Q: Do you need to keep your flex panels clean?
A: To produce optimum power you need to keep dust and residue off your flex panels as much a possible
Q: How do you clean your flex panels?
A: Begin by rinsing off the flex panels with water to avoid scratching the panels with the dust particles accumulated on it. Then scrub panels with warm soap water.
Q: Do flex panels need a heat sink to avoid overheating?
A: The short answer is no. When solar panels reach high temperatures their efficiency starts to decrease a few percent. This drop of efficiency usually isn't an issue until temperatures reach over 150𝇈F. Our panels are rated for -40 to 180𝇈F. Heat sinks are typically used for solar farms in the desert, heat sinks are unnecessary for small solar generators.
Q: Do flex solar panels work in the winter?
A: Yes, as long as the solar cells are not covered in snow and there is clear skies.
Q: How tough are flex solar panels?
A: Very tough. Tough enough to withstand hail, earthquakes, even walk on or drop several feet.
Q: Can the flex solar panels stay outdoors year round?
A:Yes, they can withstand the snow, hail, and rain.
Q: What are the differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells?
A: Monocrystalline cells can perform better in overcast skies compared to polycrystalline solar cells, which can perform better with clouds or shadows. Monocrystalline cells typically have rounded off corners and are black. Polycrystalline cells are usually blueish and have a rectangle shape.
Q: Which direction should the solar panels be mounted?
A: The panels should be mounted facing true south if you live in the northern hemisphere. The tilt should be equal to your latitude, plus 15 degrees in winter or minus 15 degrees in summer.
Q: Do sealed batteries still vent?
A: Yes, sealed batteries vent through a valve that prevents electrolyte spillage and over pressurization .
Q: What is the difference between lithium and lithium ion batteries?
A: Lithium batteries are not recharge able while lithium ion batteries are.
Q: Do lithium ion batteries need a special charger?
A: Yes, because lithium ion batteries charge to a higher storage voltage then standard lead acid batteries.
Solar Charge Controllers
Q: What is the differences between MPPT (maximum power point tracker) and PWM (pulse width modulation) solar charge controllers?
A: MPPT solar charge controllers are more efficient then PWM controllers because it converters the excess panel voltage to amperage, which charges the battery faster and more efficiently. PWM controllers turn their excess voltage into heat and charge the battery at a slower rate. PWM controllers reduce the stress of batteries and can increase its battery life. The only downside to MPPT solar charge controllers is their high price compared to PWM controllers.
Q: What should I avoid running off my solar generator?
A: Devices like heaters and AC systems require a large amount of power and can drain your battery bank extremely fast. Solar generators work best for supling bursts of energy or running efficient electronics like power tools or refrigerators.
Q: What is the difference between the inverter power and peak power ratings?
A: The inverter rating is what it can power continuously, like a refrigerator or lighting throughout the night. The peak power is typically twice the continuous rating and is used for short burst of energy, for electronics startup surges that last several seconds for instance.
Q: What is the difference between pure sine and modified sine wave inverters?
A: Pure sine (PS) wave inverters are higher quality but also more expensive then modified sine (MS) wave inverters. PS inverters are better for high tech, sensitive electronics like computers and power tools while MS inverters work well for lights or devices used for cooking like, electric kettles or hot plates.
Q: Why is my Modified Sine Wave Inverter reading low voltage, like 70-90 volts AC with my multimeter?
A: Most mutlimeters can not accurately read modified sine wave voltage. And the more DC input voltage is added to the inverter, the lower the inverter AC reading will get. To accurately read modified sine wave voltage use a true-RMS multimeter.
Customers often wonder what a solar generator can power, here is chart of a couple common electrical devices. All the devices run on 110 volts alternating current (AC), and this shows their typical amps and watts during operation.
*Wattage formula Watts = Amps x Volts