While I was working on the DC250, Heliotrope
came out with their SOLPAN system. It
was very similar to the Ananda box but
eliminated most of the DC load circuits.
The Solpan was meant to be a lower cost
alternative to the Ananda power Center.
A basic Solpan system with inverter breaker
and charge controller could be purchased
for as little as $600. Heliotrope was
very well known for their PWM charge controllers
at a time when Trace Engineering was still
making relay based controllers and Ananda
used Mercury displacement relays. Heliotrope
was years ahead of everyone else with
their excellent charge controllers. The
Solpan breaker box included a 60 or 120
amp charge controller as well as DC over
current protection and disconnects.
The inverter breaker was an option, but
a 500 amp shunt was standard. These boxes
did not incorporate any AC circuitry.
The Heliotrope units were ETL listed and
a good value. Sam Dawson (owner of Heliotrope)
was forced to close the doors of Heliotrope
after a fire ravaged the factory, but
I hear he is still involved in solar swimming