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Identifying Issues with your Solar Power System
Identifying Issues with your Solar Power System
Abby Fry avatar
Written by Abby Fry
Updated over a week ago

If your device is powered by our Solar Power System and your device is losing power periodically, it may be for one of several reasons as outlined in the table below:



Lack of sun

If deployed in a low-sun area or if the panel is not oriented properly, you may not be able to fully charge the batteries

Extreme temperatures

Lithium batteries can only be charged and discharged within their safe operating range

Installation Error

If cables are not properly secured, current cannot be transmitted

Broken device

If either the panel or batteries are defective, you may not receive power to your device

Below, we discuss each issue and how to diagnose and fix the root cause of the problem.

Lack of Sun

To get the best results from your Solar Panel System, it is important to ensure the panels are installed properly, as small differences in the solar panel title angle (degrees from horizontal) or the solar panel azimuth angle (degrees clockwise from north) can have a large impact on the amount of energy produced by the panel. To achieve the best results:

  1. Make sure your panel is installed at the best angle for your geolocation. Use a calculator such as this to determine what the ideal angle is for your location if needed. If installing in the northern hemisphere, this typically means a solar panel tilt angle of 30-45 degrees and ensuring the panel is facing south.

  2. Make sure your panel is not in the shade

If your device is only on during the sunny part of the day, it is likely the batteries are not fully charged and are struggling to generate more energy than the device uses. In this case, it can be beneficial to remove the sensor (primary load) from the battery and charge the battery fully before re-installing the sensor. This should allow the battery to have enough of a buffer to survive days where there isn't as much exposure

Extreme Temperatures

While the optimal operating temperature range for lithium batteries is approximately -20 to 60C, the safe operating range for charging and discharging lithium batteries is different. For safety reasons, our batteries have over- and under-temperature protections built in and will only charge between 0 ºC and 45 ºC and will only discharge between -15 ºC and 60 ºC. If you are outside the range of 0 ºC to 45 ºC, you will experience temporary issues charging, discharging, or both.

Installation Error

Installing the Solar Panel System can be challenging and it's always a good idea to ensure all cables are properly connected and secured between the solar panel and the battery system. The two most common installation issues are:

  1. The cable connecting the solar panel to the battery is not fully connected. The cable includes a ribbed connector to ensure the connection is waterproof and you may need to give the connector an extra push to ensure it's fully connected.

  2. The panels are not installed at the ideal angle and orientation. Please see the section above on "Lack of Sun" for more information and a link to the solar calculator.

Broken Device

If none of the above seem relevant to your situation, please see our article for best practices to debug and report an issue so that we can help you fix the issue most expediently.

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