If you are looking for an outstanding system, best pricing and seamless integration, this is it. The Sol-Ark switches to batteries so quickly, you never notice any electrical outages. I’m quite impressed at how seamless this unit works. Sol-Ark also reviews the inverter remotely and can correct settings and update firmware as needed.
or more of electricity
- David Bennett and Energy Wise Strategies on USVI
- St Croix,
- Energy need met:
- 100% or more of electricity
- Energy Storage
- January 2021
- Size of System:
- 21.6 kW
- To generate electricity
- Additional Financial Notes:
- Cost was lower than Tesla and with better efficiency and back-up for island living
What You Need to Know
My journey for a reliable energy provider with sufficient battery back up power is something most residents of the US Virgin Islands dream of. We suffer from the highest rates in the US around 42 cents per kwh. Coupled with the fact that we have almost weekly power outages and sometimes several daily outages, it only made sense to find a viable long-term solution. In today’s ‘Work Remotely’ world one cannot afford to lose power at any time. I contacted my solar professional Mike Bruno from Energy Wise Strategies, LLC to look at what system would be best for my current and future needs as I used him for a previous project. We decided on the Sol-Ark 12 kwh Hybrid Inverter with 4 Fortress Eflex 5.4 kwh (21.6 kwh total) lithium batteries. We chose this configuration due to a multitude of reasons, ie. Flexibility, Efficiency, UPS Transfer time, Battery cycles of 6000+, WiFi in both the battery and Sol-Ark and Cost. I had estimates from two other companies (Tesla Powerwall and Pwrcell system) that are available in my area, but after days of research, comparisons, customer reviews, pricing and the relationship with my installer Mike, I decided to go with the Sol-Ark and Fortress system. Due to the size of my home and space constraints we decided to mount the Sol-Ark and Fortress batteries outside as they are both outdoor approved. The installation of panels, inverter and batteries took a few days and looks amazing. Mike and his team did an incredible job with this project. The system itself has already justified the cost after the first month of use. We have had multiple days and nights with power outages and the only way I know it went out is when my electric stove clock blinks as this and the electric dryer weren’t connected due to the power drain and my future conversion to propane. The Sol-Ark switches to batteries so quickly, you never notice any electrical outages. My wife currently works remotely and prior to this had many online meetings interrupted by an outage. We also rely on WiFi cellphone calling as our area doesn’t always get a great signal and our carrier is reliant on the power grid as well and their generator is timed to not start immediately due to power grid inconsistencies. I’m also now able to relax a bit on my daily electrical needs as my wife and I were always trying to minimize our usage by shutting off as much as we could due to the high electrical cost. We are also net-metered and the Sol-Ark handles everything efficiently from charging the batteries to feeding back to the grid and meeting our current needs. I’m quite impressed at how seamless this unit works. Sol-Ark also reviews the inverter remotely and can correct settings and update firmware as needed. As for the batteries, what a sense of relief. I have sleep apnea and need my cpap machine to be working nightly with no interruptions. With our current configuration we have not drawn on power from the grid with the exception of the stove and dryer. We have four Fortress Eflex batteries and they are more than capable of handling our night time needs as we typically stop producing electric around 5pm due to the early sunsets here in the USVI. Each morning, we have plenty of remaining charge in them to handle any early power interruptions as we await the sun to give us our daily dose of Kwh. The batteries are designed well, are mounted to the outside wall and are weather proof. The Fortress batteries and Sol-Ark communicate directly to each other via ethernet cables and are designed to work together as if they were manufactured from the same company. The batteries never get hot when charging and with the help of the sun, the Sol-Ark typically has them 100% charged around 1pm. They are the perfect combination here in the USVI. It’s been over 30 days now since the install and I cannot say enough GREAT things about both companies and their products. I’m almost to the point of adding to my current system and going totally Off-Grid in the next few years knowing that my system will have paid for itself in less than a decade. And here in the USVI, it will add value to my home if I ever decide to leave paradise. If you are looking for an outstanding system, best pricing and seamless integration, this is it. I cannot be happier, kind of chuckle some nights when the community goes dark but we are still powered up and have a piece of mind throughout the day knowing Our system is going to be there for us. The sound of a generator or the lack thereof is the best sound one can imagine living in the USVI. Extremely Impressed, David Bennett
Sol-Ark is extremely fast at charging the Batteries with its 185 amp charger. They are full by 1pm.
Cost of energy, power outages and ability to work remotely with reliability. With the Sol-Ark , I don't even know the power is out. It's so fast in switching that my clocks don't even blink.
Do your homework. I checked Tesla and Pwrcell and decided on Sol-Ark and Fortress batteries. If you need a bigger system, you can jus add more sol-Arks and more Batteries.
Experience with Installer:
Mike Bruno and his team is awesome!
Open House Info:
Check with Energy Wise strategies USVI also on Sol-Ark distributor and installer map for location
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