Monday, July 11, 2016

Solar Panel Care when on vacation and EMP Damage



I had two questions about my solar panels that needed expert answers to. For the answers, I went directly to the manufacturer of my panels, Grape Solar in California. To get the answers I spoke with their Technical Help, an Electrical Engineer at 1-877-264-1014 for the answers to my questions.

(1)  I plan on traveling, leaving the house empty and unattended for 30-90 days in length multiple times a year. I needed to know what is a safe way to leave the solar system during that time, operating or disconnect the panels?
Grape Solar said no, do not disconnect the panels but instead leave a light load on the system such as a small inverter or a 12-volt night light hooked up directly to the batteries.

(2)  Will solar panels be damaged by an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) event?
Grape Solar said the panels should not be affected by an EMP Event. If not already, ground the frames to a typical 8-foot ground rod driven into the ground. However, the rest of the components connected with long wires will probably be damage! That means the solar charge controller will be damaged. Have a spare in a Faraday Cage/envelope.

6 comments:

  1. Mike,

    Interesting information from the vender, were looking at purchasing a good set of panels for our travel trailer. Hubby made sure the trailer had the wiring setup for solar.

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    1. Good thinking, get it done while building the RV. Saves a lot of grief plus a lot neater looking job.

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  2. Mike I believe your using flooded regular batteries. Be sure to top the water before you leave. A 3 watt led 12 volt light should draw 1 2/3 amp hours a day

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    1. I'm looking at some LED lights just for this purpose. As for water and batteries, as long as the controller set point is correct you'll almost never have to add water. My last system went 6 years without adding water.

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  3. HI! Mike did you quit my blog? Haven't heard from you in awhile. I thought since you were talking solar you should write about "disaster fuses" in the system. They are expensive but will protect your system from catastrophic meltdown.

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    1. Rat,
      I have put your blog on the back burner for a while. You were in a bad mood and would quit the restart the blog several times. If you recall we talked about your stress and unhappiness with the way you thought your life was going down hill. It was a little depressing for a while. Life generally sucks an then we die. I like your writings just have my own issues and when I read yours it compounded mine, I felt you needed a break.

      As for fuses, all wires are fused correctly. There’s nothing I can do if the magnetic pulse for nearby lightening scrambles the electronics. It’s like a full blown EMP.

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Your thoughts are welcome!