Some suppliers of off-grid equipment recommend installers do a 12 monthly site inspection to check for a range of items that ensure the system will operate over the warranty period. We have some tips for doing a 12 month site visit.
Some installers sell this service to the homeowner and link this as a condition of warranty, similar to the need to have a new car serviced by a qualified person to maintain warranty. DPA does not prescribe exact items to check but the list below has been suggested by some suppliers. Below we have some tips for doing a 12 month site visit. General before and at site:
- Review inverter data logs on-site or remotely, (Victron VRM, Outback Optics, Schneider Insight, Selectronic SelectLive etc) and confirm battery has been cycling between agreed SoC limits, charge and discharge rates, etc
- Check for evidence of rodent or pest invasion which can cause shorting or cable damage
- Check for excess dust around the inverter which can cause damage to FETs and PCB shorts when mineral dust becomes moist. Inverters should not be located in high dust areas if fans move air through the device
- Check for water ingress in the equipment area from leaks or other sources
- Check battery terminals are torqued to the recommended setting if there is vibration or movement etc
- Check battery terminals and cables are in good condition and no signs of corrosion
- Check battery casing is in good condition. Check there is no damage from insects, vermin or water damage.
- Shut down inverter, isolate batteries and check battery resting voltage on all batteries. All battery voltage readings should be the same, or for 48v batteries within +/- 0.4 volts
- Check each string of panels is at expected voltage
- Check roof-mounted DC isolators for water ingress
- If battery bank was sized for agreed loads, check if large unexpected loads have been added, extensions to home, extra outbuildings. Review appropriateness of battery bank capacity and or generator fuel use if energy use has increased. If there is no auto-start generator, discuss the advantages of this.
Please contact DPA Solar if you have any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Effective Electrical – Ballarat