Welcome to another edition of the Sol-Lux Five! Today we’re going to focus on an accessory to the Sol-Lux Eos window awning, the auxiliary solar panel. We want to give you a refresher on this product, make sure you guys have a good understanding of how to use it, and help you not lose money when you’re our doing installations.
The first thing you’re going to do after you install your awning, is check the diagnostics. As you can see in my example here, my awning is tucked pretty far underneath an eave on the house and so this solar panel on the awning is going to be heavily shaded a significant portion of the time. After you install the awning you want to run diagnostics. The way to access that is through the settings of the Sol-Lux mobile app. Connect to the awning, navigate to the settings, which is in the lower right hand corner of the app on the screen there is a little gear icon, tap on that and swipe over to the second to last screen of the settings which is titled “Service”. On that screen there is a button labeled “Diagnostics”. You are going to tap on that and it will give you a lot of information and a lot of readings.
The reading that we specifically want to focus on when checking for light levels is the solar milliamps, referenced as mA in the diagnostic section. You want to see what that solar current is in milliamps. What you are going to need to see as a requirement is at least 20 milliamps of solar current for a period of 1 hour a day or 10 milliamps of solar current for at least 2 hours throughout the day. That is the minimum required to keep up with the general usage of the awning in a day-to-day use. If you don’t see that you’re definitely going to need to install an auxiliary solar panel.
Obviously, you are going to want to check that reading during a time of day where the awning would want to be deployed, where there is enough light. If you are installing it on a cloudy day or in darker light conditions, you are going to need to have that diagnostic checked at a later time. You can either walk the customer through that, or you’re going to have to check it again later. Those are the requirements for when an auxiliary solar panel is needed. Let’s make sure you don’t lose money when you are implementing these auxiliary solar panels. The way to do that is to have a conversation with the customer pre-sale. When you are selling the awning initially, if you see that there’s an eave like this, you’re going to want to make sure you have that conversation with the customer. “Hey we’re not going to sell you something you don’t need, but we’re going to check diagnostics when we’re on site and if it’s needed then we’ll go ahead and install that for you.” Let them know what the cost is if it’s a hundred bucks or a hundred and fifty bucks, whatever it is that you charge for your auxiliary solar panels.
Also, I suggest keeping a supply of these auxiliary solar panels in your truck. If you wait until you place the order, and you’re doing the install, then it’s too late, then you have to make a separate trip to install them. So if you keep a stock, I’d say keep 3 to 5 of them on hand at all times, then you don’t have to go back out to the customer’s site to complete the installation of that solar panel.
Let’s talk about where to install them. You can see I’ve installed mine right next to the awning here, just a little bit lower, it just happens to work out perfectly because I know that the sunlight is going to hit this panel. Make sure you don’t install it in a spot where the awning when it’s extended is going to shade that auxiliary solar panel that you just installed. You also don’t want to install it around the corner, you certainly don’t want to put it up on the roof, because this becomes the primary solar panel for the awning. If you put it around the corner or on the roof, it is going to detect a different light level than what is on the window here. So you want to make sure that you are detecting the appropriate light for the awning itself so that it operates autonomously as it should.
When you finish the installation of the panel, you want to make sure you don’t pinch the wires in the end cap. There is a little slot in the end cap itself that you can guide the wire through. Make sure you don’t pinch that. I’d also keep a supply of wire tacks on hand so that you can neatly tack the wire next to the window trim or wherever you are routing that wiring for the auxiliary solar panel.
Once you’ve completed it, make sure you check the diagnostics again. You should get a much different reading than when the original panel was the primary. That will give you the reading to let you know that the installation has been completed successfully and you’re getting an accurate charge. That’s it guys! Hope that was helpful.
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