What we hate to see

From an actual advertisement:

55W Solar Back Up Kit
Price: $259.99
Item Number: *******
# Works in all daylight conditions, even on cloudy days
# Perfect for cabins, recreational vehicles, remote power, back-up power, 12V battery charging and more, this kit comes with everything you need to start producing up to 60W/4A of clean, free power in all weather conditions


Doesn't work well on cloudy days, but technically it functions.

How does a 55 Watt panel produce "60W" of power? And 4 Amps @ 12 Volts is 48 Watts. Make up your minds! You'd be doing good to get 40 Watts out of this.

"Perfect" is it? Is that a guarantee?

That price is fairly ridiculous too (picture shows a lot of wiring bits, what may be a charge controller, and possibly an inverter - both likely to be junk). If it produces "free" power, why does it cost money?

People get suckered in by this hyperbole and then they come here and ask "why doesn't this work?". :grr
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Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    yea but, they wouldn't sell as many of them if they said the system is limited to the amount of charge in the battery and that if drained more than 50% could degrade the life of the battery ading that the loads would be limited in the watts drawn and for a limited time.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Forgot to add: battery not included!
    There's no mention of batteries at all.

    This is how people get mislead into wasting their money. Such things give the whole solar industry a bad rep.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    Kit includes:(3) 18.3 Watt solar panels,...

    Sounds like a real winner.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Brings to mind a guy I know. Was proudly bragging to me for several years about the 1000 watt solar system he has at his camp. Well I finally got to see it last year. I was shocked to see a single 45 watt panel mounted on a bracket on the end of his camp, looking out between the trees. Turns out his MSW inverter was marked in big print: "1000 WATT".
    I kept my mouth shut and let him dream on. And no, I didn't stay for tea.
  • SlappySlappy Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    at least he was partly right about the 1000 watts. :)
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Another great advertisement from the local Craigslist:

    MONO vs POLY SOLAR

    MONO CELLS ARE DARK IN COLOR, POLY CELLS ARE LIGHTER BLUE AND SHOW MULTIPLE CRYSTAL FORMATIONS ON THEIR SURFACE.

    MONO CRYSTAL CELLS ARE MORE EFFICIENT THAN POLY CRYSTAL CELLS
    AND WILL GIVE BETTER PERFORMANCE IN ALL CONDITIONS INCLUDING CLOUDY DAYS WITH LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS.
    THIS ADD GETS FLAGGED REPEATEDLY AS THERE ARE THOSE WHO DO NOT WISH THE INFO TO BE KNOWN


    (Actually the ad gets flagged repeatedly because it's spam.)
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Craigslist...where ignorance is bliss (for the seller).

    I listed my 5kw Subaru diesel genset on Kijiji. The only responses I received were harrassing and accusatory. "they shouldn't cost that much, you're lying about what you paid", blah blah blah. Those with the least Google-fu skills (me included) could look up the MSRP for cheap junk compared to good equipment instead of being a nit-wit. Lesson learned.

    Ralph
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    crap like that tends to go with the territory in placing ads anywhere. weed them out is all you can do.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    From another local ad:

    50W SOLAR POWER SYSTEM - $275
    12 amp charge controller, 20ft UV cable
    4 Z brackets for mounting,
    50w mono crystal panel with MC-4 type connectors, NEW


    Would someone please explain why you'd need a 12 Amp charge controller on a 50 Watt panel? :confused:
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    Would someone please explain why you'd need a 12 Amp charge controller on a 50 Watt panel? :confused:

    Sorry Coot, No Can Do. Hahahaha
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,828 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Well it cant be said that they sold you an incomplete system....:cool::cool:
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,769 admin
    Re: What we hate to see

    It has room to grow...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dhsoladhsola Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: What we hate to see

    Saw a "portable" setup at a local box store recently. I noticed they had glued the charge controller to the white Tedlar backing on the backside of one of the panels. Maybe they could have also glued a computer fan to the controller to reduce the temp at the controllers temp sensor. ;) Oh wait.. too many pretzels in that pretzel logic..

    The two panels had some nice hinges attached to them though. ;)
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Actually a 12a charge controller is not that silly an idea . The cost between it and a 6a one is very small, and if the supplier bought them in bulk may have got a good deal and got them at about same price. or mabe less? Also it makes it a lot easier to add another 50w panel to the system.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    From one POV I agree with you, John; he's selling what he's got. But that doesn't make it the right choice. The General Public will look at this and think it means they get 12 Amps out of a 50 Watt panel. Trust me; I know. Then someone (like me) gets to explain to them (for hours) about how it really works.

    Rather like the companies that sell 10 kW 12 Volt inverters. Obviously that must be better than a mere 2 kW one, right? It's got more "kW"s (whatever they are). :roll: Big numbers impress people.
  • kenputerkenputer Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: What we hate to see
    Brings to mind a guy I know. Was proudly bragging to me for several years about the 1000 watt solar system he has at his camp. Well I finally got to see it last year. I was shocked to see a single 45 watt panel mounted on a bracket on the end of his camp, looking out between the trees. Turns out his MSW inverter was marked in big print: "1000 WATT".
    I kept my mouth shut and let him dream on. And no, I didn't stay for tea.

    Wow!! what a big help you are....not... you could have took the time to explain exactly what he really had. maybe over a beer :-)
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    kenputer wrote: »
    Wow!! what a big help you are....not... you could have took the time to explain exactly what he really had. maybe over a beer :-)

    Oh, I don't know, I think I'd let him be. In a way, he does have a 1000-watt system. It can provide a surge of 1000 watts.

    If he's happy, I'm not going to burst his bubble. If his wife says he has the body of a 30-year-old, but my medical opinion is more towards 70, I'd keep my mouth shut, too.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    kenputer wrote: »
    Wow!! what a big help you are....not... you could have took the time to explain exactly what he really had. maybe over a beer :-)

    Hahahaha Well I learned a long time ago never to argue with someone who thinks they've forgotten far more than I'll ever know. lol I like to walk softly and carry a big stick, so to speak. Who knows, some day he may show up at my place and I'll have a chance to see his jaw hit the ground when I show him my 1000 watt system and what it does every day. In the meantime I enjoy seeing him being happy in his ignorance :D:D
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Wayne, I've certainly forgotten more than I'll ever know so ....
    Wait; that's not what you said, is it? :confused:
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Its kinda like the computer add on speakers you see advertised.. 3500w. pmpo. And when you look on the back of the box it says .2a and 240v. When you show someone that has them even a 600w 15" driver and show how big and heavy it is and only 600w. They just look blankly at you and really dont understand.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    Wayne, I've certainly forgotten more than I'll ever know so ....
    Wait; that's not what you said, is it? :confused:
    Hahahahahaha Confused. lol
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    john p wrote: »
    Its kinda like the computer add on speakers you see advertised.. 3500w. pmpo. And when you look on the back of the box it says .2a and 240v. When you show someone that has them even a 600w 15" driver and show how big and heavy it is and only 600w. They just look blankly at you and really dont understand.

    Oh so true! I remember many years ago Sears had a "150 watt" stereo in their catalogue. They had a * beside the power rating and when we looked at the bottom of the page and found * there, it said "Truth in advertising. Our 150 watts, is actually 2.5 watts RMS." Hahahaha At least they were honest back then.
    Now they no longer putting the little "Truth" messages in their advertising. One of these days I'm going to buy one of those 5 HP compressors that only consume 800 watts. I'll be able to have it run an air driven generator that will run the compressor and have power left over to run my electric stove. Turkey dinner anyone?
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Saw this on the Vermont Craig's list today:
    CALLING ALL DO IT YOURSELFERS YOU CAN INSTALL SOLAR YOURSELF THIS WEEKEND AND SAVE OVER 50% OFF YOUR ELECTRIC BILL FOR LESS THAN 100 BUCKS
    WE DID IT AND WANTED TO SHARE WHERE TO GET IT
    EMAIL FOR WEBSITE AS CRAIGSLIST WOUNT ALLOW US TO POST IT AND THE UTILITY COMPANYS KEEP FLAGGING OUR POST
    :roll: It looks like Craig's List is now in on the conspiracy to keep us from getting cheap, safe, reliable power. :roll:
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Saw this on the Vermont Craig's list today:

    :roll: It looks like Craig's List is now in on the conspiracy to keep us from getting cheap, safe, reliable power. :roll:

    Darn those utility companies! They employ all those people to sit around all day flagging Craigslist posts that contain the secrets to saving energy!

    Dollars to donuts this is one of those whole-house PF correcting capacitors that does absolutely nothing.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    Dollars to donuts this is one of those whole-house PF correcting capacitors that does absolutely nothing.
    They make solar PF correcting capacitors now? :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    inetdog wrote: »
    They make solar PF correcting capacitors now? :-)

    Sure! The secret is in the tantalum foil! :p
  • kokki33kokki33 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: What we hate to see

    Well it cant be said that they sold you an incomplete system
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see

    Sears still publishes a catalog?
    Oh so true! I remember many years ago Sears had a "150 watt" stereo in their catalogue. They had a * beside the power rating and when we looked at the bottom of the page and found * there, it said "Truth in advertising. Our 150 watts, is actually 2.5 watts RMS." Hahahaha At least they were honest back then.
    Now they no longer putting the little "Truth" messages in their advertising. One of these days I'm going to buy one of those 5 HP compressors that only consume 800 watts. I'll be able to have it run an air driven generator that will run the compressor and have power left over to run my electric stove. Turkey dinner anyone?
  • dataman19dataman19 Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: What we hate to see

    I read this whole thread...
    Eyes feel like a deer staring at on coming headlamps...
    Seriously... Craigslist is terrible (on this I wholeheartedly stand on my soap box and shout "I AGRREE!!).
    ..
    Everytime we post anything on Craigslist we get a lot ofr SPAm - even when we use the craigslist link for reply's (which generated ten times more spam that when we put our real email into the ad...
    ..
    Deer staring at headlights...
    That short remark says it all...
    Dave
    Phoenix, AZ.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What we hate to see
    dataman19 wrote: »
    ..
    Deer staring at headlights...

    screeeeech.

    why are his antlers back there?:p couldn't resist.:-)
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