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What's the TMC verdict on Legion Solar? (and their Kickstarter)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tinm, May 24, 2016.

  1. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

    May 3, 2015
    New Mexico, USA
    Just learned of an outfit called Legion Solar that is running a Kickstarter:

    Legion Solar - A Better Way to Energy Independence

    They're claiming $2/Watt costs. Seems. . . hard to believe. I am curious what folks who've studied solar more than I have (but I'm always keeping my eye out for cheaper $/W solutions) have to say....
  2. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

    Jun 21, 2014
    Do you know how they deal with panels making more than 1200 watts, is that just another sub system plugged in to a 5-15 on a different breaker?

    How is it that much cheaper, drilling holes is not that expensive?

    While I don't understand everything about the system, I do like the idea of people having a way to affordabley get into solar. It would have an immediate impact in energy terms, and would hopefully spur people into more knowledge/interest/involvement in renewables.
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    While I applaud the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit expressed by that company, there are some significant limits to that approach to powering your house with solar. Each small set of panels is pugged into an AC outlet and the panel output cannot exceed the amperage rating for the circuit that outlet is located on. It is unclear to me if the panels can only power items plugged into the circuit they are connected to. I assume so.

    Of course there will be a cost to mounting the panels, on the roof or somewhere else.

    In the event of a grid failure you will not get any power from the Legion Solar panels.

    Still, if it works as described it may be useful for some people.
  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    United States
    It's an interesting concept... certainly a much better solution if someone wants a smaller system. Installing a 3kW inverter cost the same in labour as a 10kW inverter which can makes smaller systems much less attractive.

    But the side-mount method won't work very well if you're trying to install >3kW of panels.

    $2/w is actually a bit on the high side... material costs are running ~$1.50/w these days... inverter, racking and panels.
    • Informative x 1
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    Sounds risky to me. With solar feeding in on one outlet and you drawing power on another outlet from the same breaker, you can overload the wiring before tripping the breaker.

    With no permit and no electrician involved, I doubt the insurance company will feel any need to cover the bill for the fire.

    I'm a big fan of solar, and of micro inverters - but not of this casual installation.
  6. Vitold

    Vitold Active Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    #6 Vitold, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    Looks like a really nice solution for a summer house or a hut as I think it may be best for small installations to power fridge or AC. It's too bad that it does not work during power outage.
  7. Atypicalguy

    Atypicalguy New Member

    Nov 26, 2016
    Los Angeles
    It should be relatively simple to run a 115v or 240v outlet up to the roof from the panel, which is usually on the outside of the house anyway. Use some hard conduit and as many breakers as appropriate.
  8. Lavarock

    Lavarock New Member

    Sep 2, 2018
    Captain Cook, Hawaii
    I saw this topic and even though it is old, I have some info.

    I live in Hawaii where we use oil, solar, wind, geo-thermal and I think some wave power. Our geo-thermal plant was shut down recently because of active lava encroachment - thus 20% of the island electrical production ceased in minutes). Electricity is very expensive here. Running just LED bulbs a computer and a couple to TV,s microwave and some stove and oven and a small water heater, my usage is about 18 to 19 KWH/day. My bill (including taxes) is $168.38 or .35 per KWH (almost $6 a day). I purchased during the 1st Kickstarter campaign a total of 20 ea 100 watt panels, 10 inverters and a hub. Because of some delays they sent the new regulator instead of the hub. This 2kw system is going to be ground mounted and tied into a switch box which I will add to the meter panel on a separate unused breaker. Their new regulator will look at power from the meter and should I start to generate more power than I am using, will then reduce my production. Thus I will not send any power to the utility (which suits me just fine). So 2kw worth of power and all associated equipment and shipping (except the mounting) I'll come up with cost me $3199.

    My system was delivered just before our last hurricane and I stored it. Then later I took two panels, cabled them, plugged them into a wattmeter and into the electrical outlet. As I pointed in the general direction of the sun, I got about 167 watts in early morning sun kinda pointed that direction. I have to assume better output when properly installed. Total time to hook together was about 15 minutes.

    Their Kickstarter 3 campaign will include the option/ability to use your own battery system.

    My first look at solar was a simple panel given to a fellow ham radio operator from Solarex in Maryland when they first started. I wanted to get into solar but after hearing a friend tell me how much trouble it was for him, I held off. This sounded (and became) so easy that I have no qualms telling people my experience and that they should consider it, if it is in their price range. Adding extra panels is simple. I do suggest a separate circuit on the panel and if they are going to general a lot of power, perhaps a separate connection to the other power lead in the breaker box.

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