Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it easy to install? Is there a video?
- Yes - I provide full instructions covering all the installation options with colour photos for teh Mazda Bongo. One of my happy customers has made a video of his Bongo installation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pktEeRDCfBw
The VW flat panel is also surprisingly easy to install. The kit comes with colour printed instructions and all the materials you will need to install it. The installation is designed with the novice in mind. The adhesive used is NOT fast setting, and wipes away with a cloth, so you can clean up any mess you might make, though the installation method is pretty mess-proof.
- I already have a split charging relay system installed, will the solar charger work with this?
- yes it will. The solar charger / regulator only charges the battery when needed, it won't charge your battery once you are driving as the split charger will take over.
- Can I run mains 240v appliances off the solar power with an inverter?
- yes you can, although inverters are not very efficient and you are better off buying 12v equivalent appliances. You connect your inverter to your battery and let the solar power charge the battery.
- Can I charge both my leisure battery AND my starter battery with the solar kit?
- yes you can - we provide enough cables and connectors so that you can, by reconnecting one cable, switch the solar charger over to your starter battery. Great for getting you out of a situation where you have accidentally flattened your starter battery! We can also, at a small extra charge, supply you with a special charger that charges both batteries, though under normal circumstances, it will spend 99.9% of it's time charging the leisure battery as your starter battery will be full nearly all of the time - as you have a leisure battery... (dual battery charger is between £20 and £50 extra depending on the model. Contact us for a quote)
- I would like you to install the kit for me - where are you and what is the cost?
- I'm based near Taunton, in Somerset. Installation is £80 for the Bongo kit which includes a permanent installation with hidden wiring throughout the vehicle. VW T4/T5 ultra-slim panel installation is available on request depending on the weather. Contact us for a quote.
- I have roof bars fitted - is your kit compatible?
- Bongo - Usually, yes. If you have the bars that bolt into the existing roof mounting holes and run up the length of the vehicle then you simply slide the solar panel bracket under the roof bar rear mounting "foot" and refasten it using your existing bolt. If you have bars than clip into the guttering and run across the width of the vehicle then they usually clear the panel. If not, you can just slide the rear one forwards a bit to accommodate the solar panel.
- VW - usually yes. Most VW roof bars are adjustable so you can slide them fore and aft to clear the panel. Check our panel dimensions on the VW page.
- I have heard that the flat solar panels overheat - is this true?
- No they don't overheat. What they do do is get hotter than rigid framed panels as they have no ventilation underneath. This usually reduces the performance of the panel by around 10% in hot weather. In cool weather it makes no difference. When you bond the panel to your roof you can leave ventilation gaps in the adhesive to help. This is explained in the printed instructions.