Mar 18

SOLUTIONS FROM SCIENCE: The PowerSource 1800 Solar Generator (without the hype)

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 under Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I thought long and hard on how to present the PowerSource 1800 Solar Generator from Solutions from Science, here in this blog. The truth is that the first time I visited the sales page for this solar generator, I didn’t get the usual video sales pitch auto-starting in my web browser, but two sales videos starting-up simultaneously, resulting in a lot of crosstalk. Needless to say, I found that very irritating, and not the place I would want to send visitors from my site.

I pleased to report, however, that this problem has been remedied. My recent visits to the sales page have been much more pleasant: only ONE well-produced video starts up, extolling the benefits of this 1800 watt solar generator. Yes, there is still an exuberant presentation of the product, but that is to be expected: it is a sales page, after all!

Solutions from Science caters to the “survivalist” market, so they sell a broad range of products including survival gear, storable food, seeds and fertilizer. And, of course, the “solar generator” product line, which they market on a separate website,, sporting their well-known slogan:

Amazing “Solar Generator” Is Like Having A Secret Power Plant Hidden In Your Home!

Clicking on the link above (or any of their banners) will take you to their website, but first, I’d like to talk a little more about Solutions from Science, and their PowerSource 1800 Solar Generator.

As I stated in my earlier post, New Feature: Product Reviews at My Solar Backup Depot, I find that buyers are frequently disappointed when their system does not meet expectations. With that thought in mind, I would caution my readers to learn as much as possible about solar backup systems and photovoltaics on this site. Then scan through the sales pitch, but don’t skip the section that gives system specifications and capabilities. Read carefully here, and understand what’s really being said. And maybe even more importantly, understand what’s not being said. Generally speaking, I find it easier to find truth in the equipment spec’s and data.

Enough about using your “critical thinking” skills: Let me tell you what I know about Solutions from Science‘s PowerSource 1800 Solar Powered Generator. The unit is very similar to the Ecotricity 1800W Solar Power Generator, discussed in my post of February 15th, except that the Solutions from Science version of the product has been subject to much more critical review on the internet. I believe this is a good thing, because it makes it easier to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this (or any) product. Perhaps the best information on the internet regarding the Solutions from Science PowerSource 1800 can be found in the following Northern Arizona Wind & Sun forum thread, where the Product Development Engineer from Solutions from Science, David Fink, faces the critical review of other engineers (and self proclaimed “experts”):

Northern Arizona Wind & Sun Forum thread: Solar Generator – should we buy one?

I spent nearly two hours reading through the entire thread (it’s an extensive thread!), and I’m impressed by David’s reasoned approach in defense of the portable “power plant.” The forum debate is “spirited”: in fact it’s downright contentious in places. Persevering, David makes the following points regarding the PowerSource 1800:

  • in order to keep the system portable, battery size is necessarily limited
  • the system is meant to supply a few critical needs where there’s no power
  • proprietary 90 watt high efficiency mono-crystal panels are manufactured in China
  • Solutions from Science extends warranties as an authorized reseller of Xantrex products
  • pricing is competitive (even if the “do-it-yourselfers” on the forum could build one cheaper)

There is also extensive debate about whether Solutions from Science‘s marketing is “misleading.” On that question, I would have to respond, “What advertising is not somewhat misleading?” I would simply characterize Solutions from Science‘s marketing practices as “aggressive.” I don’t believe they “cross the line,” but let’s just say that they certainly try to create a “sense of excitement,” especially in their videos, hosted by Brian Brawdy. (Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercials?) In the case of the PowerSource 1800, most of the performance claims are precisely the same claims that are made by Xantrex, the original manufacturer of the UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

My take-away from this reading? In the end, my regard for Solutions from Science was elevated. I found David’s challenge to the other forum members especially convincing as to where Solutions from Science stands with respect to their potential customers:

Everyday our sales representatives turn away potential customers when we know that our products cannot satisfy their requirements or expectations. Test us! Make up a fictional application that you know cannot be satisfied by our systems as represented on our website. Call one of our sales reps and ask them about your application. Call me personally if they try sell our system to you…. It won’t happen!

Okay… I think I can recommend clicking on this post’s links and banners now…!

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2 Responses to “SOLUTIONS FROM SCIENCE: The PowerSource 1800 Solar Generator (without the hype)”

  1. angela Says:

    An electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge (usually carried by electrons) to flow through an external electrical circuit.


  2. Grant - admin Says:

    Excellent point Angela! You are, of course, correct in the technical definition of “electric generator.” In this blog, I realize that I sometimes use the term interchangeably with the more correct term, “photovoltaic array.” David Fink (Solutions from Science’s Product Development Engineer) has this to say about the relaxed usage of “generator”: “Yes, technically a ‘generator’ is a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The term is useful for helping non-technical people to grasp the basic function our systems. Marketing people in almost every industry make ‘creative’ use of technical terminology to help people understand their products.” [quoted from “Northern Arizona Wind & Sun” forum]