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Old 07-20-2020, 01:37 AM   #1
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Titan Solar Generator System

Happen to stumble across this researching solar topics and was wondering if anyone had any experience.

Iíve already figured that buying components separate is probably cheaper, but the ease of use/installation is attractive.

Thanks in advanced for the feedback!

https://www.pointzeroenergy.com/

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Old 07-20-2020, 02:34 AM   #2
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First off let's not dignify the scam-marketing terminology, better called a power pack

A battery in a box, nothing generated, unless panels included, and really it's only the panels that actually produce any energy,

bundled with some devices, that may or may not suit your specific needs.

Find out the Wh capacity, convert to Ah @12V to get a baseline apples to apples value comparison.

How long will it power say a 100W load?

What are the maximum charge and discharge rates?

If lithium, are the cell-level voltages visible and BMS settings adjustable?
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfoster503 View Post
Happen to stumble across this researching solar topics and was wondering if anyone had any experience.

Iíve already figured that buying components separate is probably cheaper, but the ease of use/installation is attractive.

Thanks in advanced for the feedback!

https://www.pointzeroenergy.com/

I don't know specifically about this product. I do agree with John that its a misleading marketing term, and I do have some general pointers about portable power stations and/or solar generators


First the pros:
1. They are usually compact, portable, and attractive looking
2. They take the burden of designing or building a system off of you (mostly)
3. They often have a lot of useful ports builtin (AC, Cig lighter, DC plug, USB)
4. Versatile / repurposeable



Now the cons:
1. As you suspected, they cost a lot more than a similar sized DIY setup.
2. PV input is usually pretty limited, and often requires that you buy only their panels which are usually 2-10x the cost of other panels.

3. Storage capacity is often pretty low for the price
4. AC output (inverter size) is often but not always quite limited

5. DC output is sometimes pretty limited
6. No ability to customize to your needs and little to no ability to expand in most cases.


There are 1 or 2 portable power stations that avoid many of these cons (the only one I know of hasn't been released yet, but there may be others) but usually cost top dollar.


Personally I would not buy one for this application (mobile), where portability isn't really a factor. However I can imagine some scenarios where someone might choose to go this route if they really don't want to do any electrical work, and have modest power needs.


If you pursue this route, I would say make sure to check the specs and make sure this will fit your needs (and check the cost of accessories, sometimes these can add up to almost the price of the power station itself).
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying. I already knew that the Goal Zero models were junk, especially inverter size, but since I couldn’t find either the Titan or the Bluetti models mentioned in the forums I was curious. With my modest power needs (a 12v chest refrigerator/cooler, laptop and phone charging, and a few led lights for the most part) I could get by with one of these higher end power stations. But I didn’t start building a skoolie to just get by and I’m looking forward to the learning curve of building my own system. The learning part was what I was doing when I saw these more expensive versions of an all in one system.
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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The soon to be released Bluetti AC200 sounds like it makes the least compromises, not sure about the price. Beyond that, power stations are not an area I know a ton about, so don't put too much stock in my opinons
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:56 PM   #6
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The soon to be released Bluetti AC200 sounds like it makes the least compromises, not sure about the price. Beyond that, power stations are not an area I know a ton about, so don't put too much stock in my opinons
I liked a video review of the AC200 and it might be something I look into for my boat or my daughter's van conversion in a few years.

And working on my bus conversion has taught me there are many solutions to a problem, and we're just getting started on that. Thanks for your opinion and I'm hoping for more!
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:22 PM   #7
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Soon as a fridge is involved, that is a higher load than 90% of this product category can handle.

And Goal Zero is very far from a bad product compared to 95% of them.

You really are better off putting your own system together that matches your own needs, upgrade and replace individual components as needed.
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:28 PM   #8
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Soon as a fridge is involved, that is a higher load than 90% of this product category can handle.

And Goal Zero is very far from a bad product compared to 95% of them.

You really are better off putting your own system together that matches your own needs, upgrade and replace individual components as needed.
Brings to mind another question actually. My kill-a-watt says the fridge is drawing 4 amps while plugged into AC. Thats a 48W draw correct? And that changes when I'm running off of 12v DC correct?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:19 PM   #9
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Because the amps goes up and down a lot you need to get a DC wattmeter and measure Ah drawn per 24hrs.

Varies a lot based on ambient temp vs setpoint, pre-chilling food, how often opened etc etc
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:57 PM   #10
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Brings to mind another question actually. My kill-a-watt says the fridge is drawing 4 amps while plugged into AC. Thats a 48W draw correct?

P=IV (Watts = Amps x Volts)
4A x 120V = 480W, this doesn't sound right, unless I'm misunderstanding.



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And that changes when I'm running off of 12v DC correct?

Thanks in advance

Yes, power consumption should stay roughly the same +/- a bit, but amps should change significantly.
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:34 PM   #11
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Ah per 24hrs while plugged into a 12V DC source is the apples to apples standard.

Fridge / freezer (especially) is often by far the biggest energy consumer.

Every bit of investment in lowering consumption pays of in spades, reducing the overall infrastructure cost and ICE runtime while boondocking.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Ah per 24hrs while plugged into a 12V DC source is the apples to apples standard.

Fridge / freezer (especially) is often by far the biggest energy consumer.

Every bit of investment in lowering consumption pays of in spades, reducing the overall infrastructure cost and ICE runtime while boondocking.
Just spent several days on youtube, mostly from Mike Prowse, increasing my solar and electrical knowledge. Much more confident about how the components work together from the panels through to the batteries. He listed the pros and cons of 24 volt vs 12 volt. Anyone have any others to add? I tried digging through the forum, but the search isn't the easiest to use.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:46 PM   #13
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He listed the pros and cons of 24 volt vs 12 volt. Anyone have any others to add?
I have 12V in my shorty and had 24V in my big rig, now 48V.


Bigger draw/charge requirements benefit from higher voltages. I have a Victron Energy 150V/100A charge controller, when I had 700W of panels on the roof 24V was plenty. However, when I put 3050W of panels on the roof, my charge controller was current limited to 2400W (24V * 100A) so upgrading to 48V made sense, as the new limit would be (48V * 100A = ) 4800W. I had to change inverters, but now benefit from reduced current draw and higher efficiency.


I'd say your anticipated maximum current (load or charge) dictate what voltage you should go with. 12V is the most common and therefore the most simple. Up to 1200W charge/discharge, I'd say stick to 12V. Beyond that and up to around 2400W, 24V is a good option. Beyond 2400W charge/discharge, consider 48V. There are 36V systems out there but they're just not as common.


Even if your battery bank is 24V/48V, you can convert down to 12V in a DC sub panel. There is an efficiency loss doing so of course, but a plus is that going through a converter, your panel voltage remains generally constant regardless of the state of charge of the bank.


To comment on the Titan, self contained systems typically are less value for the money, and less capable. There are times when they are practical, but I would discourage going that route just to avoid learning. Solar energy requires good resource management and to make the most of what one can generate, one needs to learn about how such a system works. Knowledge is power.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:41 PM   #14
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I have 12V in my shorty and had 24V in my big rig, now 48V.
Bigger draw/charge requirements benefit from higher voltages. I have a Victron Energy 150V/100A charge controller, when I had 700W of panels on the roof 24V was plenty. However, when I put 3050W of panels on the roof, my charge controller was current limited to 2400W (24V * 100A) so upgrading to 48V made sense, as the new limit would be (48V * 100A = ) 4800W. I had to change inverters, but now benefit from reduced current draw and higher efficiency.

I'd say your anticipated maximum current (load or charge) dictate what voltage you should go with. 12V is the most common and therefore the most simple. Up to 1200W charge/discharge, I'd say stick to 12V. Beyond that and up to around 2400W, 24V is a good option. Beyond 2400W charge/discharge, consider 48V. There are 36V systems out there but they're just not as common.

Even if your battery bank is 24V/48V, you can convert down to 12V in a DC sub panel. There is an efficiency loss doing so of course, but a plus is that going through a converter, your panel voltage remains generally constant regardless of the state of charge of the bank.

To comment on the Titan, self contained systems typically are less value for the money, and less capable. There are times when they are practical, but I would discourage going that route just to avoid learning. Solar energy requires good resource management and to make the most of what one can generate, one needs to learn about how such a system works. Knowledge is power.

I agree with everything Kazetsukai says above (particularly the last paragraph), though personally I think of 2kw and 3-4kw inverter size as the rough breaking points where it makes sense to go up to a higher voltage battery bank (with lifepo4, i'm not knowledgeable about lead acid).


One thing I will say about 48v is you are stepping out of low voltage territory (both in terms code LV is usually defined somewhere between 30-50v (48v is over 50v in reality) and in terms of risk/consequences of playing with moving electrons. On the other hand since most people will also be doing 120 or 240 volt wiring, maybe this isn't a big issue for some (but I'm a bit skittish when it comes to electricity).


Regarding voltage, much is often said about the greater efficiency in wiring when you step up voltage. This is true. However, if you have to use a stepdown converter to power 12v appliances, its sometimes a wash or worse as there is an efficiency penalty to the conversion (for instance saving 2-3% in the wiring, but losing 5% in conversion).


A final concern (in a mobile context):
12v = A huge amount of appliances, parts, electronics available
24v = Much less availability but still most things can be sourced
48v = Very few available appliances, electronics, etc, many things cannot be sourced


These last two concerns are mostly only relevant if you will be wiring at least some of the bus in DC.
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