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Solar Operated - Automated Natural Ventilation
Solar Smart is designed to be used without any additional power and wiring from the building.
solar smart window operator

Solar Smart is a solar powered (charged), battery backed, remote operated, chain drive opener system – designed for the use in awning and hopper windows, and skylights. Solar Smart is designed to be used without any additional power and wiring from the building. The operator is powered by a Lithium battery pack that is recharged from the external solar panel; an optional AC adapter is included. Solar Smart was engineered to feature ultra low power consumption while in idle state, and in use. The electronically efficient hardware and software design, allows for solar to be a reality; also allowing the solar panel to be relatively small (approx 13 x 3 inch).

The intelligence of Solar Smart extends to the handheld remote; bidirectional feedback display is the most noteworthy to the end user. The large and readable display provides feedback on a number of critical items including; Open / Close status displayed in percentage, operator and remote battery levels, solar charge rate, temperature automatic functions, and several other advanced programming options. A single remote can be paired with one or multiple operators within range.

Documents & Resources

Operator

Lifting Capacity
60 lbs at the chain which provides operation to hinged systems weighing up to 120 lbs.
Closing Force
The operator will close until 30-35 lbs of force is reached, sufficient to compress weather seals.
Pull-Out Resistance
Tested by independent certified laboratory to resist a pull-out force of 750 lbs while maintaining ability to operate after force was removed.
Opening Distance
Maximum travel of the chain is 8 inches. Factory default setting is 80% of total travel but this is easily changed by the end-user at any time.
Finish Materials
The structural base and mounting bracket are white painted aluminum. The decorative cover is white plastic. All external surfaces are paint-able.
Battery Pack
A 6-cell NiMH 7.2 V rechargeable battery pack, capacity 1800 mAh. End-user replaceable with an expected life of up to 10 years under normal use and conditions.

Remote

Display
Large, easy to read LCD shows function and status information for both the operator and remote control via bi-directional communication. Temperature displayed when not operating the system. Opening and closing status displayed by percentage during operation.
Operator and Remote battery levels displayed by percentage. Solar or AC adapter charge rate displayed in Milliamperes (mA).
Communication
FCC approved RF bi-directional communication.
Battery
Standard AA alkaline batteries, with an expected life of 1 year under normal use.
Base/Mounting
Stand up base integrated into design and a wall mount bracket is included.
Thermostat Automation
Integrated sensor for automated thermostat operation, end-user programmable.
Standard Features
Operates up to 9 units per Zone in up to 9 separate Zones, for a total capacity of 81 units.
Multiple remotes can be used.
Pairing and programming information is wirelessly synced between remotes to eliminate redundant programming.

Solar Panel

Type/Size/Output
Amorphous silicon. Approx 13 x 3 inch.
Power output is a nominal 0.8 Watts at a maximum of 10 VDC. Typical current output when connected to the operator is 0 to 120mA depending on weather and battery conditions.
Degradation
Expected 25% degradation in the first 1-2 years, then remains unchanged throughout the panel life of more than 20 years. This degradation is typical of solar panel assemblies. Solar Smart has been designed with this solar panel degradation in mind.
Mounting Hardware
Brackets and fasteners are stainless steel, ideal for outdoor corrosion resistance.

FAQ

What is Solar Smart?

Solar Smart is a battery powered, solar charged, chain driven motorized window and skylight operator. In the preferred configuration, the unit is connected to the supplied solar panel installed outside, which provides sufficient electric charge to the internal battery pack, even during the darker winter months. Solar Smart provides a very green solution to home automation.

An AC adapter is provided with each Solar Smart kit to ensure a full battery charge at the time of installation. This same adapter can also be used as an alternative power source in lieu of the solar panel if needed. The Solar Smart operator remains a true green solution even when powered by the AC adapter, since ultra-low power consumption and energy efficiency have been designed into the entire system. This is what makes solar charging possible with such a small solar panel.

What is the main advantage of the Solar Smart operator?

Solar resources are a great and fundamental green energy supply. Another big advantage of using Solar Smart is that it eliminates the need for internal wiring through existing walls. This provides great savings of both time and money on installation; and makes an electrical operator feasible where otherwise not practical or cost effective.

What is the Solar Smart lifting capability and speed?

The Solar Smart system is rated to lift 60 lbs at the chain, which is sufficient to operate all residential awning windows and skylights. The maximum opening of 8 inches distance takes approximately 40 to 60 seconds to complete.

Is Solar Smart durable?

Solar Smart has been tested in real-world conditions to last for more than 15,000 lifting cycles. This is more than 20 years of use under normal conditions.

How is Solar Smart controlled?

A wireless bi-directional RF hand-held remote unit gives you full control of all skylight and window functions. The remote control offers a large LCD screen, to display information such as opening progress percentage, operator battery level, charging current, etc. One remote can control up to 9 operators per Zone, in up to 9 different Zones.

The remote control has the built-in temperature sensor that can be used to automatically open and close skylights or windows based on your pre-set temperature value.

Optional additional remotes can be purchased and incorporated into the system for convenience or as backup controls.

What’s the operating distance of the Solar Smart remote?

The distance an RF, or Radio Frequency signal can travel, varies greatly depending on many things. Factors such as the environmental conditions, obstructions, elevations, construction materials in the area of installation and use, among other details have a large effect on both the quality and distance these signals propagate. Because each installation and situation are different, RF range is most often reported based on standardized, line-of-sight conditions.

The Solar Smart system has a line-of-sight range of 200 feet outdoors, 100 feet indoors and can typically penetrate 1-2 walls of wood frame/sheet rock construction. Your conditions may vary.

What type of battery is used and what is it’s expected life?

Solar Smart uses a 6-cell rechargeable 1800mAh(milliamp-hours) capacity battery pack.

Under normal use the rechargeable battery pack may last up to 10 years and it is easily user-replaceable should it fail. To ensure long battery life, it is recommended that the battery should not be run down completely, ideally maintaining 15% to 100% charge at any time.

How long would a fully charged operator battery last if there is no charging current during a long winter or rainy season?

Due to self-discharging characteristics of the battery pack itself and standby power consumption, the battery will have about 15% energy remaining after 4 months of no charging and no operator use.

How many open-and-close cycles can a fully charged battery run?

About 60 to 80 cycles for a typical skylight or window requiring 55 lbs. load on the chain to operate.

How quickly will the solar panel charge and maintain the battery?

There are many facets that go into the answer of this question, so some background explanation and examples are prudent. Sunlight levels, solar panel exposure and use of the operator are just a few of the factors that effect solar charging.

The included solar panel produces a typical charge current of 10 to 100 mA(milliamps) and approximately 30% of this energy turns into available battery power for operator use. An average of 100 mA charging current would take 18 hours to charge the battery to 1/3rd it’s capacity, or 600 mAh, from completely empty.

If the operator cycles open and closed once per day, this would consume roughly 20 mAh of energy. Standby power and self-discharging will also consume 10 to 20 mAh, for a total energy consumption of 40 mAh for that day. In this example, it would take a 100mA solar charging current about 1.2 hours to reach energy balance for that day with any additional charging being an addition to the battery level. On a lightly cloudy day, the charge current may be 40mA and it would take 3 hours to make up the energy use in our example.

Could a skylight or window fail to close due to battery running of out of energy?

Not likely. The on-board microprocessor monitors the operator battery continuously and is programmed to prevent the skylight or window from opening, or to stop it during opening, when it detects a very low battery level. However, there is still enough energy inside the battery at this time to fully close the unit, which is recommended, and the system is programmed to allow you to do so. So long as a skylight or window is not left open for extended periods while battery extremely low, (multiple days) there is enough reserve energy to close the window.

Can I still open or close the window if the remote is lost or damaged?

Manual override buttons have been provided inside the battery compartment to run the operator in the unlikely event that the remote is lost or damaged. These buttons are intended for emergency and installation purposes only.

What type of solar panel is used and what is its power output?

The solar panel supplied with the kit is amorphous silicon, approx 13 x 3 inch. Power output is a nominal 0.8 watts at a maximum of 10 VDC. Typical current output when connected to the operator is 0 to 120 mA depending on weather and battery conditions.

The above solar panel performance data undergoes 25% degradation in the first 1-2 years, then remains unchanged throughout the panel life of more than 20 years. This degradation is typical of solar panel assemblies. Solar Smart has been designed with this solar panel degradation in mind.

How should the solar panel shall be installed?

The solar panel needs be installed outdoors, orientated to receive the most direct exposure to the Sun throughout the day and with no blockage to the Sun’s path. For most of the continental United States, the solar panel should be tilted roughly 35° from horizontal and oriented to the South for optimal exposure.

Can I install the solar panel on the interior of a window?

No. The glass used in modern skylights and windows contain coatings and other energy efficient technologies that reduce the amount of visible and non-visible daylight into the interior space; thus preventing adequate charging for interior mounted solar panels. The solar panel and wiring are designed and constructed for outdoor use.

Should the solar panel wire always be connected to the operator?

Yes, this is required. The Solar Smart operator battery pack can be charged by the solar panel under all weather conditions without risk of over-charging, nor draining energy away.

What is the purpose of the AC adapter that is supplied with the kit?

The AC adapter/trickle charger is supplied to ensure a full battery charge just prior to, and for use during the installation of the Solar Smart kit.

This same adapter can also be used as an alternative power source in lieu of the solar panel if needed. The Solar Smart operator remains a true green solution even when powered by the AC adapter, since ultra-low power consumption and energy efficiency have been designed into the entire system. This is what makes solar charging possible with such a small solar panel.

Can the AC adapter remain connected to the operator at all times?

Yes, the AC adapter is designed so that it can safely remain connected to the operator indefinitely, without risk of over-charging or draining battery energy away.

However, for best energy saving considerations, we recommend that you unplug the charger from wall outlet if the operator is not to be used for an extended period of time.

Could I connect both the solar panel and the AC adapter simultaneously?

Yes, this will not do any harm to the operator or battery pack, nor will it provide any additional benefits. If there is steady and sufficient solar charging current, more than 60 mA on average, we do not recommend the use of the AC adapter.

Could I use some other adapter to charge the Solar Smart operator?

No, only the supplied Solar Smart adapter is safe to use. Any other adapter can over-heat the battery causing permanent damage, fire or even explosion. Please contact your dealer to purchase the correct replacement AC adapter/trickle charger.

Do I need to setup or re-program the Solar Smart operator and remote again if power is lost?

No, both the operator and the remote control use a non-volatile memory to save your settings and data. When power is lost or when batteries are changed, the system will continue to work as it always has after the self-test is completed upon restoring power. The self-test takes about 10 seconds to complete.

I see that the Solar Smart operator tilts back and forth when the skylight or window is being operated, is this normal?

Yes, this movement is intentional. The operator is mounted on a pivot point so when the chain extends during opening, the operator body can rotate to accommodate the change of angle between the chain and the skylight or window sash. This unique design ensures that the chain is always straight during operation, which provides the lowest energy use while maintaining the maximum thrust throughout the operating stroke at the same time. This also greatly reduces the potential of chain jam, reduces mechanical wear, and provides the longest system life.

What’s the smallest window that Solar Smart can operate?

For all practical purposes, there is no such a limit. However, in a rare case it may be possible for the side wall of the chain clip to interfere with the chain movement when the chain forms an angle less than 55 degrees relative to the window glass. This may happen when a window is very short and may be more likely in some awning window designs. This situation is easily avoided by limiting the opening distance to that which prevents the end chain link from making contact with the side wall of the chain attachment clip. Solar Smart has a “Max Open” feature which can be programmed to set the maximum opening, or chain travel distance. Use this feature to prevent potential chain interference in such a case.

Some windows employing a complex leveling system may produce rapid change of load when being opened to its maximum, limiting the chain stroke may be necessary in this case to avoid excessive load acting on operator.

Does Solar Smart require any regular maintenance service?

The solar panel surface must be kept clean and free from tree leaves or any other debris which might reduce and/or block sunlight to any part of the surface. This can cause electrical imbalance and may damage the internal solar cell.

The operator unit should not be exposed to direct rain and excessive dust build up should be prevented on the chain.

How come that when I press OPEN key, the window doesn’t open?

As part of the power saving design, the remote control goes into a ‘sleep mode’ where the LCD display goes blank. In this case, the first press of any button simply wakes up the remote, additional button presses send commands to the operator.

Note that it takes about 2 seconds for the operator to respond to a command even though the remote LCD displays the movement already.

Occasionally a RF signal may be missed due to interference and a repeat button press might be needed.