This week's Frequently Asked Question Spotlight will be centered around our specialty; Solar Generators. Many people are unfamiliar with the operation and configuration of solar generators and we are doing our best to ensure that our customers have all of the information they need in order to make an educated purchase. Let’s get started!
How do Solar Generators Work?
The idea behind the average solar generator is actually quite simple. The solar panels, which are installed in an area that receives as much direct sunlight as possible (facing southern exposure if possible) collect energy from the sun's rays. This energy is then transported via PV copper stranded wire to a charge controller. The charge controller then regulates the outgoing power to a battery bank, where the power is stored. The stored power is then converted from DC power over to usable, standard, AC power (110V), via a Pure or Modified Sine Wave Inverter.
Why do I need a Solar Generator when I already have a Gas Generator?
Gas generators are very useful for heavy power requirements and short outage periods. However, there are many reasons why Solar Generators are extremely useful compared to Gas/Propane systems. Solar energy is renewable and constantly available. During our experience with Hurricane Sandy, we were unable to procure gas even for our vehicles, leaving no fuel source for gas generators. Solar systems are completely silent. Meaning they can run all night long without bothersome noise or notifying everyone about your whereabouts and what provisions you may have. Solar generators are also very cost efficient and will save you money down the line. There are multiple tax incentives and you can even use the average off grid system to lower your monthly energy bill. There are countless benefits to using solar energy and the list goes on and on.
What type of maintenance does a Solar Generator System require?
Solar panels and the components that make up the average solar generator require very little maintenance. There are no moving parts so the odds of something failing within the system are slim. We recommend inspecting the solar panels every few months to see if they require cleaning and to remove any debris that may have collected on them. The batteries should be checked periodically for degradation if you are constantly drawing them down to close to empty. This process is typically very simple and can be performed by simply checking the battery voltage and performance statistics listed on the system’s LCD screen.
Can I store the Solar Generator Indoors?
The majority of solar generators should be stored indoors. Batteries are susceptible to extreme cold and hot temperatures and can have a negative effect on performance. However, we highly recommend checking the operating temperature recommendations on the solar generator you are using for optimal performance and location.
As solar technology continues to grow and become more efficient, more and more people will look for education on the subject. We hope the FAQ Series is providing our readers with the information they require to make a proper purchase when going green. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your solar needs!