What can you do to prepare UPS and Solar Power Systems for a hurricane? Do these simple checks before a storm is on its way.
The batteries are the most important part of your system, so make sure they are in good condition. Test each battery with a battery load tester. This is different from just measuring the voltage. The battery load tester puts a load on the battery to determine its capacity and internal condition.
Replace weak batteries. Best practice recommends replacing all the batteries at one time to balance the load. Healthy battery banks will provide maximum up-time during a prolonged power outage. Choose AGM or Gel batteries for reliable performance during extended periods without charge.
Install battery monitors on your systems before a storm hits. After the storm, you will know which systems need help. We like Victron's BMV712 because of its accuracy and cost-effectiveness. Pair it with Victron’s GlobalLink520 for remote monitoring. You can also use the GlobalLink520 to remotely cycle and turn off loads.
During a hurricane, solar arrays get battered by the force of high winds. Check the integrity of the array frame and brackets. Make sure arrays are securely anchored, and all frame connections are tight and secure. Tighten bolts if they are loose.
Check the surroundings for tree limbs, loose fixtures, or other objects that can potentially damage the solar panels.
Check the seals and tightness of the cable glands entering the enclosure. Re-tighten or replace as needed to prevent sheeting water from entering the enclosure.
Check the cable runs and connections on the solar array, and secure them from flapping or being blown loose.
To help prevent moisture inside the enclosure, check the door seals. Ensure that the door hardware is in good condition and is closing tightly. Tighten over-center latches a notch or two.
Place a desiccant (like DampRid) inside your Type 4X enclosures. It will help dry up the interior in case wind-driven rain makes its way into your enclosures.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Follow these steps and rest a bit easier this season.
For more information on UPS and Solar Power Systems, visit us at www.solarcraft.net, or 877.340.1224.