Storm Protocol

stmar Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
Do you do anything different when a storm is approaching? I have an SW4024/solar/battery bank, sun has not been shining for a couple of days and a snow storm is approaching. I took inverter off AC Support so that what little sun we had will charge the batteries, making my system a UPS which is the goal during a storm. Just wanted to see what others do in adverse conditions.


  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Unless it's a rare Lightning storm, I do nothing except prepare the generator for use.

    If it is a Lightning storm I disconnect the PV arrays and inverter output.  I don't want an induced voltage spike to fry all the gear, surge stoppers are a help, but not guaranteed.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    I am  with Mike, do not disconnect from the grid  until the grid is severed unless  you are testing your Solar systems capacity for when the grid really  IS down...
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • stmar
    stmar Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    I never disconnected from the grid, I was just trying not to use the batteries for load in anticipation of grid outage and the solar was not producing because of cloud cover. I don't know if it was any advantage but was something I wanted to try for this winter when we get days long blizzard/storm. No danger of lightening, although I have seen it lightening in snow storms but very rare. I do have a whole system surge suppressor mounted in my main AC panel.
  • 2manytoyz
    2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    While my system isn't grid tied, there are some things I've done that might be of interest.  We live in hurricane prone FL, approaching storms are a common occurrence.  The only manual thing I do is to turn on the Iota 75A charger to keep the battery bank topped up as long as the grid is available.

    The next part is simple, but effective.  I use a wall wart to engage a relay.  All the less critical loads will only work if the grid is up.  When the grid drops out, so does the relay, which disables those loads.  This also turns off the outdoor lights so people don't show up on my doorstep with an extension cord to use my limited resources.

    Here's the basic diagram:

    The control panel where I can enable/disable functions.

    The relays that do all the work.

    Inside the Pomona box on the right is a 12V/120V type of relay.

    I'm also adding another relay that will disconnect my golf cart charger from the inverter when the grid goes down.

    My wife tolerates my tinkering, enjoys the benefits our off-grid power supplies during an outage, but has zero interest in how it all works.  She wants it all to be automatic in case I'm not home, or something happens to me.  Easy enough.

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin

    Nice to see you back... I link to your personal website all the time for folks that want to see what "solar power" looks like under the covers (and how you have progressed over time).

    Take care,
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset