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
Now in autumn, we are enjoying cool and wet (even snowy) conditions, but it was one hot and smoky summer and fall for many parts of the western U.S., and Montana was no exception. We were smug with our good snowpack, back in spring. Then our summer started with a week of 100+ degree weather, and continued to stay hot. We were blanketed in smoke from the horrific fires (1.3 million acres burned) until the middle of September, and unfortunately, many homes and a few lives have been lost. We have been able to help some people with water pumping to protect their properties, but our drought conditions and warm temps made for a very dry western tinderbox. If only those folks in Texas could’ve share perhaps 1/20th of their deluge from their state…

Even so, the garden and fruit trees kept us busy, and despite the smoke we still enjoyed camping, fishing, and canoeing in our local river (even though the water was quite low). We hope our legislators will work on commonsense future measures to mitigate the effects of warming temperatures and prolonged drought. One thought we have had (since we were less than a mile from our local small airport, a helibase that launched many helicopters and other aircraft for fighting fires) is that actual planning for these events would be a good idea (seeing as they are now part of our new normal)—how about reservoirs near these airports to make hauling the big buckets faster and more affordable? Here in Stevensville, we have several large irrigation ditches in close proximity to our airfield…. Well, it’s just my 2 cents worth!



PICOCELL controller inverter for array-direct water pumping

 for your 240VAC pump.
In this issue we have some new products to share; one is an exciting new AC soft start pump controller/inverter that can run your 240VAC (or 120V, or 3 phase, or 230VAC 50 hz) 1/3 to 2 horsepower pump directly off of a solar array – click here for more information on the PICOCELL controller/inverter (cost: $1220 plus shipping). This exciting new technology is designed for off-grid use, or emergency back-up. We have installation manuals, spec sheets, and pump kit information on our water pumping site.  Call or e-mail for more information.



New, small Energy Efficient AC refrigerator

We also have a new, small AC refrigerator, 7.1 cu.ft. for your home or cabin, the CP972SS. It’s a great size for space-limited kitchens, only 22”W x 22”D x 57”H and will sell at the great price of $459 plus shipping. With its lean size, the CP972SS is the ideal refrigerator for studio apartments, yachts, offices, and other settings in need of reliable cooling in a slim-fitting footprint. Visit here for more information on this and other (larger) refrigerators.



Just a reminder, we offer a line of non-electric propane refrigerators, freezers, cooktops and ranges at www.LPappliances.com, and a line of efficient AC or DC refrigerators and freezers at www.eco-fridge.com.


The best nuclear generating station is 93 million miles away, and is available for pretty much everyone!
Thomas Edison quote on Solar Energy

Iron Edison Batteries
We also have a new line of batteries to offer, manufactured by Iron Edison;

Iron Edison BatteriesOver a century ago, Thomas Edison found a battery design that he considered to be nearly perfect. Today, Iron Edison is proud to offer an updated version of this incredible design that is specifically manufactured for renewable energy systems. Iron Edison carries a variety of nickel iron batteries: 12 volt, 24 volt, and 48 volt configurations, each configuration with amp-hour capacities of 100 Ah through 1000 Ah.

visit our information on this exciting new product line.


The International Trade Commission (ITC) is responding to a lawsuit brought about by SolarWorld and Suniva (U.S. module manufacturers) that low cost imported (i.e. Chinese) solar modules have hurt their competitiveness, so they are asking for a tariff on imported solar panels to ‘level the playing field’. Many pro-solar groups are opposing these tariffs, as they will increase the dollar-per-watt cost of installed solar power systems, and very negatively impact job growth in the solar sector – which had been bourgeoning in the past few years. In fact, it is estimated that 1 out of 50 new jobs is in the renewable energy sector. The ITC has approved tariffs, but it will be up the President Trump to set the rate; those of us in the industry are waiting to see what will happen, and many jobs are on hold pending the decision. It sounds like costs may go up 10% to as much as 40%. For more information visit:  https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/10/31/breaking-usitc-recommends-quotas-tariffs-on-crystalline-silicon-solar-imports/  and https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/11/13/the-clock-ticks-itc-turns-section-201-over-to-president-trump/

Renewable Energy (and related) news bites

             1912 Warning on coal cuasing climate change


  • When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.
    --Jens Stoltenberg
  • Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.
    --Marilyn Monroe
  • The cost of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
    –Ralph Nader
  • The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can't but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching.
  • A kestrel can and does hover in the dead calm of summer days, when there is not the faintest breath of wind. He will, and does, hover in the still, soft atmosphere of early autumn, when the gossamer falls in showers, coming straight down as if it were raining silk.
    --Richard Jefferies
  • I love nuclear energy! It's just that I prefer fusion to fission. And it just so happens that there's an enormous fusion reactor safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers more than we could ever use in just about 8 minutes. And it's wireless!
  • I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
    -- Andrew Wyeth
  • There has been a systematic repression of solar energy. It seems pretty funny to me that the government, if it is completely neutral--why wouldn't they pursue this far safer alternative of solar energy with the same intent that they pursue nuclear energy? Solar power is the last energy resource that isn't owned yet--nobody taxes the sun yet.
    --Bonnie Raitt
  • The problem with winter sports is that--follow me closely here--they generally take place in winter.
    --Dave Barry
  • If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
    --Anne Bradstreet

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