Solar Hype

WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
Recently there has been a ton of hype about solar and wind, and it seems like every day a new company is starting up to sell systems that will "spin your meter backwards".

And recently we have been getting more and more emails and calls about many of these systems, such as a combo wind/solar panel system that is supposed to produce 600 to 1000 kwh per month. In actual fact, a buyer is getting around 1/20th of that. http://freetexaselectricity.com/Services.html

There are some good reliable companies out there (like us), but there are also a lot of new companies that to be blunt, don't have a clue, or or outright scams.

Be careful out there...

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,769 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    Got to love that Texas company:
    The Free Texas Electricity wind and solar system is so efficient you only need wind speed of 5-7 MPH, just enough for the wind turbine to turn. The solar panel doesn't require direct sunlight, just daylight!

    You don't need to even mount the solar panel in direct sunlight! A full shade solar panel--cool. :p

    Boy--I bet this system will generate enough power to recharge my 1 LED flashlight with their minimum recommended installation (panel in shade, 5-7 mph winds).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    hmmm. i wonder what the payback period is for that and will it run my car?:cry::p
  • WillWinstonWillWinston Solar Expert Posts: 45
    Re: Solar Hype

    I would call this outright fraud
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    Interesting article on all the new companies getting into solar with no experience.
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    http://freetexaselectricity.com/ comes up as "go daddy" parked site.

    Looks like you shut the site down. You get an atta boy.
  • TOMMYB1TOMMYB1 Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Solar Hype

    Yes ! The same goes true here in some Colorado areas. We have outfits going
    around trying to get people to buy their solar systems and really don't have a clue how to install them.

    What amazes me is a lot of people are actually buying them. And then finding out after its to late.;)
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: Solar Hype

    You get a fast talking vacuum cleaner or home siding salesman going and often he can get a contract signed before he leaves the house. He has to because if the people have time to think they most likely won't sign.

    İ am totally against 'in home' sales - the cooling off period many states have helps but it is not enough.

    The customer is fed all sorts of junk about saving the country from: 1) imported oil, 2) CO2, 3) global warming etc - etc

    They will have some fool movie star/TV personality/politician (Ed Begley/Gore) swearing how wonderful something like this is -
  • JayWesJayWes Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Solar Hype

    Hey, the big deal here is the little black box that lowers the power. It consists of a Capacitor. and it indeeds lowers the current going to a motor by a good pecentage. Nobody tells them that raising power factor will save some small amout of energy (due to reducing voltage drop) but not the 20 % claim. :roll:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,769 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    JayWes,

    We have had a few discussion about the motor run capacitor in a box...

    Here is a Google Search of the forum for Power Save 1200.

    And yes, the way they are advertised and the prices they charge--it is a scam for homeowners.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar Hype
    Windsun wrote: »
    Recently there has been a ton of hype about solar and wind, and it seems like every day a new company is starting up to sell systems that will "spin your meter backwards".

    That's weird, someone I know from the elctric company told me that meters cannot spin backwards (at least the older ones), but who to trust? Anyone heard of companies selling AC solar panels that don't require an electrician or is that a stupid question? I've been searching but can't find much info.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype
    Windsun wrote: »
    Recently there has been a ton of hype about solar and wind, and it seems like every day a new company is starting up to sell systems that will "spin your meter backwards".

    That's weird, someone I know from the elctric company told me that meters cannot spin backwards (at least the older ones), but who to trust? Anyone heard of companies selling AC solar panels that don't require an electrician or is that a stupid question? I've been searching but can't find much info.

    some meters can spin backwards.

    when you grid tie pvs it may not need an electrician, but it would need inspected and approved at the very least and some states require that a state certified installer put it in.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,828 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    with PV prices dropping fast, hopefully this guy will be cut out of the loop...

    earth4energy dot con

    poor devils that fall for this one
     
    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
  • SteveKSteveK Solar Expert Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    westbranch, your stored messages will not allow me to respond to your PM.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,828 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    Steve, fixed it..
    e
     
    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
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    The other day i was searching through solar panels on amazon and found a company selling what they claim is a 120-volt AC panel. I don't know much about solar (obviously) but they say the panel can be plugged into a standard outside wall outlet because it has a UL compliant micro-inverter attached which shuts off in the event of a power failure as to not backfeed, is this true? Has anyone heard of the company (SpinRay Energy), i'd like to know more? I looked at their website briefly, but the neon colors were killing my eyes!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,769 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    Don't know about the company you asked about... But solar panels + micro GT inverters have been around for a while.

    There is some concern about warranty/lifetime issues (25 year panel, 10-20 year or so warranty on gt micro inverters), but nothing that is out of the ordinary when talking about Grid Tied Solar.

    Company says product is UL/TUV approved. Assuming it is the "correct approvals/Listing" for solar GT--They seem to be OK to look at.

    They claim to be installing the micro converters themselves--You could do that too--just buy panels + inverters as needed. Just check out the pricing (including shipping+insurance to your front door-->135 watt solar panels can cost an arm and a leg to ship unless you buy a pallet load at a time).

    As always, there are still building permits and utility approvals required before you start the job and inspections after you finish. The AC/DC thing does not really affect the big picture.

    And installing a few GT panels "legally" may not be cost effective in many cases (costs of permits, electrician, in my state, we have different utility billing plans which can make small solar GT install bills actually go up with Time of Use metering requirements).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    These guys? http://spinrayenergy.com/products/solarpanels.html

    I think they are playing a bit loose with plug and play. The UL approval has to be with a permitted and designed grid tie setup connected into the mains panel. Also most utilities require a interconnect approval for solar production. I see no reference to adding a 120V plug to these and applying it to a household outlet. Be aware that if you connect these to a household outlet and you place burns down your insurance company may not pay, and certainly Spin Ray will not be liable.

    BTW $950 for a 240 watt panel and micro inverter is pretty darn expensive.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    I think i'm going to buy one of their panels/kits, they (spinray) call it a DeckPower120. According to them, the UL and NEC compliance is real, and it can be plugged into a standard dedicated electrical recepticle safely. As long as it is properly grounded and connected how they recommend, the local wiring inspector has to sign off on it because it is fully compliant. They also did mention most utilities require a simplified interconnection agreement, but once again since the product is UL and NEC compliant/listed, it would be approved as long as the local wiring inspector is satisfied with it. The price at first seemed high, but I looked into their claim and they are the ONLY company selling a UL listed solar kit producing 120-volts of plug & play AC power. I'll write again after I get mine set up and running :)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,769 admin
    Re: Solar Hype

    Just to calrify, the poster "Jack Garfield Jr." posts from the same IP Addresses as the person "Justin Chew" that started this thread (who claims to work for SpinRay):

    Solarpaneltalk.com --Disagreement--


    At this point, spreading information about "plug in GT solar" that is not correct (different utility meters behave differently when "back-fed" power). Some spin backwards, some do not spin backwards, some meters "call home" to the utility and report about an illegal installation.

    As far as I can tell from working with the NEC and UL/NRTL's, there is no way a "plug in system will ever be safe or legal"--SpinRay has joined the "Solar Hype/Green Washing" club.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    Busted. Is that the ban hammer I hear?
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Volvo FarmerVolvo Farmer Solar Expert Posts: 209 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    If a GT plug-in inverter blows up, does all the smoke go up your backside? :D
  • Justin ChewJustin Chew Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: Solar Hype

    Once again, wow, linking up identical IP addresses, brilliant! If I was that concerned about it I would have used multiple IP addresses. Spreading incorrect info on plug in GT solar is you, not me. The fact that there are different types of utility meters that behave differently when back fed has NOTHING to do with our product, that's obvious to anyone. We talk about the utility side of things (as far as interconnection) on our website if you bother to actually read it, which I won't mention by name because I've been told that i'm a shill for the company about a dozen times since yesterday. "as far as you can tell there is no way a plug in system will ever be safe or legal" huh? Well I guess you know everything then, right? I've already stated that the NEC has not caught up with GT solar plug and play and that we are in the process of working to rewrite/update it but obviously it takes some time, they don't update the NEC everytime someone asks. It also doesn't say in the NEC that it can't be done, because there is nothing in the NEC about this type of plug in system. That's why we state to use the NEC approved way to connect it, also on the website if anyone bothered to look, as well as safety info, because people also say this thing will burn their house down or kill them. Ridiculous. And don't worry, I know that everything here is 'spreading lies" according to you and others so don't bother to reply with bs reasons this product is useless/deadly/stupid/illegal or fake. If you feel that way, then I don't care anymore what your opinion is because you obviously don't respect me or treat me fairly. It's funny how everytime I respond with corrections to bs people are saying, people make up new bs, and then I respond to that and mysteriously the thread gets locked when people get sick of thinking of more excuses. What a joke! I'll be looking into starting a new forum site that doesn't bash people, and the people here that locked my posts or banned me will be blocked. Obviously there is nothing wrong with questions and back and forth, but some people here are so rude and childish it's ridiculous. Peace.

    BB. wrote: »
    Just to calrify, the poster "Jack Garfield Jr." posts from the same IP Addresses as the person "Justin Chew" that started this thread (who claims to work for SpinRay):

    Solarpaneltalk.com --Disagreement--


    At this point, spreading information about "plug in GT solar" that is not correct (different utility meters behave differently when "back-fed" power). Some spin backwards, some do not spin backwards, some meters "call home" to the utility and report about an illegal installation.

    As far as I can tell from working with the NEC and UL/NRTL's, there is no way a "plug in system will ever be safe or legal"--SpinRay has joined the "Solar Hype/Green Washing" club.

    -Bill
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,203 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype
    ...but some people here are so rude and childish it's ridiculous. Peace.

    Something we can agree about!

    So;

    Tell us your inverter requires an input of 120 volts and a sine wave to sync to before it will output any current, then tell us why it's better than The Trace microsine from 1999, since it was the same?

    Tell us how you get around a ground mount without running wire in conduit?

    Tell us how you get around backfeeding a single curuit making more than the rated power available? possibly over loading existing wires and defeating breakers safety?

    Ready for discussion, I'm out of crackers...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • Justin ChewJustin Chew Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: Solar Hype

    One quick addition...my response was directed only at certain forum people who have been rude to me, not people of this forum in general. I'm not here to make enemies, but some people seem to want that. When I have more info on codes i'll post an update, but until then it's not worth it because some people will never believe without proof in their hand, so until then let's all tone down the rhetoric please and stop bashing a product before it is at least given the chance to unveil itself with all question answered 8)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    Ok folks,, we are by my count on the third thread on this topic. I politely ask that we not continue on this thread, unless and until real, new information comes forth. Specifically, Justin has made it clear how he feels about his product, but until he can produce NEC chapters that allow such an installation, and complete UL listing info for his products, there can be no value in proceeding further. So fair warning,, if this continues, these posts will be deleted, and what ever other action that myself, the administrator and the other mods decide is needed!

    We can disagree without being disagreeable, but one very disagreeable trait is beating a dead horse!

    Nuff said?

    Tony

    Justin/Jack Posting with multiple names, one proclaiming "not to be selling anything" the other being your post #19 on this thread both stretches the limits of credulity about "not selling something" but also leaves you further suspect as to the veracity of your claims about the products that you are "not" selling.

    T
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Hype

    justin,
    at this point i think you should drop all discussion about your plug in inverter systems unless you can quell the safety concerns of those in the forum. you may continue to post, but i am going to say for you to not go into any aspect of your company or its products as well as any of the claims you are failing to prove. there are many aspects of solar you can ask questions on or try to help people on without dragging the controversy to here that started in another forum. if it is a matter of time for you to reveal that proof then you've got that time and you will be forbidden from pushing the matter until you can give this proof to the members on this forum. this is fair as it is exactly what you have asked for. i don't want to see you bring this up again until then or you will be banned for trying to market products on this forum that is not allowed to be done here whether they are certified or not. btw, when you think you have this proof you can run it past the mods and administrators here of it first and if you bypass us and it turns out to be no proof or inconclusive that you run the risk for an instant ban.

    participate and contribute in a positive manner and all will be fine. i don't want to see any chaos or troubles emanating from you. do keep in mind that it is the moderators and administrators of this forum that determine the validity of proofs or conduct and not you. another stipulation shall be for you to use 1 username regardless if at the same ip address or not as multiple usernames is a ploy for marketing and we will automatically ban you if we see this again from you.

    this is not harsh or unfair if you are coming from the good direction you say you are and this is my warning to you so take heed of it. as it is you have shown us enough to ban you for marketing tactics on this forum and you have not been contributing in any way other than to argue over your products' validity and argue over supposed treatments you have gotten on other forums which we don't care about for we had nothing to do with it.

    as you now you have an imposed restriction on your activity here as a 2nd chance to you, this thread will now be locked to insure that this won't be dragged up again by its continuance. if we receive proofs the thread may then be reopened.

    to the membership- do not drag this up either as that is baiting him to participate and would be unfair to his being given the opportunity for a 2nd chance.
This discussion has been closed.