Off Grid Maintenance and Expectations
Off Grid Maintenance
Off Grid Maintenance varies by the system type and design. Below are the maintenance requirements for popular system types:
- Residential off grid system:
- Solar Power: Solar has no moving parts and is essentially maintenance free. Cleaning of the panels may be required if installed in a dusty area or at a low tilt. Slightly soiled modules still produce high yields. A good rain on modules mounted 10 degrees or more will clean the modules enough to maintain high output.
- Solar Batteries: The maintenance required on batteries varies depending on the chemistry type. Sealed lead acid batteries are the most common batteries that we design for. They are sealed and therefore maintenance free compared to flooded lead acid. We do recommend visually inspecting the terminals for corrosion much like car batteries. Corrosion issues are easily resolved when caught early.
- Solar power equipment: Inverters, Converters, and Charge controllers come with warranties from 5 to 10 years depending on the equipment. Solar power equipment will typically display an error code in the event of failure.
- Generators: Generators can be automatically exercised by the solar power equipment. This extends generators dependability and life span.
Off Grid Expectations and Design
Fully disclosing off grid loads is an important responsibility for consumers hiring a contractor. This will allow for a proper system design and set the systems expectations. Under sizing a solar pv array or battery bank can cause poor performance and shorten the systems life. The following design considerations should be taken in to account by all customers:
- Load Calculation: All loads should be accounted for. This process may be a bit tedious and time consuming.
- Load use and duration: After you have listed all loads we will need to determine the amount of times you will use the load in a week and the time duration.
- Future Loads: Future loads should be accounted for in system design. This includes load additions, family growth, and business growth.