Solar System on a Budget
Our Background and Experience
We have more than 20years of Canadian company with Canadian experience with off grid solar equipment, design and installation. We're located in Brighton Ontario.
We can help guide you to the system you need. We created a spreadsheet to assemble your requirements and calculate including all factors. Advise us of your budget and how you wish to use your off-grid location e.g. full time, weekend, vacation duration and seasonality as well and location. Upon determining your your requirements we recommend 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 systems with top tier equipment. Many are on a budget and want to get started and 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 350W solar panel is priced at $282.00, that’s $0.81 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 is small and 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 retailers able to charge more for the 12V panels that match up to cheap Chinese electronics while the industry has moved on to 36V panel years ago.
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 of several within your system while all the others are OK. New batteries are more chemically active than the older ones and will charge faster than the old ones 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. The new battery because it works harder will soon age to the level of the older ones.
• First level to seriously consider – Cost start around $60 - Units use PWM (pulse with modulation technology like a dimmer switch) and many are flexible in system operating voltage of either 12 or 24V. Efficiency and battery longevity are improved. While there are exceptions, the majority of PMW units Max. out at 30A charging capacity.
Up to this point the charge controllers modulate power down from what is fed to them by dumping the excess power.
Most efficient – Cost starts at around $75 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 charging 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 expansion by working 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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Ontario,Muskoka and Georgian Bay
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