Welcome to Alberta's Experts in Renewable Energy

Purchasing a System

Boyd Solar has evolved to serve its clients in the best way possible and has many of the most satisfied customers in Canada. How and why we do it is answered here. We give you knowledge of what choices you have and the pitfalls to avoid when buying your own system. This knowledge will save you money, time, and frustration. We do this because, as in any industry, but especially a young industry there are issues. At Boyd Solar we simply believe informed customers make better decisions and are happier customers so we pass on this information to further that and enable you to make the best decisions possible.

Much of this page has come about as a result of the many people we have encountered that have been dissatisfied, hurt, or even fleeced in one way or another, and to help you avoid the same.

Since you are purchasing an Off Grid Solar Power System that you will be depending on for power, heat and water, it is important to make sure that you get a high quality reliable system.

First, let’s look at some marketing ploys that are used to suck people in.

  • An average production in KWH per day is given, this is likely based on a sunny day or year round average, so as an example, a 3 KW solar system can collect about 14.2 KWH per day averaged over the year. In December, the same system is rated at 10.83 KWH per day. Of note here is that the inefficiencies of the system are not included, nor the amount of solar that needs to be “wasted” in order to charge the batteries properly. Once the inefficiencies and the amount of solar that needs to be “wasted” are factored in, a reasonable number to use would be about 6 KWH per day. This would still require a generator at times because of several days or weeks of overcast weather.
  • A relatively high wattage of inverter may be listed to give the impression of a powerful system. The inverter size is really determined by the peak load that will be used, so a larger inverter may or may not be required.
  • The battery bank listed may use AH (Amp Hours) and or KWH. Frequently these are undersized and will not have a good cycle life. If they are not matched properly they will need to be replaced more often. Consider that in these systems, a typical L16 size battery bank that will cycle to 50% may have a life span of 1000 cycles but only last 3 to 5 years.
  • These systems will usually not include all the monitoring, disconnects and other items required to properly operate and monitor the system, they just to try and make the initial system cost appear low.
    • A lot of systems that are listed use L16 size batteries which do not last as long or perform as well. The listed specification makes it sound like you are getting a lot for less money since L16 size batteries have a lower initial cost for the same capacity. While there is a place for L16 size batteries, they should not be considered for medium to larger systems, especially when multiple strings are required. Boyd Solar also has systems listed that use L16 size batteries. This is mainly for small systems or for a comparison to other systems, if at all possible, use the industrial quality batteries, you will be much happier with them.
    • Generator starting. Generators are usually needed when the weather is bad, and from my experience, have not always started first time every time, so the system is not as reliable.
    • Generators are noisy.
    • Would you rather service a generator, fuel it, replace batteries and continually need to deal with the system and its ongoing costs on a monthly or yearly cost, or would you rather spend more money up front (even if it is added into the mortgage) and not have the ongoing costs, hassles and maintenance of a cheap system?
    • When you look at all the factors, a properly sized and designed quality system is actually more cost effective than an undersized marginal system.

This website provides a lot of information on various aspects of Off Grid Solar Power Systems and Off Grid living in order to give you, our customer the knowledge to make an informed choice and have a positive experience with your new Solar Power System.

Of note here is that similar equipment will be a similar price across the board. If a price is cheaper for something that sounds similar, then there is something missing or it is an inferior product. What you are really deciding when choosing where you will purchase the system from, is who will you trust and who has the experience, knowledge and expertise to design the best system for your particular needs.


Basic Components

Choosing a Dealer

Off Grid Code

Test and Analysis System

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