Backup Generation

Lack of adherence to a preventative maintenance schedule is one of the leading causes of failure of a backup power system. Regularly assessing the quality of battery packs and fuel is crucial for correct operation in the event of a disaster.

Similarly, it is important to test your generators at design load at least once every three years. Regularly “exercising” your standby generators at a fraction of the design load also plays a significant role in preventative maintenance of generators.

Maintenance requirements for generators are outlined in NFPA 110: Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.

Energy Storage Systems

While a comprehensive set of procedures for the maintenance of energy storage systems doesn’t exist, Pacific Northwest National Lab has compiled a list of codes and standards that each describe safety requirements for energy storage as used in power systems: Inventory of Safety-related Codes and Standards for Energy Storage Systems.

Distributed Generation

There are different maintenance procedures depending on what type and how many generation modules you installed.

It is a good idea to install wind turbines with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).
This system monitors the output of turbines and can inform the controller if any data is out of the normal. The controller can then provide an alert that maintenance may be required on the turbine. It is important to monitor your wind systems closely as the variation in the operating environment can lead to unique failures.

Solar panels require little regular maintenance as they contain no moving parts. Your primary responsibility in maintaining your solar panels is to keep them clean. Regular rinsing with room temperature water is all that it takes to keep your panels clean. Some companies have designed automatic cleaning systems for solar panels.

Electrical Wiring, Conduit, Cabling, and Components

The National Electric Code® outlines testing procedures and limitations for conduit, wiring and cabling within commercial buildings. For more information about these requirements, please visit the NEC section of the NFPA website.

Step Four