SOLIS: Solar Powered and Hands Free

April 16, 2009
The editorial staff rates Sloan Valve’s SOLIS faucet

As an extension of Sloan Valve’s family of water-efficiency solutions, the SOLIS® faucet assists facilities professionals with their energy- and water-conservation goals. The faucet’s integrated power plant storage cell transforms any light source into electrical energy. Batteries provide back-up energy and last several years. SOLIS is also touch free. The chrome-plated, single-hole faucet comes standard with a 0.5 gpm/1.9 Lpm aerator to regulate water flow, and an electronic sensor for automatic, hands-free operation. Choose from two models: one with an integral spout temperature mixer that allows users to select water temperature, or a single-supply faucet for pre-mixed water only. For more information, visit www.sloanvalve.com.

Design/Aesthetics The faucet’s sleek design makes it the perfect complement to any restroom with a modern design – but, install it in a traditional bathroom, or retrofit it in an existing sink, and it might seem out of place. The shine of the chrome, while classic and high end, may be prone to smudges and water marks from splashing.

Functionality While SOLIS got high marks for being hands free, more than one editor noted that the integral spout temperature mixer was a little too inconspicuous. For some, it might be tricky to figure out – the handle is sleek and small, and so are the red and blue indicators. Additionally, because of the low flow, the water never truly got hot; we discovered that, in installations where the water heater is some distance from the fixture, you might need to make concessions to avert this problem. One other slight annoyance was the rather loud noise the faucet made as the flow of water started and stopped.

Maintenance Depending on the hardness of your water, you may have to clean or change the faucet’s aerator from time to time, but maintenance should be minimal – the hands-free design does away with moving, hard-to-clean parts. SOLIS is easy to clean and wipe down. Since the faucet is powered by artificial light, changing the back-up battery will occur less frequently (compared to models powered exclusively by batteries).

Sustainability SOLIS’ solar-powered technology stores electricity, which saves energy and reduces the number of batteries requiring disposal. The faucet also decreases water usage due to its touch-free operation.

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