) but I wonder if the fact that the solar charger isn't MPPT makes a huge difference. How much would this matter in terms of performance and the types of solar panels I could choose from?

If I don't get this inverter I will probably go with something like Xantrex prowatt 2000 in which case investing in solar will take a back seat for now. But if the solar charger on this unit is adequate to keep my system topped off with say 1-2 of those 100w panels from costco you mentioned then maybe I'll go ahead and get solar now.

So far my basic electrical setup will be 2 6V golf cart batteries in series (~220 AH) to run lights, laptop, a modest sound system, a small Dometic fridge/freezer and a water pump. I want to be able to use these 4-6 hours everyday and be as independent as possible through solar and charging from the alternator.

Basically hoping someone can clue me in on the MPPT vs non-mppt or any other reason why I shouldn't buy this inverter.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
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Re: Go Power! Solar Kits

It doesn't sound like you're doing a super fancy solar installation; with the amount of watts you're using and your needs a non-MPPT would probably work. The benefit of the MPPT is that it doesn't depend on the battery voltage, and if it's cold and clear, for example, it could stick more power more quickly into the batteries. But with 100 watts, even a good 15% increase in efficiency isn't gonna make a ton of difference. Maybe if you relied on it and sat in one spot for a long time, since then you'd multiple that increase over several days.

And there's cost; I seem to recall they're quite a bit more expensive.
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