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Solar Panel FAQs

Why does the Border Gateway include a Solar Panel?

The Border Gateway includes a separate solar panel to provide the device with a backup power supply. It is connected to the Border Gateway with a 2 m cable and is delivered to customers pre-connected to the Border Gateway.

Can the solar panel be disconnected from the Border Gateway?

If required, the Border Gateway can be disconnected from the Border Gateway.

How long does it take for the solar panel to charge the Border Gateway supercapacitors?

The solar panel needs 3 to 4 hours to charge the superconductors in the Border Gateway before it comes online. However, if the PoE is disconnected or if a power failure occurs in the mains, the Border Gateway needs 1 to 2 days to begin operating properly.

How do I determine if the solar panel is damaged

First, disconnect the solar panel from Border Gateway and measure the voltage. It should be around 20 V. If not, it does not have sufficient light or the solar cell is damaged.

Do solar panels need regular maintenance?

The solar panels are placed vertically (by intention) on a tree or pole. This position minimizes dust buildup and allows rain to wash off any dust or dirt. This vertical position is intentionally to eliminate manual servicing (cleaning).

We do not anticipate that sensors or gateway panels have to be manually serviced / cleaned, however unusual circumstances (e.g. bird droppings) may present additional challenges for the gateways as they have a higher energy requirement than sensors. However, again, due to the vertical positioning, these effects are minimized.

Can I anticipate solar panels to degrade over time?

The solar panels have been intentionally oversized to allow for performance degradation over time while still maintaining functionality.

The software in the sensors and gateways is highly optimized to reduce energy consumption and dynamically adapts to lower energy budgets by prolonging sleep cycles in low light / low energy conditions while minimizing performance impact. We have successfully tested sensors and gateways under real-world (forest) conditions for more than 2 years and performed a series of tests in a climate chamber to simulate impacts of temperature and humidity fluctuations.