Jun 30

PowerHub Dilemma: Plug and Play or Assembly Required?

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 under Uncategorized | Comments are off

In this post the “PowerHub” is featured, as My Solar Backup Depot continues to look at specific products available in the marketplace. Considered here, the 1800 Watt Solar Generator by PowerG.

These units originate in China, but are marketed in North America by Sumac NA under the brand PowerG. All manufacturing takes place in Nanjing High Tech Zone, Nanjing, China, while research and development, product design and product testing are done at the European Union (EU) headquarters in Switzerland. Sumac NA is headquartered in Texas, with additional facilities in California and Georgia. These units have also been sold under Sumac‘s Phono Solar brand, and are also commonly sold with Schneider Electric‘s Xantrex label. Both Earthtech Products and Solutions from Science (SFS) offer variations of the PowerHub with Xantrex branding. Below is a brief overview and comparison of their PowerHub product offerings. Regarding the PowerHub, the primary difference between SFS and Earthtech is that SFS offers fully equipped “plug and play” units, while Earthtech sells a basic kit with optional components that can be added, in “a la carte” fashion. As stated in the video, up to 4 batteries can be installed with the addition of a second battery box, mounted to the opposite side of the inverter unit. Two configurations for the PowerHub are offered by SFS: a 2-battery, 2-panel system; or a 4-battery, 4-panel system. The maximum output for the solar panels is 150 watts each. The 12-volt batteries included with the SFS units each have a capacity of 100 amp-hours. The basic PowerHub 1800 Watt Solar Generator from Earthtech Products includes the following items:

  • (1) PowerG 1800SG Phono Solar 1800 Watt Solar Generator
  • (1) 140 Watt Solar Panel
  • (1) 50′ solar cable
  • (1) 10 Amp Charge controller

From above, note that these solar panels are 140 watts each, and that the included charge controller for the single-panel system is just 10 amps. If you plan to add more solar panels, a 30 amp charge controller is offered which can handle up to four 140 watt solar panels. As stated above, Earthtech sells various add-on components for the PowerHub system individually, with the important exception of the batteries. Earthtech states that “batteries are not included,” but recommends purchasing Exide RoadForce AGM-200 RF-31D batteries in from an Exide battery dealer in your locality (or equivalent). All the rest of the components can be purchased through Earthtech Products. Earthtech’s “extras” include the follow items:

  • Additional 140 Watt Solar Panel Kits
  • Extra Battery Box
  • 30 Amp Solar Charge Controller (required if solar panels are added to the system)

A Word to the Wise: For those who shun products where assembly is required, the Solutions from Science “plug and play” product may indeed provide the best solution. But keep in mind that the cost savings will be quite substantial for those willing to take on some light assembly. Earthtech Products‘ competitive prices will account for large savings. Also, by purchasing your batteries locally, you will save 1/3 to 1/2 of the overall shipping costs, depending on whether a 2-battery or 4-battery system is ordered. A very nice overview of the required assembly is included in the video above, so be sure to check that out. You will also find more guidance on Earthtech‘s website. Below, you will find links to the product pages for both Earthtech Products and Solutions From Science.

Earthtech Products 1800 Watt Solar GeneratorSolutions from Science PowerHub and PowerSource Solar Generators

At My Solar Backup Depot, “blogosphere transparency” is promoted and encouraged. To that end, a current list of our market affiliations will always be maintained on our “Disclosure Statement” page.

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