The KID - leave it on the boat
I bought and installed two Outback Flexmax 60s in two off-grid homes I own. They are solidly engineered, work flawlessly and were very easy to install. For a third installation with only 600W of modules, I decided to save the couple of hundred dollars and purchase a KID instead. This was a mistake, and I wish I had stuck with the Flexmax, or its full-sized Midnight equivalent.
The KID strikes me a marine unit that has been adapted with bits of plastic for shore use. With less charging capacity comes compactness, which has very little value on shore, and passive cooling (i.e., it does not have the small fan that cools the C60), which is essentially irrelevant in terms of ambient power consumption because cooling is mostly needed when one has an excess of insolation to contend with.
With these dubious advantages comes an almost impossibly awkward mechanical design that I found made the KID far harder to install than the adult sized units. Adding a temperature sensor, which I plan to do in the future, will require me to completely uninstall the unit, whose connections can only be reached by unmounting it from the wall, which, if youve kept PV and Battery leads reasonably short, forces you to disconnect everything from the load center in order to access the connections.
The KIDs marine origins also force you to isolate the grounds within your load center, which creates clutter and adds expense in the form of an isolated buss bar. Programming and setup are simple, but also much less flexible than for the Outback and I feel far less sure of what it is doing at any given time.
I regret buying the KID and in the future will pay the extra to get a full sized unit. The KID is a miss.
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