The owners of DC Solar, pleaded guilty today to charges related to a billion dollar Ponzi scheme

westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭


they sold   mobile solar generator units (MSG), solar generators that were mounted on trailers that were promoted as able to provide emergency power to cellphone towers and lighting at sporting events,

BUT NONE EXISTED...


 
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,
Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
West Chilcotin, BC, Canada

Comments

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 688 ✭✭✭✭
    I backed away from these people when I was asked for battery pricing based on large numbers. When discussions got into the details, they became vague and didn't seem to understand batteries - and they wanted very long payment terms. As I recall, they did build trailers and they decided to use the bottom of the barrel UPG batteries.
    I guess if you are going to defraud people, you might as well go big.
    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • dakleindaklein Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited February 10 #3
    First post here, and this a perfect topic to chime in on.   :)      It's very interesting to read the plea statements.

    I brought home a 2016 vin trailer from the Jan auction, and it looks like my trailer was put together in 4/2018 based on an inspection tag I found in it.  Everything seemed to work as intended, I charged the car from it a couple times, for a few hours while the sun was mostly out, trying not to kick the teeth out of the cold FLA batteries.   It looked like about 500 still left at the Vegas track location, and they are all the 2016 vin trailers.

    The batteries are certainly heavy, 1900# each, flooded forklift batteries from Exide.  http://www2.exide.com/us/en/product-solutions/motive-power/product/tubular-lmx-batteries.aspx  I'm not sure they ever saw any use other than being charged by the panels, I think the trailer was just stored since then.   The charge controller had put out lifetime 700 kWhr.  The water level was a little low, below the top of the plates at least, I put in 8 gallons to get it 1/4 to 1/2 of the head space filled.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/KfxtsK2CFaYrA75B6       The batteries were fun to unload, jacked from underneath and rolled out on bars.   

    I have taken everything except the panel frame off the trailer now, and it all looks legit and well done for the most part.  As legit as a mobile solar generator can be.   more pictures:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/qbVKkST35cJAB9Zc9

    Minor build details I can find fault with:    A crimp on an Anderson connector in the 2/0 negative battery cable was loose enough to pull the cable out of it.  The positive lead from the solar CC goes to the positive cable of the battery (good), however, the path the second battery for the charge current has to go through 2 Anderson connectors in the battery paralleling Y cable.  So that did result in the second battery not receiving as much charge, at least in the recent marginal solar conditions when I was playing with it, not getting up into float.  After disconnecting the parallel cable, the rear battery OCV was 50.5,  while the front was 52.3v,  this was at 35 dF battery temp.

    In the last auction, most of the plain solar trailers went for 3400-4000.  If you drive one home, try the panel racks so they don't shake, and I would also wedge 1" foam blocks behind the panels backs to keep the panel glass from flexing constantly in the wind.

    I'll start setting it up in the garage, as a battery backup system for the house.  I'll post elsewhere here with some questions and looking for advice on details of the system.

    Dale,   SE Michigan
    4.7 kW rooftop grid-tied Enphase M190s (about 1/3 original survivors still, have replaced and re-replaced the rest), 21x SolarWorld 225W
    2.6 kW DC coupled to 1080Ah 48v Exide FLA forklift bank, Midnite 250-CP CC, SMA SI6048 x2, 10x Talesun 265W   (a DC Solar trailer)
    480 W camper system, 2x Panasonic 240W HIT, Midnite Kid CC w/ Whizbang Jr, 2x 6v GC2 FLA 230Ah
  • notesnotes Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Nice purchase Dale, I see they are having another auction the end of February. 60 more trailer units. Did you bid online or make the trip down? Any info would be appreciated. Would you know the weight of trailer and trailer hitch size?
    Thanks,
    Andy
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    The solar trailers definitely existed.  They had LOTS of them.  I'm sure they worked fine BUT there were few actually deployed.  I think that was (one of ?) the main issues.
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