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Old 02-12-2019, 09:15 AM   #1
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Is the "Deal of the Day" a deal?

I am looking for an introductory solar system to see if it is really useful for me. My husband thinks we might as well be tent camping if we don't have A/C and I know this will not power on an A/C. But I might be able to convince him to boondock in the spring or fall if we had some basic things like lights. Home Depot has a special buy of the day today for $99:

Nature Power
100 Watt High Power Complete Solar Kit



Cannot find a ton of info about it but I feel more confident about buying form Home Depot than other online stores as far as returns.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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Looks like a "Good" deal, but is already sold out. I think Renogy has a "Good" alternative 100 watt system for under $200.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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I guess it was a good deal because it has already sold out. Oh well, I will keep looking for a $100 or less option.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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100 watts is a very small system and might charge a cellphone or laptop if the sun is shining brightly. It would be a good system to “play” with to learn about solar, but don’t expect it to meet any serious battery charging or Boondocking needs. You can learn for FREE by checking on the web and Facebook for sites like “Boondocking with Solar “ or www.rvmedic.biz/solar
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #5
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Good deal? Yes. Ask for a rain check, they are even $197 at Harbor Freight.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:34 PM   #6
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Any solar is better than no solar, though 100 watts is only going to slow the drain on batteries in a typical boondocking situation depending on where you camp, and what type of RV, though a 100 watt panel would make a good battery maintainer during storage for a set of RV deep cycle batteries.

Mid America average for flat mounted solar panels is about 4-5 hours of peak output per day, so 400-500 watt hours per day from a 100 watt panel, flat mounted on the roof of an RV, on an average somewhat sunny day. Knock about 15% off that for charger losses from that included PWM charge controller, an MPPT charge controller woudl be better, but costs more, and we are down to 340 - 425 watt hours per day from that panel, maybe 500 watt hours if you mount it at optimal seasonal tilt. Lets say 400 watt hours per day, what does this mean in real life, well my Dometic refrigerator when running on Propane draws 12 watts for the control board electronics (some other brands like Norcold draw a bit less), 12 watts x 24 hours per day is 288 watt hours, so just running the refrigerator on PROPANE will take up over half of the output of that panel, lets assume you want to run some lights, a 60 watt equivalent LED consumes about 10 watts, lets assume 2 of these for 3 hours per evening, this gives uses another 60 watt hours, .... This does not even start to talk about real power hogs like the furnace blower or the exhaust fans, ...

So in short if you want to consider solar start your consideration in the 400 watts worth of panels ballpark.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abby8242 View Post
I am looking for an introductory solar system to see if it is really useful for me. My husband thinks we might as well be tent camping if we don't have A/C and I know this will not power on an A/C. But I might be able to convince him to boondock in the spring or fall if we had some basic things like lights. Home Depot has a special buy of the day today for $99:

Nature Power
100 Watt High Power Complete Solar Kit



Cannot find a ton of info about it but I feel more confident about buying form Home Depot than other online stores as far as returns.

Any thoughts?
amazon
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