FAQ

Do you have questions on the operation of solar power systems and power inverters, batteries and calculations to design renewable energy systems or on our services in general?

 

This is where you will find answers!

1. Inverter

2. Service center

3. Solar photovoltaic system

4. Solar panel

5. Battery

6. Solar tracker

7. Installation

8. Financing

 

Inverter: 

 

Question 1: What is a current inverter?
A power inverter is an electronic module that converts the direct current (DC) 12-24-48 volts from a battery into alternating current (AC) 110 volt, 120/240, like the power you use at home. the current inverter therefore allows the use of direct current to operate AC devices.

Question 2: Are there different models of power inverters?

Yes, there are several inverter models, such as:

Pure sine wave: the wave is the same as Hydro-Québec. true_sine_wave

Quasi sine wave: the wave is almost identical to that of Hydro-Québec. quasi_sine_wave

Modified sine wave: square wave. stepped_square_wave

 

Question 3: Which of the three models should I choose?

We recommend pure sine wave, which is identical to that of Hydro-Québec. All electrical devices will work properly with this model. Please note that if you choose another model, some devices will not work or might break.

 

Question 4: Does the inverter recharge the batteries?

Not all models can recharge batteries, they are well identified, with integrated charger. They recharge the batteries from a 110-volt power source.

 

Question 5: Can a current inverter replace a generator?

The current inverter completely replaces the traditional generator and does not have its drawbacks such as:

  • high maintenance costs
  • Noise
  • Fuel consumption
  • Pollution

 

Question 6 : Can I check the battery status by the current inverter?

To obtain information on the state of the batteries, you need a battery monitor.

 

Question 7: How to choose a power inverter for my needs?

First, check the wattage of appliances used. Several devices and tools have their indicators of watts on the packaging.

From these data, calculate the maximum wattage used simultaneously. The amount you get must not exceed the maximum continuous current of the inverter.

ex.: 2x 600W = 1200W. In this case, an inverter of at least 1200w should be used. We recommend using a current inverter slightly more powerful than your maximum wattage. In this case, a 1500w inverter would be a good choice.

 

Question 8: Are current inverters repairable?

Not all current inverters are repairable but some are. If you want to know if we can repair your inverter, please contact us.

 

Service center:

Question 1: Is IDS Énergie an authorized service center for repair?

Yes, we are an authorized service center for the following companies:

  • Magnum-Energy
  • Sensata-Dimension
  • Schneider Electric (Xantrex)
  • Outback

We repair certain products with the authorization of the manufacturers.
IDS Énergie is proud to count on a skilled and dedicated team to serve our clients. To ensure continuous and constant improvement, our technicians undergo regular training sessions to remain at the forefront of technological innovations.

IDS Énergie can ve proud of its highly experienced technical staff whether in the installation, in the electronic repair and in the sales of current inverters.

The excellent customer service of IDS Énergie made its renown for nearly 20 years.

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Solar energy systems:

Question 1: How does a standalone solar energy system works?
Solar panels capture the light energy and converts it in DC power which is then stored in batteries. A charge controller optimizes the load safely. The batteries are connected to a power inverter, which converts direct current to alternating current 120 volts, 120/240.

 

Question 2: how do I determine the size of the system I need ?

To determine which solar system fits your needs , you must first assess your daily energy consumption. We must know the number of consecutive days that the cottage is occupied, the number of people living in the cottage, as well as the used equipments and appliances.

Here are some commonly used devices:

Television, microwave oven, coffee maker, hair dryer, toaster, computer, lighting, power tools, pumps, etc.

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Solar panel:

 

Question 1: What is the role of the solar panel in a solar energy system?
The solar panel made of photovoltaic cells captures the sunlight and converts it into DC power to charge the batteries. In a grid tie system, the solar panels are directly connected to a grid tie central inverter. There is no need for batteries in such systems.

 

Question 2: What is the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels?

There was a time when the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels was important. Polycrystalline panels were then a new technology and still in development. At this point, it was true that the monocrystalline panels were generally better and more durable. Today, the two technologies are almost equivalent in terms of performance and price. Still, here are a few observations:

1. Monocrystalline panels are usually a little smaller. If space is limited for installation, the monocrystalline panel will then be a more effective choice.
2. The polycrystalline modules are significantly less expensive than monocrystalline panels.
3. The polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels both have a 25 year warranty on the linear power. In addition, polycrystalline panels are now almost as durable as monocrystalline panels.
4. It is true that there are differences in performance of these two technologies depending on the brightness of the sun and temperature, but these differences are marginal. Unless you have a very large solar system (tens of kW), it is very difficult to see the difference in performance between the two technologies.

Please note that IDS Energy sells monocrystalline panels and polycrystalline panels. Thus, our company has no bias for either technology. We suggest different products according to the needs of our customers.

 

Question 3: Can we operate electrical appliances with a solar panel ?

The panels serve only to charge the batteries and can not directly operate electrical appliances. batteries , on the other hand, can operate 12v-24v-48v DC appliances. For 120v-240v AC appliances, you need a current inverter.

 

Question 4: How many amps a solar panel can charge in one day?

For example , a 150W solar panel can produce about 8 amps under favorable conditions.

In summer, you can expect between 3 and 4 hours of sunlight per day. Therefore, a 150w solar panel will produce between 25 and 30 amps per day.

 

Question 5: Does a solar panel still produce energy when its raining?

In very rainy days, the load of the panel decreases to +/- 30% of its maximum capacity.

 

Question 6: What happen when a solar panel is in the shade?

A solar panel in the shade or under a tree takes a significant drop in its performance , irrespective of the manufacturing brand.

Note that to get the maximum performance out of the solar panel, it must be exposed directly to the midday sun.

 

Question 7: Does a solar panel require a charge controller?

Yes. Without charge controller, the panel would create an overload of batteries and could damage them and limit their life . A suitable controller ensures an efficient and safe charge of the batteries.

 

Question 8: What kind of charge controller should I choose?

You must choose a controller with greater capacity than the total power of the solar panels.For example, if you have two 150w solar panels , which totals 300W or 16 amps, a 20 amps charge controller would be required.

Furthermore, it is important to choose the right wire size for the installation of your panel(s) and controller in order to avoid that the wire overheats and damages your equipment.

 

Question 9: Are your solar panels reliable and do they have a warranty?

Our solar panels are durable and they have a 25 years warranty.

 

Battery:

Question 1: What is the most effective battery to power a solar system?

Deep cycle batteries are designed for many charge / discharge cycles. The charge / discharge cycle does not damage the batteries.

It is noteworthy that two 6 Volt batteries have more amps than two 12 Volt batteries . The discharge time being much longer, you will save time and money.

Ex : 2 X 6 volts batteries ≈ 225 AH
2 X 12 volts batteries ≈ 150 AH

Important Note: When batteries are connected in parallel / series, they must always be of the same design and the same age, otherwise they will deteriorate prematurely.

 

Question 2: What is the difference between the lead-acid, gel and AGM batteries?

Lead Acid batteries are among the most widespread on the market because of their low cost of purchase. This battery requires little maintenance and has a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Gel Batteries require no maintenance. They are perfect for confined areas.

The AGM batteries have a greater tolerance to extreme temperatures, charge/discharge cycles and vibrations. It is also maintenance free.

 

Question 3: Why should I add oil additives to my batteries?

Used for over thirty years, oil additives for batteries increase its safety, performance and reliability.

When a battery is in operation (charge or discharge), toxic fumes containing ions are released by the acid. These vapors are highly explosive and are responsible for 100% of the internal and external corrosion which disintegrates plates, carriers and cell connectors.

Premature discharge of these batteries is due to evaporation as there is loss of ions. In a battery with oil additives, the oil floats on top the acid, which prevents evaporation.

In other words, the oil creates a barrier and retains the active elements inside of the battery.

In addition, the battery life increases by 25 % compared to a battery without oil.

The oil treatment is done on new premium batteries respecting very strict standards. This guarantees its users safety and outstanding durability in a wide spread of operating conditions.

 

Question 4: What is the difference between a marine battery and a deep cycle battery?

A marine battery is designed to start a boat engine. The marine battery cells are designed to withstand the vibration caused by the waves.

The deep cycle battery was designed in the same format , but contains more capacity and less CCA (cold cranking amps) for starting.

 

Question 5: Is it true that it is better for deep cycle batteries to discharge completely before recharging?

Completely discharging a deep cycle battery damages it. It becomes more difficult to charge and its service life is reduced considerably.

 

Solar tracker:

 

Question 1: Does IDS Énergie designs its own solar trackers?
Yes, we design and build our own trackers. Different models are built depending on the needs and the budget of the customer.

For more information on our solar tracker design, please contact us.

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Question 2: Is it better to have fixed or mobile solar panels?

It is better to have a mobile panels on a solar tracker.

With its algorithm, our solar tracker is based on its geographical position to continuously optimize its angle relative to the sun. Therefore, there is virtually no lost in terms of productivity with a solar tracker. This is important in our climate and in our localisation. In winter, the duration of sunshine in Canada is very short. A solar tracker will make the most out of these short days.

System efficiency can be over 75% compared to a fixed installation.

Fixed solar panels should face south and they will be at their maximum load when the sun is fully above them (90° with the panels).

 

Question 3: Can I consult my solar energy system datas online?

Yes, depending on the system that is installed, datas can be accessed via the Internet. All you need is an Internet connection where your solar energy system is installed.

 

Installation:

Question 1: Does IDS Énergie move for installations?

Yes, we travel all over Quebec for installations. In addition, we have a contractor’s license from the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ 8304-2689-07).

 

Question 2: Quel est le rôle de la régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ)?

In view of protecting the public, the RBQ’s mission is to ensure the following: the quality of the work and safety of the buildings and facilities, the professional qualifications of the contractors and owner-builders and the integrity of the contractors and of the owner-builders.

 

Financing: 

Question 1: Do you offer financing for your projects?/strong>

Yes, we can offer financing for your project. For more information on this matter, please contact us.