As part of our off-grid solar series, we’re looking for bare-bones options for the charger and inverter components to meet the minimum requirements of driving a 70 watt freezer, 24/7 if possible. We recently tested a Bestek 300W Pure Sine 12V Inverter, shown to the right. Although this unit failed to drive the freezer, it is still worth reviewing in detail. Also, review our previous inverter article in the off-grid solar series for important background information regarding inverters in general.
The unit is small, light and fairly rugged, so we wouldn’t think twice about tossing it in the trunk or the tire well and forgetting about it until it is needed. While we wouldn’t chock the wheels with it, it isn’t a glass slipper, either, but rugged enough to be comforting. The small size and light weight caused us to suspect that it wouldn’t be able to handle the promised surges, though. This turned out to be the case.
» ( Read more of Product Review, Bestek 300W Pure Sine 12V Inverter… )
In previous articles here, here, and here, we’ve been discussing our off-grid solar power system we used during Hurricane Matthew. We also gave an overview of solar panel and lead-acid battery principles. While there is much more to discuss regarding batteries, including alternative battery technologies, let’s skip ahead to the inverter, which is the tip of the off-grid power spear. However, some features of inverters are often misunderstood, or obscured by clever marketing claims.
» ( Read more of Ground Solar, Part IV, The Inverter… )
Saturday’s post about chargers mentioned that our sponsor SoftBaugh might be able to get pricing that would beat Amazon pricing for some items. Here are the latest quotes SoftBaugh is able to provide (in all cases, ground shipping to US locations is included):
Midnite Solar Classic Lite 150 MPPT Charge Controller: SoftBaugh can offer this item for $689. Note that this item has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Outback, SmartHarvest MPPT Charge Controller, 10A, 100VDC SCCM10-100: SoftBaugh can offer this item for $99.
Outback, SmartHarvest MPPT Charge Controller, 20A, 100VDC, SCCM20-100: SoftBaugh can offer this item for $149.
More from SoftBaugh about these offers:
The distributor has a limited number of these items available, and orders will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Click this link for contact information for SoftBaugh. We are working on the ability to handle custom orders online, but for now these special orders will have to be processed manually. Although a reasonable effort will be made to verify stock exists before a card is charged, if a credit card is charged and inventory is depleted, the credit card will be refunded and we’ll give you a 5% coupon toward the purchase of any of our normal catalog items.