I'm sick and tired of hearing Alex Jones advertise OVERPRICED CRAP.
So I decided to show you how to get a real off grid system with over 3.5 times MORE battery capacity and TWICE the solar watts for 33% LESS than the Alex Jones scam.
A power backup is a necessity if you use a desktop computer for business and any office supply store carries a variety of UPS for under $200. If you want more, read the rest of this post.
You want to go solar? GREAT!
Of course you need to have a SUNNY place to mount the panels and unless you just want to sell power back to the utilities without power backup, you need BATTERIES and an INVERTER.
So I did a very quick search on Ebay to get the street price for the $1,500 Alex Jones scam and it comes to about $600.
Since the Alex Jones system is VERY USELESS, I decided to show you how to you can get a decent starter system with over 3 times the ACTUAL POWER for under $1,000.
Alex Jones: 1,800 watts
$150 + $15 shipping
Alex Jones: 75 Watt and only ONE panel
$400 + $60 shipping
2 x Trojan T-605 6V 210Ah Flooded Lead Acid GC2 Deep Cycle Battery$280 (buy local or have shipped to a reseller)
$40 including shipping
$50 for wire and an ammeter would be very cool. There's nothing like SEEING how many amps you're getting even when it's cloudy.
Grand total for a system over TWICE as powerful than the $1,500 Alex Jones "solar backup generator":
Run Times on Typical Products
|Cordeless Phone||5||63 hCell|
|20" LCD Monitor||52||7.5 hTable|
|13" TV||38||11 hDesktop|
|8.8 Cubic Foot Freezer||80||4.5 h|
|18 Foot Refrigerator||120||2.8 hSump|
|Pump 1/2 HP||300||1 h|
* Average power consumption as measured on loads tested under regular operating conditions.
Rated power may differ from average power consumption.
** Run time as measured on tested loads.
The Alex Jones advertised "solar generator" will run your microwave for about 12 minutes
It will run your fridge for "2.8" hours IF your fridge isn't very large and not an energy hog.
I also don't think that these estimates in the FAQ are realistic and the suckers who fell for Alex Jones will learn a very expensive lesson when the first power outage hits.
All these scammers should get jail time.
IF you are seriously considering buying a system and you're new to solar, PLEASE post here and I'll put together something for you that will WORK.
A 3000 watt cheapo Chinese crap gasoline generator for about $250-350 will be perfectly fine for most people for OCCASIONAL use such as during a power outage. Don't expect a cheapo generator to last a year if you run the generator 10 hours/day every day. DO start it up once a month and add Stabil if you don't use up the fuel.
Just about anybody is capable of plugging in a power cord, pouring fuel in the generator and starting it. And it will run your fridge AND computer AND all your gadgets simultaneously as long as you have fuel. TEST your setup BEFORE you have a power outage.
Anything beyond that really depends on your needs and SKILLS. I had a friend visit for a few days and she couldn't even figure out how to push the OFF button when the inverter alarm went off after I had explained it to her the previous day. I wasn't happy when she woke me up at 6 am ...
Solar panels do NOT install and wire themselves.
It's not rocket science, but you have to be able to follow instructions EXACTLY. I learned from books and from the web. And of course the infamous trial and error, it didn't take long till I blew a fuse in the meter. While I'm NOT very good with a meter, I can measure voltage without reading the meter manual and that's usually all I need.
I would probably only buy the inverter on Ebay, although that charge controller is one heck of a deal and the solar panels seem cheap, but I haven't priced any in about 9 months and I don't know the brand. Are prices finally coming down? I paid $620 for a 135 watt panel in spring and I shopped around extensively.
Since I'm off the grid and my system is far from what I SHOULD have, I keep expanding as I can afford it and I have quite a bit of first hand experience getting by on a $5k system. I use LED bulbs and I got used to getting by without running the generator unless there's no sun and no wind for a day.
You have a CHOICE:
You can throw your money away on crap that will NOT work as expected when you NEED it or you can invest the TIME to learn about power and save a lot of cash, acquire a new skill and a power solution that will actually work for you.
To me it doesn't matter whether you end up saving $1,500 because you avoid a scam or whether you spend your money on a quality system that works.
What counts is that you realize that you can't trust ANYONE (not even Alex Jones) and that you don't give your money to crooks.
Of course I'm hoping that there will be a few other people who also believe in honesty and integrity and "somebody" certainly could take this opportunity to put some GOOD systems together and make an honest living.
There's nothing wrong with making money, buying wholesale, adding value and providing services and support.
There is absolutely NO need to deceive and defraud people.
It would be very cool to have a qualified person answer Trado reader questions and make an honest living providing energy products and services.