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Solar maintenance

This is a discussion on Solar maintenance within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; I have read where one of the downfalls of solar is all the maintenance so,,,,,,,,,,,, I would like to talk about solar maintenance. To start ...

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Thread: Solar maintenance

  1. #1
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    Solar maintenance

    I have read where one of the downfalls of solar is all the maintenance so,,,,,,,,,,,,

    I would like to talk about solar maintenance. To start with what Maintenance? I finished my system of
    1750 watts years ago and it just sits there charging the batteries. I have never had to clean a connection
    or fix anything. The panels are just about self cleaning keeping snow off in the winter and I have never
    scrubbed them the summer. My maintenance consist of checking and sometimes adding some distilled
    water to the batteries that are lead acid type once a month. (about half of my batteries are jell type)
    And just it works,, It lights every room in the house pumps all the water and runs
    some small stuff like tv and computer. and in the summer months when there is lots of sun it runs
    the refrigerator. That's about all I would ask of a set up this small.
    I run 3 charge controllers one of them is a ebay cheapo and have never had a problem.
    Note: it also runs my outside security lights.

    So how is maintenance so time consuming?
    soyer38301 likes this.
    Taking your guns is like eating a whale,,,,,,One bite at a time

  2. #2
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    It's not if it setup correctly to begin with. It sounds like yours is

    My wind system initial setup was not, but ended up ok in the end.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    The only maintenance I do is checking the battery water levels once a month and doing an equalizing charge every 4 weeks or so.

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  5. #4
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    4 years of solar panels and never touched them...batteries trickle charge for an hour every morning then charge controller's shut off. Water in batteries get checked every 3 months and only needs a little water every 6. Distilled water only!

  6. #5
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    Alright guys point me in the right direction. I have one year to figure this solar stuff out. We bought the property, it has great sun exposure but I know exactly squat. The bride wants off grid when I retire. Where do I start?
    Slippy likes this.
    Aut Pax Aut Bellum.
    NRA Life Member
    "America is at that awkward stage. It's to late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards" Claire Wolfe

  7. #6
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    If you're not using an inverter off the battery, and running a device (water pump) straight off the battery, how do you ensure that your battery is not going below the recommended level of charge? Say, it's not charging because it's night time, but the pump is running?

    Thank you,
    Michael J.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunn View Post
    Alright guys point me in the right direction. I have one year to figure this solar stuff out. We bought the property, it has great sun exposure but I know exactly squat. The bride wants off grid when I retire. Where do I start?
    Gunn

    Start here;

    https://www.backwoodssolar.com/

    I've done some research and have a semi-plan in place but so far I have not ventured into the Solar Power world other than a couple of portable charging panels.

    Good luck.
    0rocky likes this.

  9. #8
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    Outback Power makes some serious good inverters. Expensive too. You can buy software to configure them to do a lot of different things. They can be programmed to stop discharging your batteries when they get to a certain point (that you program in) and then start a generator, switch to grid, etc. Check out their web site and read up on their stuff and it will show you just what can be done.
    0rocky likes this.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Js View Post
    If you're not using an inverter off the battery, and running a device (water pump) straight off the battery, how do you ensure that your battery is not going below the recommended level of charge? Say, it's not charging because it's night time, but the pump is running?

    Thank you,
    Michael J.
    I'm running 12 volt rv on demand pumps with a accumulator they come on about every 10 gallons
    I'm running them straight off the battery. I have a light in the kitchen that
    comes on to let me know when the pump is running. I shut the pumps off when I leave the house
    You can hear them running at night if it's quiet

    Solar maintenance-pump1.jpg
    Slippy and Michael_Js like this.
    Taking your guns is like eating a whale,,,,,,One bite at a time

  11. #10
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    For panels that are not affected by pine pollen during the springtime, it sounds like your maintenance is right on. I do the same kinds of things with our 6000 watt system.

 

 
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