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Q:Is a Solatube considered an energy efficient device or a skylight. My HOA has denied installing one in the front of the house because they say it is a skylight.


A Solatube is officially called a tubular day-lighting device, however, they do fall under the category of skylight. If your HOA has denied you an installation, all is not lost. You can try convincing them to allow a Solatube with an appeal. However, this largely depends on where you live, if your home is a condo, town home or detached house and if it is a regulation of your HOA or a federal/state law that has denied your Solatube installation.

05-11-2015 by Kathy Category: Solar Lights and Garden

Q:I live in Honduras and already have a battery backup and inverter in case the grid goes down. I am looking at adding solar panels to the system. How could I add solar panels to my system in a way that they would supplement the power I am already getting from the grid and what electronics would I need to do this?


To add home solar panels to your existing system, your inverter would need to be able to support the additional panels you want to install. If your inverter is big enough, than simply tying them into the existing system will work fine. You must consider how much voltage your current panels in the system are. If the panels in your current system are 200 volts, for instance, and you add panels that are 350 volts, the new 350 volt panels will only operate at 200 volts. Your panels will always operate based on the lowest voltage panel in the system. Also, try and stick with the same brand of parts as your current system whenever possible. It will make installation easier and lower risks in the long run.If your current inverter is too small for simply adding more panels, then tying in a separate array with the panels having their own own micro-inverters is the recommended solution.

05-10-2015 by Noah Category: Solar Panels

Q:I have 110watts 12volts solar charger penal and 150 ah battery. What kind and how many amps solar charge controller do I need for charge my battery?


To charge a 150 amp per hour battery with a single 110 watt panel would take a long time. We would recommend adding a second and possibly third panel for 330 watts, which would allow you to charge your battery at 20 amps per hour, cutting down total charge time to about 5 hours instead of 10+ hours. To answer your question though, any charge controller rated to handle 20 amps per hour will do. If you don't want to add more panels, than you can suffice with a charge controller rated for 10 amps per hour.

05-05-2015 by ESWAR Category: Solar Electronics

Q:Are there thin film panels narrow enough to fit between the 17 inch standing seams of my metal roof ?


There are some brands of thin-film solar panels that are 15.5 inches wide that would fit in the 17-inch wide seams of your roof.

04-27-2015 by David Category: Solar Panels

Q:How far apart should solar path lights be spaced?


For stronger light, you will want to place the lights closer together so that the light they give off overlaps. If you want your lights to cover the widest area, then placing them further apart will accomplish that at the cost of slightly dimmer light. As a general rule of thumb, however, smaller profile lighting for residential use should be placed 6 - 8 feet apart and commercial applications should be placed 4 - 6 feet apart. Take a look at this learning article for more information on spacing solar lights.

04-09-2015 by Genobie Daniel Category: Solar Lights and Garden

Q:I have an 8k inverter with 4 100w "deep cycle" batteries, w/ 500 watts of panels 70 feet from my home. I was pulling @ 700 watts and 4 amps and the batteries maybe lasted 6 hrs. Now I'm thinking to get 500 more watts in panels and 4 more 100w batteries. What kind of power would that get me? Also, I'm using 10 awg wire for all. I have no 240 appliances in my home. I ask these questions, because I want to know what all this will do for me - as it's expensive. I want it all compatible. Can you help?


If your current system is 500 watts with 4 100w batteries adding another 500 watts and 4 100w batteries will essentially double your system and power production. If by 8k inverter, you mean 8 kilowatts (or 8000 watts), then your inverter can support an additional 500 watts of panels and batteries. If you are currently producing 700 watts and 4 amps, then doubling your system should produce about 1400 watts and 8 amps.

04-03-2015 by Eric Category: Solar Electronics

Q:How many Watt Solar Panel, Invertor & Battery Sizing in For 1 HP 230 V AC Submersible Pump Running 3-4 Hour Perday


If you are using this only 3-4 hours a day, you may not need a battery backup. Batteries add a layer of complexity to any solar water pump solution because they add cost and you need to maintain the batteries.

04-02-2015 by Rajesh Category: Solar Panels

Q:What kind of duel battery, Charge Controller can I use to suet a 300watt solar panel on my Motorhome which has 2x 125amp batteries in parallel that gives 250amps to a 25000watt inverter. I also have a 75amp battery for the lighting that will also be charge from the 300w solar panel thanks Glenn


Morningstar's SunSaver Duo is an advanced PWM two battery controller for RV's, caravans, boats and cottages. This product will charge two separate and isolated batteries at the same time, such as a "house" and an engine battery, based on user selectable priorities. You can find Morningstar PWM charge controllers in our store under PWM charge controllers. We also have complete solar kits for RVs.

03-30-2015 by GLENN S Category: RV and Marine

Q:I would like to light my landscaped back yard with multiple landscape lights powered by a single remote solar collector. I cannot seem to find any systems to do this on the internet. The individual solar lights are just way too dim, or are unsightly with a big solar cell on top of the unit. Any guidance you could provide would be appreciated.


The problem with what you want to accomplish is that the farther away the solar panel is from the appliance you want to power, the more power it is essentially going to take. So if you want to put solar lights to illuminate the front of your property, but want your remote solar panel in the back of your house where no one can see it, the power produced by the panel will need to travel x amount of feet to the lights. The power will dwindle as it travels, and how much it dwindles depends on how far it is traveling. So for example, instead of needing only one panel, you might need two or three. All in all, it just becomes inefficient after a while.

03-25-2015 by Dru Category: Solar Lights and Garden

Q:I have a well , with a 150 meter depth and other is 100 meter depth , so what is the needed solar water pump to get the water out of each well ( i need to know the watts of the pump and also the solar panel ...etc


In order to properly assess the pump you will need, more information is needed. How long do you plan to run the pump? Is the system off-grid or grid-tie in? Do you want an AC or DC powered pump? What is the static water level of each well? Is the water being pumped uphill, downhill or relatively static? What is the water from this well being used for? Human consumption? Watering a garden? Cattle and livestock consumption? (These are all factors into how many gallons per hour you will need pumped.) How many daily sun hour does the area receive?

03-25-2015 by ahmed Category: Solar Water Pumps


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