Oasis Montana Inc.
Renewable Energy Supply and Design
406-777-4321or 4309
e-mail: info@oasismontana.com
Home Page: www.oasismontana.com

Visit us on the web for product and project information!
For grid-tied power systems, www.grid-tie.com
Solar water pumping:  www.PVsolarpumps.com
Non-electric gas appliances, www.LPappliances.com
Efficient and DC appliances, www.eco-fridge.com
And our main page at www.oasismontana.com

Winter/Spring 2003
newsletter from the Oasis

You are viewing an archived newsletter. 
Call 877-627-4778 or email us for the current pricing an any featured items listed within.


Winter/Spring 2003 2002 was a busy year for the Oasis. We had to expand our office — and consequently built an addition to make our lives and our business more efficient. We thank all of our customers for your patience in this time of growth—the sound of hammers, compressors and saws is ALMOST over at this writing. What chaos! Also, we’ve added to the Oasis staff with Dan Healy, our systems engineer. Do not hesitate to contact us with information about your project, phone 877-627-4768 or 4778 e-mail, info@oasismontana.com THANK YOU for your interest in renewable energy and Oasis Montana Inc! We are here to help power your remote home, provide back-up electricity for emergencies, provide utility-tie power equipment, UPS systems, remote water pumping, or just keep your RV’s battery fully charged. We also offer a line of efficient electric and gas appliances to help keep a lid on your electric bill. We offer complete systems to fit your project’s needs.

For those of you who aren’t "on line" or are beginning your project, we have an extremely informative 40 page Design Guide and 141 page Product Catalog for ten dollars ($18 out of country)—essential for your energy library! Products, system sizing, pricing, components, energy efficient and LP appliances, battery care, gas generators and wind turbines are just some of the topics covered. For example systems see http://www.oasismontana.com/systems.html

We have several new web sites for you to peruse at your convenience. For efficient appliances (including portable coolers, freezers and DC ‘fridges), see www.eco-fridge.com; for solar modules, www.PVsolarmodules.com; for our gas appliance offerings, check out www.LPappliances.com. Our main index page is www.oasismontana.com/PV_index.html — which offers information on inverters, batteries, wind generators, and pretty much all of the goods we offer. And our latest development is www.grid-tie.com for information about batteryless power systems suited for homes on utility power — for folks who want to ‘think

OutBack Power Systems

Someone in the renewable energy industry has finally "built the better mouse trap". The folks at Outback Power Systems have come up with a line of combiner boxes, a maximum power point tracking charge controller, AC & DC system disconnects, battery enclosures and sine wave inverters that make system installation, operation and maintenance a breeze. Gone are the days of wishing that your combiner box had more knockouts, your disconnect had more room or that your inverter was more user-friendly. Let’s start with a quick look at their line of combiner boxes.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that each series string of solar modules has its own overcurrent protection before it is interconnected/paralleled with other series strings in the array. The Outback PSPV combiner box satisfies this requirement as well as providing a disconnect means for up to 12 subarrays by using DIN rail-mounted hydraulic-magnetic breakers. These 12 circuits can all be paralleled together with a single output or you can split the incoming subarrays into two groups for a dual output. Their PSSB segmenting breaker assembly is designed specifically for use with an SMA Sunny Boy grid-tie inverter. The PSSB also provides the NEC compliant overcurrent protection and disconnect means for up to six separate low voltage (48 VDC nominal) PV subarrays combining them into a single high voltage PV array for connection to a grid-tie Sunny Boy inverter. The PSSB even has room for an optional 15A 240 VAC breaker to provide a local means of AC disconnection at the inverter. Both the PSPV and PSSB are ETL listed, outdoor rated and have more than enough knockouts on the bottom, sides and back to handle a very large solar array.

The Outback MX60 maximum power point tracking (MPPT) charge controller will handle up to 60A of PV current at 12, 24, 32, 36, 48, 54 or 60 VDC. It can even charge a low voltage battery bank from a high voltage array. Maximum power point tracking is the newest charging technology available and given the right conditions (bright sun & cool temperatures) it can boost your solar array’s charging current considerably. Since the MX60 is current limited at 60 amps it would be wise to size your array short circuit current (Isc) to about 48 amps so the increase in charging current achieved by the MPPT circuitry won’t be negated by the 60A ceiling. Its four line, 80 character LCD display shows the operational status of your solar array and it allows you to easily change the charging parameters to fit your particular type of battery. There are four "soft keys" located just below the MX60’s LCD display whose functions change depending on the screen being displayed at the time. Multiple MX60’s can be connected to a single battery bank and to the Outback MATE system monitor which in turn can be connected to a personal computer (via its RS232 port) for data logging and remote system monitoring. On top of all that, the MX60 has a 200mA auxiliary output terminal block that can be used to sound a buzzer, light an LED or power the coil of an external relay whenever a user-programmable set point has been reached; quite an amazing and useful variety of options are available!

The Outback PSDC and PSAC disconnects offer more room and user friendly features than any other system disconnects on the market. The PSDC can house up to four 175-250A or six 60-100A breakers (sizes can be mixed; one 175 or 250A breaker is included when you order a PSDC) as well as ten 15 to 60A DC input/load breakers. It also comes standard with a 500A/50mV shunt, battery positive bus bar and battery negative/ground bus bar installed inside. You can also house Outback’s 60A 2-pole DC ground fault protection system (GFP/2) inside the PSDC (takes up 3 of the small breaker spaces). The PSDC has knockouts for up to three MX60 , two Solar Boast or three C-series charge controllers.

The PSAC was designed to be a single box solution for all of your AC wiring needs. Dual snap-in DIN rail-type mounting brackets will hold up to eight 15-60A breakers each and a 30 or 60A input/output/bypass breaker assembly (takes up 3 breaker spaces) can be installed for each inverter in your system. Each PSAC comes with hot, neutral and ground bus bars. For 120 VAC single inverter systems, there is room to install Outback’s optional 4 kW X-240 transformer inside the PSAC along with a fan which increases the transformer rating to 6 kW. Depending on how you set up the PSAC, there might even be enough room to house all of your AC load breakers which would save you the cost and hassle of buying and wiring another AC breaker panel. Both the PSDC and PSAC disconnects are indoor rated, ETL listed and are designed to mount directly to the end of one or two Xantrex/Trace DR or SW series inverters without needing additional conduit boxes or fittings.

The Outback FX2024 and FX2048 sine wave inverters are 2 kW continuous rated module "building blocks" which can be used for small or large systems. These inverters are sealed to survive harsh environments and multiple units can be configured in parallel (120 VAC), series (120/240 VAC) or even for 3-phase power (120Y208 VAC). You can connect up to eight FX2000s together to provide up to 16 kW of continuous power output (assuming that you have a battery bank that can handle it). Four of the FX2000 inverters interface nicely with the Outback PSDC and PSAC disconnect all mounted on Outback’s PSMP mounting plate to make a complete wall mounted conversion system. Currently the FX2000 inverter is only available for 24 VDC off-grid applications, but they are working on the 48 VDC unit as well as the software necessary to enable the FX2000 inverters to sell any excess power back to the utility grid; they should both be ready sometime in the first quarter of ’03. These inverters do not have a built-in display so it is highly recommended that you purchase the Outback MATE and HUB which will allow you to monitor and control the operation of up to ten FX2000 inverters or MX60 charge controllers. An optional DC cover and AC/DC conduit adapters are available for the FX2000 inverters.

For more information and pricing on these exciting products offered by Outback Power Systems, give us a call or e-mail me, Dan Healy, at dan@oasismontana.com





Winter/Spring 03 newsletter pages:

Other related links of interest

efficient AC appliances gas stoves gas refrigerators grid-tie inverters
renewable energy products site map solar modules this newsletter

Greetings from our solar powered office!

In the event of a lengthy power outage, what are your critical loads?

With the presence of winter storms, hurricanes, tornados and aging grid infrastructure as part of daily life, many people are rethinking how reliable utility power really is, and we are getting more calls for back-up power for certain loads. Some of our customers just need to have power for charging their cell phones, Kindles, tablets or similar devices (and a couple of lights or a small TV for an hour or so); a small system for them might entail the following components:

System #1, small system: One ~300W solar module, 300W sine wave inverter, charge controller, 12V 55AH AGM battery, combiner enclosure with fuse, flush roof rack, panel output cable; $1449
For additional information on smallish, RV-type systems, visit http://www.oasismontana.com/RV_systems.html.

Other folks are concerned about losing their food if the grid goes down, so they’ll want to power their refrigerator and perhaps a freezer too. If your appliances are of more recent vintage, backing them up will cost much less than if they are older, less efficient models. An efficient refrigerator shouldn’t use much more than a kilowatthour a day, and a freezer might be in the ~1.5KWH range (but contact the manufacturer to be certain). A system to power those loads, plus a couple of lights, might entail these components:

System #2, medium system: (MS2812 Magnum inverter, 6 ~300W solar modules, 6X top of pole mount, Classic 200 MPPT charge controller, 4 L16 type batteries + cabling, battery monitor, interconnects, combiners and disconnects; $8700

If you don’t have city water, a common concern is powering your well pump. One can live without a lot of things but water is not one of them! And many deep well pumps are 240VAC; if you needed a backup power system to run your ½ HP 240VAC pump, say, one hour a day, plus extra power for a fridge and small loads, you might be looking at a system of this size:

System #3, large system: (Radian GS4048 – loaded, on a pre-wired power center that includes the charge controller, MATE3 system monitor, disconnects, etc., 12 – ~300W solar modules, 16 – L16 type batteries, pole mount, battery cabling = $14750

Costs do not include freight, installation, concrete footer for pole mounts, ground rod & clamp, and miscellaneous electrical widgets or wire runs.


Some people think solar modules are ugly – but I think they’re beautiful…and how wonderful it is to get electricity from sunlight!
And, you can enjoy saving money while saving the planet.


Are you looking at a stock watering project this year? Or you want power for a pump if the utility fails? Or perhaps you have a pond to fill, or fruit trees that need irrigating? A remote cabin? Contact us for all your remote water pumping needs; visit www.PVsolarpumps.com for more information.

If your only concern if the power goes out is water and you have a, say, 1.5 HP 240VAC pump, we can now run many of those pumps array direct whenever the sun is shining. So if you need water for irrigation or stock, this new PicoCell system might be just what you need. The PicoCell, from SunTech Drives, is now part of our line of quality solar products, and we look forward to the next generation of their solar evolution as the newer and more robust water pump solutions come on board. Being powerless doesn’t mean being waterless any more! Depending on your water pump make and model, we may have a solution for those times when the power is gone but the need for water exists and the sun is shining. Three-phase water pumps and motors under 2HP manufactured by Berkley, Franklin, Flint, Goulds, Grundfos, Myers and Wailing are all great candidates for using the new PicoCell from SunTech Drive to run your water pump while the sun is shining and conventional power is out. Single phase pumps up to 1HP from these same manufacturers, including Sta-Rite are able to operate effectively also. Call for more information or to see if your pump will work with a PicoCell. 406-777-4321

Cows LOVE solar water pumping!


We offer the Grundfos, SunRotor, Dankoff and Lorentz pump line, from submersible to surface pumps. And we can power your 240VAC pump too! 406-777-4321 for tech support on pump systems.


TAX SEASON is nearly upon us! If you had a solar power system installed and running by 31st December, 2017, you are eligible for a 30% tax credit of the cost of your solar module installation, less any state incentives or rebates. The 30% tax credit is still available through the end of 2019, so now the time is ripe for investment in the solar power system of your dreams. It is also available for certain types of solar thermal (hot water and space heating) systems. https://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/solar_energy_systems for the links about the federal tax credit; http://www.dsireusa.org for a state-by-state database of all renewable incentives; and https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf for the personal tax credit form. We are NOT tax experts, so when in doubt, consult your accountant or visit the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i5695?utm_source=Iron+Edison+Newsletter&utm_campaign=35a4413d23-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_eaf26bfcab-35a4413d23-135295541&mc_cid=35a4413d23&mc_eid=6d3c772416

OUTBACK POWER has a new charge controller, the FlexMax 100! This will allow for longer strings of solar modules and is fully NEC 2014 compliant with the Outback ICS Plus. It offers:

> a rainproof outdoor IP54/Type PR enclosure
> 100A output for up to 5KW of charging
> suitable for 24, 36 or 48V battery banks
> updated MPPT software algorithm means more power than other controllers
> up to 99% efficiency; LED indicators status display
> Five year warranty
> system configures quickly (MATE3S required)
> minimum battery bank size: 100ah
> had built in GFCI, field-replaceable cooling fan
> built in 128 days of data logging

You can view more information on this exciting new charge controller at http://www.outbackpower.com/outback-products/make-the-power/flexmax-series-charge-controllers/item/flexmax-100?category_id=531
Now available at a special introductory price of $1045 plus shipping (offer good til 4/30/18)



MNChinook 200 Wind Turbine Now Officially Available http://files.constantcontact.com/aaa32e00401/5cc9c46b-fd24-4c58-8538-64e359dee783.jpg
The Chinook 200 is now new and improved, a direct-drive micro-turbine designed for use in 12, 24 or 48 volt DC battery charging applications. Its attractive low-profile design, exceptional performance in low winds and low rotor acoustics, make this turbine the ideal choice for almost any application. It’s also very quiet, and mounts on a 1.5” Schedule 40 steel pipe.

The Chinook 200 can also work hand-in-hand with PV panels to ensure that power is being generated in all weather conditions; they can be charging the same battery bank, and are also suitable for marine use. The MidNite Chinook Diversion Load (CDL) is an integrated solution designed to prevent 12, 24 or 48 volt batteries from overcharging and is included with the Chinook 200. Compact and easy to install, the CDL incorporates a 300 Watt resistive heating element and controller board in a powder coated steel enclosure. $995 plus shipping includes its dump load controller. The output voltage is not field selectable and must be ordered for either 12V, 24V or 48V battery charging. Designed in Montana and still made in the USA, if you have good average wind speeds (10-12 mph+) you will find this to be an excellent addition to your battery charging scheme.



SOLAR PANELS: Despite the 30% import tariff on certain incoming solar modules, there are still a lot of good deals to be had.

NEO Solar Power 360W Mono 72 cell, Tier 1 module Vmp 39.01V Imp 9.23A 77” x 35”, pallet quantity is 30; minimum order quantity is 10. Cost is $309 per module in pallet quantities.

MightyMax Solar 150W 12V nominal modules, 24/pallet, Vmp 17.7V Imp 8.47A 39.’” X 39”, cost is $215 each in pallet quantities.

Hanwha QCells Black Q.Peak G4.1 295W Vmp 32.19V Imp 9.17A 65.7” x 39.4”, minimum quantity 4, cost $269 each

Canadian Solar MaxPower CS6U-325P (poly), 325W, Vmp 37V Imp 8.78A 77.2” x 39.1”, minimum quantity 4, cost $298 each

LG Mono 330E1C-A5 330W AC module (includes Enphase IQ6+Micro-inverter) 66.38” x 40”, minimum quantity 4, $555 each (max string 13 of these AC modules)

SolarWorld Plus SW300 Mono 300W Vmp 32.6V Imp 9.31A 65.95” x 39.4”, minimum quantity 4, $360 each

GLC 325W Multicrystalline Vmp 37.6V Imp 8.64A, 77” x 39.05”, 26 per pallet, cost is $269 each in pallet quantities.

We can also source a variety of other solar products including Trina, ET Solar, Yingle, Jinko, Csun, etc.
Many of our suppliers have a substantial fee for less than pallet quantities.


Yes it’s finally SPRING and we are offering our gorgeous indigenous corn seed to you for the price of postage. An ounce is about 100 seeds and (since the P.O. considers this a ‘package’), cost to mail you about 1.5 ounces is $1.21

No power is no problem with our gas refrigerators – now featuring the new economical HOMESTEADER line by Diamond

The manufacturers of the Diamond propane gas refrigerators are now offering a non-CSA certified offering available as a refrigerator/freezer unit in 19 cu.ft. and 21 cu.ft. capacities. While this means we cannot ship these to Canada, their cooling performance is not compromised in any fashion – in fact these have the same identical cooling unit as those installed in the Diamond gas fridges of the same size. These are some of the finest performing gas absorption units in the industry. Both sizes will be offered in the popular white, black and also stainless steel finishes, and they are less costly than most other models in the full size range. Here are the specifications:

19 cu.ft. Homesteader





Our customer Rick Freeman from southern California swaps out his old batteries for new to re-charge his PV system.
These 6V batteries weigh about 110 lbs. each.



  • “Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”
    --Gustav Mahler

  • "We have to prepare our cities for the increasing scarcity of resources by increasing their density and energy efficiency." -- Mathis Wackernagel

  • "Saying that you don't care about privacy because you got nothing to hide is no different than saying that you don't care about freedom of speech because you got nothing to say."
    --Edward Snowden

  • “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
     --William Shakespeare

  • "In reality, studies show that investments to spur renewable energy and boost energy efficiency generate far more jobs than oil and coal."
    --Jeff Goodell

  • “Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”

  • “At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.”
    --Thomas Friedman

  • “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
    --Leo Tolstoy

  • "As the saying goes, the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones; we transitioned to better solutions. The same opportunity lies before us with energy efficiency and clean energy."
    --Steven Chu

  • “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” --Robert H. Schuller

  • "Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us."
    -- President Theodore Roosevelt

Please feel free to share this newsletter – knowledge is power!

Visit us on the web for product and project information!
For grid-tied power systems, www.grid-tie.com
Solar water pumping:  www.PVsolarpumps.com
Non-electric gas appliances, www.LPappliances.com
Efficient and DC appliances, www.eco-fridge.com
And our main page at www.oasismontana.com