Maintenance of your Solar Electric System

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Your photovoltaic system produces electricity from the sun. The battery stores some energy, but if there is no sun, there will be less electricity available. Verify the state of charge each day.

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Greencircle.png The state of charge of the battery should be almost completely charged most of the time (indicated by a green light, a smiley face, or and number).
Yellowcircle.png If the light is yellow or there is not a smiley face or the state of charge is less than 70%, stop using the lights.
Redncircle.png Never let the battery level to drop below 50%. If the light is red or there is a sad face, something is wrong with the system. Stop using the electricity and contact a technician.
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Inspect the electrical and mechanical connections and to make sure they are firmly fastened and to detect any obvious problems. Clean the structure of the panel on the roof. Change any rusty nuts or bolts. Couch.png Turn on the lights only when necessary. A light left on without purpose will cause the battery to lose charge more rapidly.
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Clean the solar panel with a clean cloth and water. Use a cloth that won’t scratch the glass of the panel. Remove any dirt that has accumulated.
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Clean the light bulbs with a brush or dry cloth to remove any dust. Clean around an d inside the control box. Remove any dirt, animal droppings, or insects that might prevent the system from functioning properly.
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The solar panels are very sensitive to shade. The shade produced by a tree branch will cause the electrical current that is produced to drop rapidly. Frequently verify that the solar panels are not exposed to shade produced by trees around the house. If the are, trip the trees until the solar panel receives direct sunlight.
Bulb.png Your photovoltaic system is only 12 volts. Never use light bulbs or appliances of 120 volts with your system. And never use incandescent light bulbs.

Compacet flourescent light bulbs or LEDs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

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[edit] Maintenance of the Batteries

Never connect the terminals of the battery directly to each other (with a wrench, for example). This will create a short circuit.
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The batteries emite flammable gases that can cause fires. Keep the batteries in dry, ventiladed areas away from fires.
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When examining a battery, use a flashlight instead of a candle or kerosene lamp. Every month, clean the top of the battery. Clean and adjust the terminals of the battery as needed.
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Each month, with gloves and safety glasses, verify that the battery has the correct level of fluids. It is harmful for the battery if the water level is not above the lead plates. If the water level is lower, add distilled water. Be careful that nothing falls inside of the battery.
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Avoid getting the battery acid on your skin or clothes or in your eyes as it will burn.
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