Nickel iron batteries are a powerful technology for lighting, charging electronics, and running small appliances, such as fans. Especially when “daylight drive” systems are used to power heavy loads like refrigerators and motors, a relatively small battery set can go a long way. (See “What is daylight drive?” for more information.)
Our Cabin kit is appropriate appropriate for lighting a one or two room cabin, charging small electronics like a phone or tablet, or running a DC fan to keep you cool in the summer. Laptops vary in their power demand. Some older, heavier laptops may need to be charged during the day with our Cabin Kit.
A Small House kit can charge a wider variety of larger electronics, like older laptops, batteries for cordless tools, or a host of equipment made for the 12 volt camping/ sailing/ RV market. Our Small House kit offers twice as much capacity as the Cabin Kit for lighting, and can light several rooms in a small house.
The Homestead kit has the potential to provide lighting, charging, and more for than entire household, especially when coupled with a daylight drive solar electric system. This is the size system that our community of twelve people have been using daily for the past 10 years, through winters and long cloudy stretches, without once running out of power.
A big advantage of our systems is that they are tenacious, while teaching energy conservation. ny other solar lighting kit on the market can be damaged if over-used, or turn off when you need it most in cloudy weather. With our nickel-iron based solar kits, if you have cloudy weather, the worst case scenario is that you may have to cut back on usage. Under no circumstances will the kit simply turn off like an overloaded inverter, or over-drained lithium battery. You will of course have better performance if you turn the lights off when not in use, and pay attention to how much energy you are using. Particularly with the smaller systems, simply paying attention to the timing of your energy use will allow you to do most of what you want to do most of the time, even with a modest kit. If the voltage falls below 10.5, you can reduce loads on the system, and the system will not turn off.
Please consult the chart below for a comparison of the capacity of each size of Iron Sun kits. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re still not sure which size Iron Sun is right for you.
|Cabin Kit||Small House Kit||Homestead Kit||Daylight Drive Solar Electric Panel Set|
|Will light how many rooms using DC LED bulbs?||1-2||2-4||Many|
|Charge smart phones, tablets, and devices||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Run Computers||Some older, heavier laptops need to be charged during the day||Yes||Yes|
|Run a fan||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Charge cordless power tool batteries||During the day||Yes||Yes||No|
|Run internet router||Yes, supply power on the DC side of the AC/DC converter||Yes, supply power on the DC side of the AC/DC converter||Yes, supply power on the DC side of the AC/DC converter||No|
|Run a refrigerator||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Yes, if you get a Sundanzer DDR165|
|Run electronic keyboards, or other electronics powered by AD/DC converters.||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Charge rechargeable flashlights and other rechargeable devices.||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Run a blender||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Yes, with external switches|
|Run a food processor||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Yes, with external switches|
|Run a grain grinder||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Convert to Daylight drive||Yes, with external switches|
|Run AC shop tools with universal motors, such as a circular saw?||No||No||No||Yes, with external switches|
|Run belt drive shop tools, such as drill press, lathe, compressor, grinders, etc||No||No||No||Yes|
|Run a washing machine||No||No||No||Could be run on daylight drive, but no good units on the market currently.|
|Run an inverter||Yes, but we strongly recommend against it.||Yes, but we strongly recommend against it.||Yes, but we strongly recommend against it.||No|
|Battery||10 amp hours nickel iron, will far outlast other kinds of batteries of similar size||20 amp hours nickel iron, will far outlast other kinds of batteries of similar size||100 amp hours nickel iron, will far outlast other kinds of batteries of similar size||N.A. No batteries needed.|