If you are considering Solstex but want more information, perhaps some of these frequently asked questions will be helpful.
Are the panels live when installed and how do you mitigate the danger during installation? – Panels are ‘live’ at all times. Electricity does not flow from panel to panel until each panel string is completed, or the loop is closed. This occurs when panels are tied into an inverter, or other electrical equipment. MC4 connectors ensure there are no exposed conductors for panel-to-panel connections.
What is the lifespan of a BIPV system (when would a full replacement be anticipated)? – Solar modules have a lifespan of 25 years. Inverters and other associated electrical equipment have a lifespan of 7-10 years outdoors, but typically last longer than that when installed inside.
Can you replace the wiring to a panel (or a panel) after installation if it fails? Is there any possibility for future upgrade of the photovoltaic elements? – Components can be replaced if failure occurs. The Solstex system is designed for individual panel removal, providing access on a panel-by-panel basis. Photovoltaic elements can be upgraded, but system limits must be considered. Inverters require specific electrical characteristics from each solar string, and wiring gauges provide upper limits for voltage and amperage.
Have you ever used filler PV panels to maintain an aesthetic for places where special sizes or shapes are needed? – Filler panels have to be utilized with Solstex, as solar modules are not available in every shape and size. In the past, Elemex materials like Alumitex and Ceramitex have been utilized as a filler panel. Certain shades/textures of ceramic and ACM mimic the finish provided by Solstex.
Are there any anticipated safety issues with the system? – With any electrical install, there are hazards present. Elemex mitigates the hazards associated with Solstex by following industry guidelines, installing per the local electrical authority, and by utilizing the proper equipment. An example of a safety feature is Rapid Shutdown Technology. This technology allows First Responders to access a control that will shut down all the electricity flowing within a solar system within 30 seconds, allowing for emergency response.
If you have any questions about Solstex, our sales and technical teams are always happy to help. Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org