FAQ

Should I choose a grid-tied or a battery-tied system?
How much battery capacity should I have for an off-grid system?
Which battery type should I use?
How far away can a Heliomotion power plant be placed?
What is the sound level of the system?
How does Heliomotion track the sun?
How is the Heliomotion solar tracker powered?
How does snow impact the performance of the Heliomotion?
Does the Heliomotion work in dry regions?
How much wind load is the Heliomotion designed to handle?

Power plant system questions

Should I choose a grid-tied or a battery-tied system?
Our recommendation is to use the grid-tied system if utility power is available, and to use the battery-tied system for off-grid installations without access to utility power. The main reasons for this is that the grid-tied system is simpler to install and allows you to automatically utilize 100% of your produced electricity. Furthermore, the grid tied system is more affordable and requires less maintanance as there are no batteries present.

How much battery capacity should I have for an off-grid system?
For off-grid cottages a 4.8 kWh battery bank (4x 12V 100Ah) is the recommended minimum when used together with a PV-500/650, or 9.6 kWh when used together with a PV-1000/1300. This allows you to store one full day’s solar energy production for use during nights and cloudy days. Additional battery capacity allows for a greater buffer during rainy days.

Which battery type should I use?
We recommend Deep Cycle Gel batteries for solar battery systems. They are maintenance free, can be used indoors, have a long design life, and are made to withstand deep discharge cycles. Deep Cycle Gel batteries generally have better cycle capacity and longer service life than Deep Cycle AGM batteries at the same price, both under float and cycling conditions.

How far away can a Heliomotion power plant be placed?
We recommend the power plant is placed within 100 meters of where the power will be used. The cable size can be adjusted to keep transmission losses low between the power plant and the inverter/charger. Transmission losses are proportional to the ampere so to keep losses low the voltage is kept high. The PV-1300 system runs at 220 volt and up to 6 ampere. Using for example 4mm2 wires the losses will be at most 2% at 40 meters, or 4% at 80 meters. Doubling the cross-sectional area of the wire will halve the losses.

What is the sound level of the system?
The grid-tied inverter is fanless and makes virtually no noise. The battery-tied inverter has fans which kick in progressivly as the inverter load increases, so it should be placed somewhere where the sound doesn’t bother anyone, such as a garage, a shed or a cabinet. The tracker itself is very silent and sounds like a distant cicada every 7 minutes or so when it updates its position.

Heliomotion solar tracker questions

How does Heliomotion track the sun?
The tracker has an integrated GPS module used for determining the time, latitude and longitude. Using that information it calculates the sun’s position in the sky in order to follow it.

How is the Heliomotion solar tracker powered?
It can be powered from any constant 24 VDC power source, either using the included 24 VDC power adapter or by connecting it to a 24 V battery bank. The input voltage range is 24 VDC ± 20%.

How does snow impact the performance of the Heliomotion?
In climates with snow the foundation column should be at least 1 meter above ground level to prevent the tracker from getting stuck in the snow during winter. As the panels are at a steep angle in the tracker’s morning and evening positions, most snow falls off the unit and there is usually no need to remove the snow manually. As an added safety feature the tracker will pause its tracking if it finds itself unable to move, for example due to excessive snow or vegetation blocking its path.

Does the Heliomotion work in dry regions?
Yes. Keep in mind that in dry regions it may be necessary to wash the panels every couple of months to prevent dust and sand from building up on the panels. In regions with rain the solar panels are typically self-cleaned and do not require additional cleaning.

How much wind load is the Heliomotion designed to handle?
The tracker and solar panels are engineered to withstand high wind-loads and survive wind speeds up to 40 m/s. Should you expect winds of 35-40 m/s, it is recommended that you stop the tracker in the noon position until the storm passes, as this is the position where the tracker and panels are best able to resist high wind loads. If wind speeds are expected to go beyond 40 m/s, it is recommended that you remove the panels, in order to protect the installation.