Off-Grid Power Systems and Surge Protection
Is my off-grid solar system and back-up generator connected right? Surge Protection for an Off-Grid System.
Circuit Balancing and Surge Protection
- I have an off-grid solar system with a back-up portable generator (Briggs and Straton 5000 watts.)
- I used the generator to power the house when the battery bank was low and there was no sun light. Everything worked fine.
- I ran the generator for 1 hr. About 3 weeks after this event, both my microwave and stove (Frigidaire Professional Series) went on the blink.
- It appears that something has “fried” the components. Are these two things related?
Additional Comments: Great!
Background: Peter, a Homeowner from Potter Valley, CA.
Thanks for your Electrical Question Peter.
Surge Protection for an Off-Grid System
Surge Protection for an Off-Grid System – electronic circuitry can be damaged if the voltage from the generator is not stable. This happened to us a few winters ago while on generator because the refrigerator and the septic pump turned on at the same time and created a power surge that burned up a surge protector that was installed for a computer.
Important Circuit Balancing and Surge Protection for an an Off-Grid Solar System
- Without a doubt, electronic circuitry can be damaged if the voltage from the generator is not stable. This happened to us a few winters ago while on generator because the refrigerator and the septic pump turned on at the same time and created a power surge that burned up a surge protector that was installed for a computer. The same may be true in your case, but what puzzles me is why it took 3 weeks – it just does not sound right. Does the system have a filtered or conditioned output which prevents dips and spikes? The quality of the power must be maintained to prevent damage from occurring.
- Another thought I have is if the stove is natural gas or propane requiring only 120 volt ignition and controls, and if the microwave is on the same circuit? If so then this circuit should be conditioned. Keep in mind that depending on the size of the microwave oven it may require a dedicated circuit. If your system produces 120/240 volt then load balancing would be advisable.
More about Alternative Power for the Home
Renewable Energy Tips to Help You Power Your Home Naturally.
Power Your Home with Solar
Renewable Energy Tips
- A new home provides the best opportunity for designing and orienting the home to take advantage of the sun’s rays.
- A well-oriented home admits low-angle winter sun to reduce heating bills and rejects overhead summer sun to reduce cooling bills. See the Heating and Cooling section for more about using passive solar energy in your home.
This series covers a wide variety of topics all about home generators including sizing, selecting, connecting and safely operating this all important addition to your home.