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Can I use a PV Panel to operate my Okapi 2.i System? How many watts should it be?

posted Jul 30, 2014, 9:46 AM by Greenhill EnviroTechnologies Inc.   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 7:32 PM ]
Our Okapi systems can have a free running cost, (which is minimal to begin with) if connected to a 12V battery (it must be a 12V battery) that is charged by a minimum 30 watt PV Panel.

Okapi systems are autonomous, which means they are always on, monitoring the multiple sensors' data about the temperature conditions, in the background, ready to start up the fans automatically, as soon they sense the solar collectors producing sufficient heat.

This means that there is always a mild background power-draw of much less than one watt. For this reason, it is important to have the system safely connected to a 12V battery that is being charged by a minimum 30 watt PV panel. This sized panel should be sufficient to keep both fans running, even at max. speed on sunny days.

However, there is a situation where your Okapi System may not start running immediately on a full-sun day after a week of semi-cloudy days where your fans may have been running at partial speed, harvesting some heat. During this partial cloudy week, there may not have been enough sun to activate the PV Panels to generate enough electricity to charge the battery, and the battery may have run down over this time under this ongoing weather situation.

For this reason, we recommend a 40 watt PV Panel, properly connected to a 12V battery to operate your Okapi 2.i System. Consult the experts at your battery and PV panel retail store to fully understand all the equipment required to safely and properly set up and connect your system.

Please note: You must consult an expert or electrician and follow your local electric code, before installing any PV Panel and battery system. Without a charge controller, proper connections, adequate space and safe, fire-proof materials surrounding your battery and PV Panel connections, you can create a dangerous fire hazard or even an explosion.

Any installation of a PV Panel and battery system for powering an Okapi System is done so at your own risk.

​All that said, once properly set-up, you are ready to go! Enjoy letting Okapi turn the fans on and off and vary their speed accordingly, all by itself, with the peace of mind that you are harvesting as much solar heat as your solar collector can provide and pumping it into your home, garage, shop, cottage or cabin where you can use it most: at floor level.
 -All with a Zero Running Cost.