FAQs

General

Q. What is a Solar Stik?

A. Solar Stik was the name given to the original mast with solar panels that was specifically designed and fabricated to generate power aboard a sailboat. Solar Stik became the company’s namesake, and the “Solar Stik” originally designed for marine applications became the Marine 100 System. As the company began to expand its product and system offerings, the meaning of the word Stik evolved along with our product line. “Stik” is now used as an acronym meaning “Superior Technology Integration Knowledge” (STIK). It helps define our role as an integrator using best-of-breed components to create turnkey, portable power systems.

Q. Can Solar Stik products be used to power a house?

A. Solar Stik products are designed for the portable power market and are not designed for direct connection to a home’s AC electrical system. We manufacture products that can power select home appliances or serve as backup power generation, energy storage, and power management for residential use. For example, our Power Pak 1000 in combination with solar or wind power generation would work well for remote homes with no access to traditional power supplies, or for supporting critical appliances after a hurricane when power may be disrupted for weeks. Contact us for more details.

Q. Does Solar Stik offer any training programs or educational materials?

A. Yes, Solar Stik has one-, two-, and four-day training programs that can be tailored to address needs specific to application. Training can be held at Solar Stik’s headquarters, on location with the equipment, or outside the United States. Contact us for more details.

Q. Can Solar Stik ship products worldwide, and is an export license required to ship?

A. Yes, Solar Stik can ship products anywhere in the world. Per U.S. Customs laws, any individual item valued over $2,500 requires an application for export license. Solar Stik has products that meet that requirement. The cost of the export license application is included in the shipping fees for the product and is charged to the customer. For specific questions, contact our Logistics Team.

Q. What is STIKopedia?

A.  STIKopedia  is designed to be a compilation about portable energy systems, including the philosophy and mechanics of high-efficiency circuits, as well as the individual technologies employed in them. It is also intended to be a stand-alone guide for anyone who wants to learn more about  high-efficiency, portable power system components and the Solar Stik System. STIKopedia is written with a broad style to appeal to the casual reader with an interest in portable power for a personal need, as well as the experienced electrical engineer learning a new application in his or her field. It is designed to answer questions we ourselves would ask if we approached the Solar Stik System for the first time.

Systems

Q. Can Solar Stik design a system to meet specific needs?

A. Yes, using our 5 principles of design,  every Solar Stik System is developed by our engineering and production teams by working with our customers to deliver systems with all desired capabilities. Contact us to discuss your specific system needs.

Q. Does Solar Stik sell commercial, off-the-shelf systems?

A.  All products we offer have been developed based on requirements from previous customers, and concepts developed for specific applications then become options that can be offered to a broad range of markets.

Q. What is a hybrid power system?

A.  A hybrid power system includes energy storage (batteries) and uses more than one power generation source to meet load requirements. More information about hybrid power systems can be found in STIKopedia .

Q. What power generation options can be used with a Solar Stik System?

A.  Solar Stik Systems are indifferent to power generation sources. Our systems accept inputs from solar, wind, fuel cell, vehicle, hydro, traditional fuel generator, utility, etc.

Power Generation

Q. Does Solar Stik sell solar panels separately?
A. Solar Stik does not sell individual panels, unless it is to replace a damaged panel in an existing Solar Stik System (e.g., Marine 100 System or panels for the Solar Stik 100, 200, or 400). If you are looking for individual panels, we can recommend one of our partners.
Q. Why does Solar Stik offer only two wind turbines?
A.  Solar Stik sells only American-made products, and one of our 5 principles of design is scalability. The Air Breeze and Air Silent X are made by Colorado-based Primus Wind Products and are internally regulated wind turbines. Because both of these turbines are internally regulated, they can be connected to the batteries and no additional charge controllers are required. This makes them a Plug & Play addition to any Solar Stik System that needs to be scaled up (or down) to meet application requirements.
Q. Will a damaged solar panel generate power?
A.  Whether a damaged solar panel will generate power depends on the extent of damage and whether or not the panel is wired in series or parallel with other panels. Use a voltage meter to test the output of the panel. If output voltage is present (even if the voltage is less than rated output for the panel), the damaged panel is generating power and functioning. However, to achieve maximum voltage outputs, it’s best to replace damaged panels.

Energy Storage

Q. Are there specific storage and maintenance procedures for batteries not in use?

A.  Yes, regardless of battery chemistry—lithium-ion or lead-acid—NEVER store a battery in a discharged state. Maintenance charging parameters differ between battery chemistries and are explained in the Energy Storage Module of STIKopedia.

Q. What’s the difference between lead-acid and lithium-ion battery chemistries?

A.  There are several differences between the two chemistries, but the biggest difference is energy density. Lithium-ion batteries have a greater energy density than lead-acid. This makes lithium-ion batteries a good choice for expeditionary applications. Lead-acid batteries are heavier and are better for applications that are more stationary. There is also a difference in cycle life. A lithium-ion battery has approximately 2.5 times more cycle life than a lead-acid battery. Lithium-ion and lead-acid battery chemistries are detailed in the Energy Storage Module of STIKopedia.

Power Management

Q. What is a PRO-Verter?

A.  The Portable Remote Operation Inverter/Charger (PRO-Verter) provides a single point of power management, control, and distribution to a portable, battery-based, electrical circuit. The “open-architecture” design of the PRO-Verter allows the operator to network multiple power generation technologies into a single operational system that supports a specific application with clean, uninterrupted power.

Q. Can solar panels be connected directly to batteries?

A.  Connecting solar panels directly to batteries is NOT recommended unless the solar panels have a built-in solar charge controller. A solar charge control should always be used between a solar panel and a battery to ensure that a safe charging voltage is applied to the battery. In order for charging of a battery to occur, a charging voltage must be greater than that of the battery voltage. Charging voltage must also be limited to prevent a battery from overcharging or overheating. More information about charging batteries with solar panels can be founding in the Power Management Module of STIKopedia.

Q. Can a Solar Stik System be monitored remotely?

A.  Yes, by using a Remote Monitoring Kit, a Solar Stik System’s state of health, inputs, outputs, and the battery’s state of charge can be monitored remotely.

Energy Storage with Power Management

Q. Does Solar Stik have a “one-case” portable power solution?

A.  Yes, Solar Stik has several products that include batteries and power management in the same ruggedized Pelican case. The Venture System 300 includes energy storage, power management, and power generation in the same case.

Q. Can additional energy storage be added to a Solar Stik Energy Storage with Power Management product?

A.  Yes, Solar Stik Systems can be scaled up or down to meet additional energy storage requirements. Using a Plug & Play connection, additional energy storage capacity can be increased by adding an additional Energy Storage Module (ESM) .