When we host training for installers, we often hear, “Yes, our customers want battery storage, but haven’t budgeted for it,” or “Can storage be added later?”
Make a point to ask your customers if they are considering adding battery storage in the near future. When looking at a PV system with microinverters, battery storage often doesn’t come up. With a few key design decisions in place and the right product selection you can ensure the PV system is storage ready.
Install a subpanel:
Pre-installing an essential load subpanel when initially wiring for the PV system will save time and labor costs when you add battery storage later.
Save an inspection:
Check with your local AHJ, but you may save inspection time and costs by getting your system pre-inspected for battery storage when the inspector is there for the PV system.
Consider if you are offering a monitoring package, or setting up monitoring for your customers and if PV and storage be monitored in one interface. Making the interface simple for your customers will go a long way in encouraging them to refer you down the road.
Also keep in mind:
- Where PV module junction boxes are located or other obstructions, so racking can remain clear for your microinverter install
- Use hardware recommended by your module racking vendor
- For best performance, mount your microinverters in a location that keeps them out of direct sunlight
- Ensure ample room between your microinverter and the roof for proper ventilation, at least 0.75 in. (2 cm), preferably 2 to 3 in. (5 to 7.5 cm).
- Know what type of grounding your jurisdiction requires–a grounding washer (Weeb) or copper wire grounding
- Plan ahead for wall and floor real estate for an inverter/charger and batteries
Installation tip was provided by Alan Santos-Buch, western regional sales and marketing manager of Magnum Energy, a Sensata Technologies brand