State of the [big sinewave] art? Consensus, opinionated rants, etc. invited...

Ecnerwal Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
I have been churning for several years - some of you will know me from other forums, or usenet, which I got chopped off from (the alt.* groups, anyway) by verizon some months ago. I've been going at the power system question for at 3.5 - 4 years, with the timeframe more due to lack of money when I started on it, and other demands on my time both related and unrelated to the construction of the place it's to go. The good side of that is the money accumulated in the meantime (I can save, and I did.)

I do have many generator bases covered at the moment, but the solar system is almost completely a figure in a bank account. Offgrid, diesel backup, gas backup-backup, some large loads that will call for the backup, the winter in not so sunny SW Vermont also calling for backup (and heat recovery from the generator coolant into the building heating system - probably from the exhaust as well). Starting with 2KW of Evergreen "B" panels and either 8 or 16 S530's per my current refinement of the shopping list. PV will probably gradually expand as time and money allow, battery might get bigger when I kill the first one.

Shortly after I started my research, some years ago, I was fairly sure that I'd end up with either a pair of Outback VFX3648's or Outback FX3048s - everybody loves the customer service, and the technology was way ahead of Xantrex. Coming back to it now, the XW stuff is making me rethink that in a big way, particularly since it comes out cheaper as a whole system (120/240 and up to code with all the bits and boxes needed) of similar capacity (the XW6048 on Xantrex's side of the table), and offers some features that Outback apparently does not want to touch (such as generator and inverter working together to support big loads). Commentary on their customer service is more mixed still, from what I see.

On the third hand there's Magnum, about which I don't know much, and a few other brands (though, for instance, sunny-boy seems to have a dedication to the grid that makes their off-grid option severely overpriced, imo)

Opinions solicited. :roll: Informed opinions would be nice ;)

Cats, coffee, chocolate...Vices to live by.