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.
Solar Smart is now available to be controlled from other devices such as thermostats, home/building automation systems, security systems and etc. - with the use of wired External Control Inputs (ECI) on a dedicated remote – ECI Remote.
The ECI Remote maintains all the functionality as the Standard Remote – however it is intended and recommended that all pairing/programming to be completed on the Standard (Main) Remote and the ECI Remote to be used as a Secondary Remote.
The ECI Remote will operate either a single zone or all zones. The ECI Remote requires a wall outlet for constant power as well as be wired directly to the automation system.
Features such as Rain Sensor, Temperature Control, and Timed-to-Close should be disabled on the ECI (Secondary) Remote and managed only on the Standard (Main) Remote.
Learn more in our ECI Remote Installation documentation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The current battery used is a 2-cell Li-ion rechargable battery, 2200 mAh.
Previous versions of Solar Smart used a 6-cell NiMH rechargeable battery, 1800 mAh.
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.
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.
About 60 to 80 cycles for a typical skylight or window requiring 55 lbs. load on the chain to operate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, this is required for solar charging. 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.
The operator can be used without the Solar Panel if the wall charger is to be used full-time instead.
Yes, this is required for solar charging. But, the operator can be used without the Solar Panel if the wall charger is to be used full-time instead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.