Most flow meters are installed in remote locations, not accessible to standard grid power. This is when remote solar power systems can come in handy. They ensure there is power to the flow meter and any other equipment that would need power in these remote installation sites. Understanding some key aspects and how off-grid remote solar power systems are perfect for flow meters can make for a stress-free installation.
Solar Power System Sizing
Solar power assemblies must be sized correctly for any installation. The information needed to size up the solar power assembly includes:
1. Project installation location for solar insolation (sun hour) availability. The available sun is the worst case or December information since the system is off-grid and averages just do not work here for system reliability.
2. Daily load of the equipment. This will give them information on what the power requirement is daily. This information needs to be the DC information, not the AC information as powering an AC system using inverters is very inefficient.
3. Backup requirement for the system. Most systems have a 5+ day backup with increased storage for colder climates. Make sure you know what amount of backup would work for your installation location.
This information ensures you have a system designed to power all the equipment and has plenty of backup for those times where the weather is less than favorable.
Benefits of Using Solar for Flow Meters
There are many benefits of using an off-grid solar power system for your flow meters. The solar power assembly provides power where you need it; you do not have to rely on grid power locations to determine where your flow meter gets installed.
You also do not have to worry about electrical failures/spikes/variances causing a loss of these important measurements. Instead, with proper system sizing, you do not have to worry about this loss of data.
There is also a much lower cost for installation for locations where grid power is not as accessible. Instead of paying to trench in the grid to the location of the meter, solar can be set in any location that has full access to the southern sky.
Maintenance is practically nonexistent in a commercially designed off-grid solar power assembly. Since there are no moving parts, and systems are designed with a battery life of five to seven years, there is no need to do maintenance on the system.
There are financial incentives. Some state and local incentives exist; however, there is still the Federal Tax Credit that is available to any corporation.
Solar is a go-to option when looking for a remote power source for systems such as flow meters. These systems can be located anywhere the sun shines and provides a reliable source of energy. Best of all, if you need to move the system later to a new location, if the system sizing is still good, the solar will provide power.