Ring is a popular brand for cam and security cam units. However, there have been many questions about whether the solar panel that charges the cams is working.
If you want to know how to tell if your Ring solar panel is working, keep reading as we go through many of the troubleshooting steps to answer that question
Is your Ring solar panel not working? If so, it may be part of its design and an easy fix.
In this blog, we discuss:
- Why does the solar panel show not connected on the Ring App?
- Some reasons why your Ring Solar Panel is not charging your device
- Safety features built into the Ring Device to Protect the Battery
- Issues that can cause the solar Panel not to charge the battery
- Comparability issues among Ring Devices and Ring Solar Panels.
1. Your Ring App Shows “Not Connected”
One reason that the Ring App will show Not Connected is when the battery is dead.
Also, suppose shading occurs, meaning that the solar panel is not in the sun for a long enough period for the electrolyte process to stop working (not making electricity).
In that case, it will read as not connected in the Ring App.
To test this:
- Inspect your solar panel to see if it is in the sun. If not, it is likely not producing solar energy.
- If the solar panel is in the sun, check each connection to ensure that the connection is good between the panel and the cam.
- If the solar panel is in the sun and still shows as not connected, wait about 20-minutes and recheck the app. The solar panel may have experienced a shading event early and is just warming.
2. Your Ring Solar Panel Is Not Charging The Device
If the Ring Solar Panel is connected to the device and the panel is in the sun, but the device is not charging, there can be a simple reason.
According to Ring, the device will only begin to charge once its battery level drops below 90 percent.
The reason for this is that the lithium-ion battery has a much shorter lifecycle when overcharging occurs.
Therefore, the built-in panel regulator will not allow the device to charge until the battery level drops below 90 percent to prevent overcharging.
3. What Is Overcharging?
Overcharging is a term that we use when a battery receives too much electricity.
For example, a 6-volt better will hold a little over 7 volts of electricity. However, it is completely charged when it reaches 6 volts.
If the battery were to continue to charge, the heat from the extra electricity would destroy the battery’s electrolyte chemistry, and the device or battery would become useless.
If the overcharging continues past the point where the electrolytes burned, the heat inside the battery could become so hot that the battery could explode or catch fire. Overcharging is that dangerous.
How Do You Prevent Overcharging?
Usually, a device will have a built-in solar regulator or charge regulator that shuts off the flow of electricity when the voltage in the battery nears its full capacity.
In the case of the Ring Solar Panel, we know that it has a built-in regulator because the charge from the solar panel will not begin until the battery drops below 90 percent charged.
If the device does not have a built-in solar regulator, you can attach one.
4. What is Wrong if the Solar Panel is in the Sun and the Battery is Below 90 Percent Charged?
Many times with solar electronic devices, the problem is not with the solar panel or that battery. Instead, there is something wrong with the pieces between the panel and the battery.
Fortunately, if the solar panel is working and the battery is not charging, there are a few things you can try.
- Disconnect the plug that connects the solar panel to the battery and reinstall it.
- Check the cord that runs from the solar power to the battery for damage. Sometimes the coating becomes cracked and the wires damaged. If that is the case, then electricity cannot make it to the batter. You will need to replace the cord.
5. What Is Wrong if My Solar Panel Does not Keep My Ring Battery Charged?
Per Ring, the solar panel is never meant to replace charging the battery. Instead, its design features are a way to extend the time between charging.
It takes about five hours for the solar panel to charge a ring battery fully, and that process requires 4-5 hours of direct sunlight.
Another problem that you may face is overactivity.
The more the doorbell rings, the faster the battery drains. The range between full and dead for the Ring Battery is very short.
The solar panel is there to supplement energy, not replace recharging the battery.
If you find that the battery is going dead a lot, look at the usage the doorbell receives.
Ring makes three versions of their Ring Solar Panel, and you may need to upgrade to a larger capacity solar panel.
6.How Many Types of Solar Panels Does Ring Make?
For their Doorbell Cam or Spotlight Cam, they make two different solar panels. Those are:
- A 2 Watt Solar Panel — Fits doorbell activity less than ten rings per day with 3-4 hours of direct sunlight will produce 5-6.4 kWh per square meter of panel per day. If you have more direct sunlight and the panel makes more than 6.5kWh per day, a 2 Watt Ring Solar Panel can handle around 30 doorbell events per day.
- A 5 Watt Super Solar Panel — You will need the 5 watt Super Solar Panel for low-light conditions. It produces twice as much energy as the 2 watt Ring Solar Panel. You will need the 5 watt Super Solar Panel for heavy use with regular sunlight and for excessive use in sunny situations where the panel receives more than 5 hours of direct sunlight.
If the solar panel is not keeping up with doorbell activity, you may need the 5 watt Super Solar Panel.
The problem may be that there is too much usage. The more the device activates, the faster the battery drains.
So if there is too much usage, the solar panel cannot keep up, and the battery drains.
7. Is The Solar Panel Now Not Keeping Up With Demand?
If the solar panel was working fine and now is not keeping up with battery usage, you may be experiencing a seasonal change.
- Late spring through summer and early fall are the brightest times of the year. Late fall into winter and early spring are the darkest times of the year.
- If your area has had a seasonal shift, the problem might be that the solar panel is not receiving enough direct sunlight.
- The Ring Solar Panel must have direct sunlight. Therefore, the panels will not work in ambient light.
Other common issues that have to do with poor lighting are stormy weather and cloudy days.
If the doorbell or door cam is not working, there might not be enough direct sunlight for the solar panel to function.
That situation is especially true if you have the standard ring solar panel rather than the Super Solar Panel.
8. Is Your Ring Solar Panel Designed For Your Device?
Not all Ring Solar Panels work with all Ring Devices.
If your solar panel is working but not charging your device, it may be that it is not the right Ring Panel for your device.
The Ring Stickup Cam had a different solar panel from the Doorbell Cam and the Spotlight Cam. Ring does sell an adapter which you can find on their website Ring.
If troubleshooting does not fix the problem, Ring offers several ways to communicate with them.