Solar System on a Budget
Our Background and Experience
We have more than 15 years of Canadian experience with solar equipment, design and installation.
We will help guide you to the system you need. Just let us know how much electrical power you require daily. Or, if you are confident you can let us know the amount of solar panel Watts you require. Advise us of your financial budget and how you wish to use your off-grid location e.g. full time, weekend, vacation duration and seasonality and location. We will advise you know of a system within your budget or how you can grow the system to meet your criteria if need be.
We pride ourselves in providing custom sized systems with first tier equipment. However, many are on a budget and want to get started or learn less expensively. There are many upsides to this, not only spending less but learning how to build and maintain a solar system with less invested while also determining how much of a system you really need.
For example Canadian Tire, today, as I write this, offers their 150W solar panel is priced at 599.99, that’s $4.00 per watt. Currently our 335W solar panel is priced at $278.00, that’s $0.83 per watt. There’s little difference in modern glass mounted solar panels. The Watt rating of the panel is all you need. Efficiency is calculated based on square inches vs. output. You probably don’t care if the solar panels are couple of square inches larger or smaller. The difference between Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline isn’t worth the extra effort or cost for most of us. Especially if you’re just starting off! 12V Panels cost a LOT more than 36V panels! Why? because the industry is able to charge more ...and do!
Expandability #2: Batteries are one item that cannot be added to later on. Adding new batteries to older ones is never a good idea unless you have one failed battery within your system while all the others are OK. New batteries are more chemically active than the older ones and will charge faster causing overcharge of the new batteries as as the the old ones slowly catch up. The opposite happens during discharge cycle the new batteries will over discharge. More about batteries at
• First level to seriously consider – Cost start around $60 - Units use PWM (pulse with modulation technology) and many are flexible in system operating voltage between 12 and 24V. Efficiency and battery longevity are improved. While there are exceptions, the majority of PMW units Max. out at 30A capacity.
Up to this point the charge controllers modulate power down from what is fed to them by dumping the excess or avoiding the excess by shutting off input (PMW)
Most efficient – Cost starts at around $150 and go to above $1,000 –
These charge controllers use PMW as well as MPPT (multi point power tracking).
They convert voltages as high as 250V down to battery voltages. Because MPPT
units convert power to what’s required at the time for battery charging they are
significantly more efficient. Several better units will communicate to identical
charge controllers allowing several to work in co-ordination.
most expensive component is usually the batteries. Batteries are also the most
misunderstood, miss-purchased and abused component within most solar systems.
Please read our educational info on batteries at
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