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Old 02-05-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default Anyone got one from My Solar Backup?



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I was checking around and the solar back up looks like it might be a good idea.

http://www.mysolarbackup.com/

The price is $1,800 so not cheap but a gas generator will be $500-1,000 so not real far off.

What I am thinking is get one and the most important item will be the solar panels. After SHTF car battery's should be kinda easy to pick up, or I could buy 4-5 before hand. The panel would give you a easy way to charge them up.


ANyone got one of these or looked into them?

I will be using it in case of local power outage to power our blower on the gas furnace and a few lights. That way we have heat and some lights.

Post SHTF it will be used to power a small fridge, lights and other minimal items. Not powering my house.
Old 02-05-2012, 07:10 AM
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They have a dent and ding sale once in a blue moon. I have looked at them several times.. If I had the money I would go for it.. Price is a little high but, All the work is done for you wiith a quality end product(Compact, enclosed).

You could and would probably want to add additional panels and batteries to it. . Once you got it figured out....

If I would of got this unit last yr, at least I would have something ready but, I have been shopping and planning for building myself and see how thats work ing for me I have a box of solar cells, 2 marine batteries, inverter, wire.. Yet have yet to put it all together.. Time and motivation.

I believe the commercials are gimmicky because it's a small (one man?) company trying to be independant and ,not wanting to involve some corporation.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:11 AM
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Spend your money on a real system.
I think much of that $1800 goes for advertising and profit.
There is no comparison between the output of a $1000 gen. and "My Solar Backup".
There are lots of solar companies that will sell a usuable system for that price.
There are cheaper ways to charge a laptop or cell ph. That would be all they are good for IMO.
They show running a small frig. How long will it run? 1/2 hr. on a full charge? How long does it take to charge up the battery? A full day?
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Guy View Post
Spend your money on a real system.
What does that mean?

Am I suppose to build my own?
I don't mind building a system my self I have some knowledge on how to wire it all up. The solar panel might be beyond me not sure I could build that.

Do other companies make those?
Can you name a few?


Or are you saying don't go solar and do gas?
I don't like the idea of running gas as gas is not cheap, are loud and you have to maintain the engine every year to keep it trouble free. A friend of my father raises chickens and many years ago they lost power for 2 weeks, he had to run his generator off his tractor for that time to keep them alive. The cost to do so was huge. Main reason I don't want gas.
Old 02-05-2012, 08:36 AM
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Did find these.

Panel
http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt...:referralID=NA

12v Inverter
http://www.harborfreight.com/750-wat...ter-66817.html

Throw in 4 car batterys, wire, and other odds and ends you should be out for less than $1,000 right? Not sure how long that stuff will run and maybe you can find better quility stuff then the harbor freight for the same price or cheaper.
Old 02-05-2012, 08:38 AM
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If you do a search on this forum, you will see what others have said about My Solar Backup. They list several other companies selling a lot more system for less money. I don't know of anyone that has My Solar Backup that is satisfied.

I believe their web site is very misleading on what it is capable of. If you need to run a frig and freezer several hrs. a day, run a few appliances during a power outage that last a couple of weeks, get a generator.

To get a solar system to run a farm 24/7 would probably run 100's of thousands of dollars.

Spend some time searching the forum. There are plenty of reputable solar companies that will help you put together a system suitable for your needs if you choose to go that route.

I hate to see people get ripped off.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:42 AM
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Default I asked this same question 2 years ago...

I asked this same question 2 years ago...

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=96844

I never bought one because I couldn't find a single review from someone that actually owned it. Seems like someone would have had something to say about this solar generator, but the only reviews I can ever find, are from the people that sell it. Shame, because it does look like a good product.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:49 AM
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Meat Guy thanks for the info. I did a search for the My solar backup but I didn't read every thread just the titles.

There site does look nice and I'm sure the numbers they give for how long things run is a bit high. I don't think this system is for getting people off the grid but to help out.


All I will be using it for is in case of local power outage to power our blower on the gas furnace and a few lights. That way we have heat and some lights.

Post SHTF it will be used to power a small fridge, lights and other minimal items. Not powering my house.
Old 02-05-2012, 09:05 AM
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I looked at the website real quck I was put off by the format. It just seemed a bit to "gimmicky" to me. More like an infomercial than a reputable vendor.

I'm getting ready to build an off grid homestead type of thing so I have been researching a lot of solar from well established and reputable outfits.

Another thing that this system seems to lack is expandability. (I didn't read it that close so I may have missed it) I think by using individual components would allow for that. Also, if something were to break down you would only have to replace THAT part and not the rest.

Backwoodssolar.com has a PDF catalog that you can download for free and it has quite a bit of information in it. I've talk to them on the phone and they seem to be pretty good people.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:32 AM
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Before anyone takes the plunge on something like this, they need to determine their real power demands in a SHTF scenario.

To do that you'll want a device like the Kill-a-Watt, which allows you to determine the power demand of a device.

I am looking at putting in battery backup for a few systems including the heat recovery ventilator I use. My house is extremely well insulated and sealed, but I still need to ventilate it in an emergency. I could open a window, but that defeats the purpose of the ventilator recovering heat.

I ran my ventilator on the Kill-a-Watt. It consumes 110 watts.

What you need to do is figure out the wattage requirements of the systems you want to run (including startup power, as motors will create demand for which you need surge capability in your power system).

Then figure out how many kilowatt hours your system can provide, divide by the usage needs, and you'll know how long it'll be expected to last you.

"Ready-made" systems like the above one rarely seem to provide very much power for the money. Yeah, it's solar, but how many batteries?

FWIW: I'm looking at putting in a system with several deep discharge 12v batteries. I'll buy an inverter from which I can run 120-volt systems like my ventilator, and keep it charged via trickle charger. I'll then look into buying solar panels to keep it charged or to simply recharge it during a SHTF scenario.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:23 AM
Bullets~n~Beans Bullets~n~Beans is offline
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Goose -I just looked at the kill-a-watt and I definately need to pick one up soon. If nothing for else then for my hydro/aquaponics systems. Thanks.
Old 02-05-2012, 10:39 AM
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The research I did seemed to show it being way over-priced for the energy provided.

As a beginning thought, I have friends with (400W-1,000W) inverters they clamp onto their car battery in case of power failure, to run the blower and controls on their gas furnaces. Such inverters can be had for modest prices.

If you wanted to build a dedicated battery bank, four quality deep-cycle batteries will cost you about $300-$600. 250+/- watt solar panels can be had off ebay (unknown quality) for about $500. You will need a charge controller.

Another part of planning is reducing the demand for electricity. This is where CFL and LED light bulbs shine (pun intended). A 100 Watt CFL only uses about 23 watts of power. You could run four of them and use 8 amps of battery power, each hour of use. A battery bank could last you almost a week for just lighting your home. Very seldom do you need continuous lighting in many rooms, so the demand could be much less.

Electricity becomes real expensive when you want to run refrigeration and energy gobbling TVs. Or worse, air conditioning. Are you sure you can't get by with a radio that will run for a week on a handful of D-cell batteries, that can also be pluged in? Very low power demand.

There are those on this site who are planning to use very small generators to charge battery banks, in case of extended cloudiness. For short-term planning (a couple weeks duration), batteries and small generator, with NO solar panels are an option. For those who are planning extremely long or permanent off-grid use, solar has a place.

Back to the OP, you get very little for a lot of money with the product you mentioned.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:01 PM
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I have been using the Kill-A-Watt for yrs. and sold many units to neighbors. We went 2-3 weeks without power during an ice store several yrs. ago. Neighbors were running their tractor generators to fast or slow, not providing proper voltage to their homes and farms.
There was a lot of damage to wells, electrical devices, etc.

Since you are planning to be able to run your blower on your furnace without the grid, you could change the wiring from wired direct, to a duplex outlet and plug. You could monitor the electrical usage with a Kill-A-Watt of your furnace, frig., and whatever you want to run.

One major problem trying to run a furnace blower from solar, is the sun only shines during the day. To provide heat during the night, it will take a large battery bank.

Another problem with solar, is to provide max. power, the panel needs to moved during the day to aim it toward the sun.

For lighting, you could pickup some LED Christmas lights to string around the rooms.
You might want to consider a backup for heating that doesn't require any electricity.

I would guess many of the My Solar Backup units that have been sold, are still in the box. They think it will provide for their needs during an outage.

On their web site, they mention about using it to reduce the electric bill. It probably would only be a few cents a month.

I think the potential for solar and wind energy is great where very little electricity is needed, remote areas where the grid isn't available, backup for communications, etc.
The system needs to be sized for the need.

I live in an area ideal for solar and wind energy, but I haven't seen an affordable unit that will pay for itself. Most are purchased for the government incentive's.

Size the unit to provide for lights plus one other appliance. Run it a few hrs. then plug in another appliance.

Spend some time learning all you can before putting the money down.
Old 02-05-2012, 04:08 PM
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For $1800 you can buy a good 7-8KW generator and enough fuel to run it for several weeks continuous.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:01 PM
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My vote goes to build your own.

You need 4 main components:

Solar Panels
Batteries
Charge Controller
Inverter

Generators require fuel which cannot be stored long term, and make a lot of noise, so if you can keep your power requirements low (1 small efficient fridge and some lighting) I think panels are the way to go.

If your going to be using a lot of power (lets say 20kwh a day), not very often (lets say only if there is a disaster, or 3 days a year) then panels probably are not really viable and you need a generator.
Old 02-05-2012, 08:17 PM
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Just for general information, most solar panels only produce about 70%-80% of their rated output. So you need to keep that in mind when determining what size your panels need to be to meet your actual power demand.
Old 02-05-2012, 08:45 PM
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JMO but, if you don't have a problem of spending $1,800 on a (POS in my opinion) system which will not do much.

Think about spending another $400 to by an 8 KW natural gas backup generator.
8 KW is more power than you will get out of that my solar backup POS.

Here are some links for you: http://www.generac.com/Residential/G...n_Series_8_kW/
Here is a site that sells the system for $2,204 and has free freight shipping in the lower 48. http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....enerators.html

You can even buy them at Home Depot for $2,249 with free shipping if they don't have them in-store. http://www.homedepot.com/Generac/Gen...&storeId=10051

I have three sets of the Harbor freight 45 watt solar pannels. I paid $150 for two of the sets, and $160 for the other one. I have a Xantrax 1000 watt inverter. don't buy the Harbor Freight inverters, they are crap. I have six 12v deep cycle batteries, = 450 amp hours, but they are not the best batteries, I bought them at Walmart, $70 each.
My system is for extreem back up only, to run a blower fan on a wood furnace in my shop, and it will also run a deep freezer. But that is all I wanted it to do.

For what you want / need, either get a good solar system, or buy the standby generator.

If I had the extra cash burning a hole in my pocket, I would get an 8 or 10 KW Generac.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:48 PM
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Im no electrician, but everything I have heard and seen suggest that these panels would be "nice extras" to have as an absolute last resort. Seems to take a l o n g time to charge anything.
Old 02-05-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Warrior View Post
JMO but, if you don't have a problem of spending $1,800 on a (POS in my opinion) system which will not do much.

Think about spending another $400 to by an 8 KW natural gas backup generator.
8 KW is more power than you will get out of that my solar backup POS.

Here are some links for you: http://www.generac.com/Residential/G...n_Series_8_kW/
Here is a site that sells the system for $2,204 and has free freight shipping in the lower 48. http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....enerators.html

You can even buy them at Home Depot for $2,249 with free shipping if they don't have them in-store. http://www.homedepot.com/Generac/Gen...&storeId=10051

I have three sets of the Harbor freight 45 watt solar pannels. I paid $150 for two of the sets, and $160 for the other one. I have a Xantrax 1000 watt inverter. don't buy the Harbor Freight inverters, they are crap. I have six 12v deep cycle batteries, = 450 amp hours, but they are not the best batteries, I bought them at Walmart, $70 each.
My system is for extreem back up only, to run a blower fan on a wood furnace in my shop, and it will also run a deep freezer. But that is all I wanted it to do.

For what you want / need, either get a good solar system, or buy the standby generator.

If I had the extra cash burning a hole in my pocket, I would get an 8 or 10 KW Generac.
How long does it take to charge your batteries with solar? The Generac is natural gas correct? How long do you think gas would flow during a major event?
Old 02-05-2012, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Coast Woods View Post
How long does it take to charge your batteries with solar? The Generac is natural gas correct? How long do you think gas would flow during a major event?
I have yet to set up all three sets of the pannels, so I cannot give you an exact time for recharge. I have tested the system out with two sets of the pannels set up. The batteries were fully charged, (actually 12.8 v) and I run the Earth Log Furnace for ten hours straight. The weather was mostly overcast with intermittent sun. After 10 hours use the battery bank voltage was just under 11 volts. It performed as I expected.

The Generac back up generators run on natural gas or propane. Check their site and click on the generator specs.

I have a 5 KW (6.5 KW surge) Generac gasoline generator, I like it.
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