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New Mexico Solar and Wind Maintenance, Monitoring and System Services

 

     

Solar Energy Systems

 

Solar energy systems are typically very low maintenance.  Solar PV systems have virtually no moving parts to wear out or break, and most solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty.  However, for your information, here are the basic components of a PV system, and a general idea of what might require maintenance:

 

bulletSolar PV Panels:  Protective glass should be kept relatively clean.  The cleaner it is, the better the efficiency of the panel.  Not much else to worry about here, as there are no moving parts and nothing inside the panel is serviceable by anyone other than the factory.  If a panel fails, replacing it is simple and the cost of the panel should be covered by the 25-year performance warranty.  PV panel reliability percentages of 99.9% are not uncommon.
bullet

Power Inverter:  Nothing in the inverter requires maintenance, nor can it be serviced by anyone other than a qualified factory technician.  Most inverters come with a 10-year warranty, and extended warranties are available.

bulletPanel Mounting Systems:  No maintenance is required.  Once installed correctly, there is really nothing to adjust or maintain.
bulletWiring and wiring connections:  All wiring is carried in conduit in accordance with local, state and federal codes.  There is no maintenance recommended or required.  Any repairs should be performed by a licensed electrician.
bulletDisconnect Switches:  No maintenance is required.

 

Wind Power Systems

 

Wind turbines do require periodic maintenance such as oiling and greasing, and regular safety inspections. Checking bolts and electrical connections are recommended semi-annually.  Check wind turbines for corrosion and the guy wires supporting the tower for proper tension annually.

If the turbine blades are wood, paint to protect from the elements. Apply a durable leading edge tape to protect the blades from abrasion due to dust and insects in the air. If the paint cracks or the leading edge tape tears away, the exposed wood will quickly erode. Moisture penetrating into the wood causes the rotor to become unbalanced, stressing the wind generator. Inspect wooden blades annually, and do any repairs immediately.  After 10 years, blades and bearings may need to be completely replaced.  With proper installation and maintenance, wind turbines last 20-30 years or longer.  Proper maintenance will also minimize the amount of mechanical noise produced by the wind turbine.

Mounting turbines on rooftops is generally not recommended unless a wind turbine is very small (1 kW of rated output or less). Wind turbines tend to vibrate and transmit the vibration to the structure on which they are mounted. As a result, turbines mounted on a rooftop could lead to both noise and structural problems with the building and rooftop.

Monitoring, Inspections and Repairs

 

Beyond the maintenance measures suggested above, you can keep tabs on how your system is performing either by direct observation of the system power meters, or by incorporating a PC-based remote monitoring program.  These programs are very versatile and will give you all the information you might want to know.  If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, you can call your installer or the equipment manufacturer for advice.

 

   Sunpower Monitoring  

 

If all of the above is more than you have time for, New Mexico Solar and Wind will be happy to set up a scheduled periodic system inspection and performance test for you at a nominal cost.  New Mexico Solar and Wind technicians are also available for any service calls you may have, and can even set your system up for remote off-site monitoring that will alert us of any problems that arise.  If you are interested in talking to us more about our maintenance services, contact us at your convenience.

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an  Photovoltaic Renewable Energy Systems and Wind Energy Systems, New Mexico solar power and solar energy rebates, tax credits, and incentives.  Authorized Dealer

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