Checklist for alternative energy sources

This checklist is based on one from the Australian Clean Energy Council.
  • General
    • LV wiring has been installed by a qualified electrician.
    • Safe isolation is provided between ELV and LV circuits.
    • Emergency services sketch in main LV switchboard.
    • Protection has been provided for moving or high temperature parts.
    • Over-current protection and isolation are rated for a.c. or d.c. at appropriate voltage and current levels.
    • Multiple LV sources - shrouded plugs and extra signage.
    • SHUTDOWN Procedure is prominently displayed in equipment area.
    • All equipment is mounted close to, but outside battery enclosure.
    • Access to equipment is restricted to authorised persons.
    • Adequate ventilation is provided for all electrical equipment.
    • All cables satisfy both voltage drop and current carrying capacity.
    • All exposed cabling is provided with mechanical protection.
    • Lightning protection has been provided.
    • Any battery charger is permanently connected with over-current protection at the battery end of the charger cabling.
    • Equipment is labelled, convenient, accessible and visible.
    • There are no exposed live parts on any installed equipment.
  • Solar panel (PV) arrays
    • Orientation
    • Blocking diodes are connected in series with each string.
    • Bypass diodes are connected in parallel with modules / sub-modules.
    • The PV mounting structure ( frame ) is wind rated for the site.
    • The PV array is securely mounted.
    • Roof penetrations are suitably sealed and waterproof.
    • Wiring is protected from UV and mechanical damage.
    • Modules have sufficient ventilation space to minimise temperature rise.
    • Any timber used is suitable for external use and is properly sealed.
    • No dissimilar metals are in contact with array frames or supports.
    • PV wiring losses are less than 5% at the max. array output current.
    • PV wiring is protected by appropriate circuit breakers or fuses.
    • Metering is installed to monitor the current supplied from the array.
    • Any freestanding PV structure is wind rated for the site.
  • Wind generators
    • Tower or mast is wind rated for the site.
    • Mechanical protection is fitted to guy wires.
    • Installation and maintenance documentation has been supplied.
    • Footings have been installed by a ‘competent’ person.
    • Installation has been supervised by a licenced rigger.
    • Installation has been performed to the manufacturers instructions.
    • Metering is installed to monitor the current supplied from the wind turbine.
    • Wiring is protected from UV and mechanical damage.
    • A ‘securing device’ is available for maintenance operations.
    • The turbine is above any turbulence caused by nearby obstacles.
  • Micro hydro generators
    • Installation and maintenance documentation has been supplied.
    • Installation has been performed to the manufacturers instructions.
    • Metering is installed to monitor the current supplied from micro-Hydo.
    • Wiring is protected from UV and mechanical damage.
    • The turbine is protected from flooding and flood-borne debris.
    • All piping is anchored at regular intervals and at elbows.
  • Battery Bank - ELV nominal voltages not above 115V d.c.
    • Main Battery over-current protection is installed in all un-earthed conductors.
    • For multiple string battery banks - each string is separately protected.
    • A means to readily isolate the battery bank is installed.
    • The batteries are installed in a dedicated room, enclosure or restricted access area designed to prevent unauthorised entry.
    • Adequate structural support for the batteries is provided.
    • Any battery stands used are ‘fit for purpose.’
    • Battery enclosure is designed to prevent the formation of ‘gas pockets.’
    • Battery enclosure is vermin-proof.
    • “ Warning : Spark Hazard … ” sign is mounted above batteries or located on enclosure.
    • Battery voltage and short circuit fault current warning notice is fitted.
    • Battery warning signs " DANGER - Risk of Battery Explosion … " and " Electrolyte Burns … " are clearly visible & permanently fixed.
    • There are no arc producing devices in areas where hydrogen concentrations can become significant.
    • Appropriately sized ventilation inlets and outlets are provided.
    • An airflow alarm is provided where forced ventilation is used.
    • Electrolyte containment is provided.
    • Battery cells are NOT in contact with the floor of the enclosure / room.
    • Battery interconnects and terminals are protected from accidental shorts.
    • All crimp lugs have been fitted using an appropriate tool.
    • Stainless steel bolts have been used and tightened to specification.
    • Battery cables are protected from mechanical damage and effectively clamped and supported.
    • Battery cable minimum bending radius is not less than specification.
    • Personal protection equipment is available for safe battery handling.
    • A fresh water supply is available for eyewash and rinsing any acid spills.
    • Metering is installed to monitor the battery voltage.
  • Gensets
    • Access is restricted to authorised persons.
    • Adequate access is provided for safe and effective operation.
    • Safe exit is provided from genset area.
    • Adequate ventilation, noise control, inlet and exhaust conditioning.
    • In damp or exposed situations, are suitably protected.
    • In hazardous areas, comply with additional regulatory requirements.
    • All components are protected from mechanical damage.
    • All moving parts are enclosed to prevent inadvertent contact.
    • All hot ( >120°C ) parts are protected to prevent inadvertent contact.
    • Over-speed shutdown is fitted - for output > 15kW.
    • All live parts are enclosed, inaccessible or protected from inadvertent contact.
    • Output isolation and over-current protection is fitted.
    • Supply Change-over facilities.
    • One source of supply is interrupted before connecting the other.
    • Operates in all active conductors.
    • Is rated at the max. out of phase voltage.
    • Manual change -over device has an intermediate OFF position.
    • Change-over device/s are accessible to Authorised persons only.
    • Change-over terminals are labelled to indicate supply source.
    • Earthing.
    • The following parts of the genset are electrically bonded.
    • The engine frame.
    • The generator frame.
    • All exposed metal enclosing electrical equipment or wiring.
    • The ‘earth’ terminal of all socket-outlets.
    • The main frame terminal - marked FRAME.
    • Where a genset supplies an earthed fixed installation, the connection to earth is not via a separate earth electrode.
    • Portable gensets are restrained from movement during operation.
    • Auto-start systems.
    • Warning notice is fitted and visible on approach.
    • Engine manual override and isolation devices.
    • Flexible cables or cords are protected from mechanical damage.
    • Metering is installed to monitor the runtime of the genset.
    • Genset is easily accessible for all maintenance operations.
    • Fuel storage complies with standards and local regulations.
    • All flammable fuels must not NOT be stored in the vicinity of high temperature surfaces, sparks or hot particles or where fuel leakage can come in contact with hot surfaces.
  • Test and commissioning
    • All wiring has been tested for continuity and short circuits.
    • Polarity has been checked before connection of the battery bank.
    • PV Array operation has been checked.
    • Wind and micro-Hydro generator operation has been checked.
    • Genset operation has been checked.
    • Regulator and battery charger operation has been checked.
    • A functional test of the completed power system has been performed.
  • System documentation
    A system manual has been provided that includes
    • List of equipment supplied - including model and serial numbers.
    • System performance estimate, including.
      • daily energy consumption estimate.
      • design d.c. and a.c. load energy.
      • load management strategies.
      • maximum and surge power demand.
      • estimated RE input showing expected seasonal variation.
      • estimated generator runtime.
      • RE resource data used with adjustments for site conditions.
      • System voltage and ratings of major components.
    • Operating instructions - system and component.
    • Shutdown Procedure for emergency and maintenance.
    • Maintenance Procedure and timetable.
    • Commissioning records and Inspection checklist.
    • Warranty information.
    • Original energy usage estimate which was used for system design.
    • System connection diagram.
    • Equipment manufacturers documentation and handbooks.
    • A Battery record logbook has been provided.
    • A Genset service logbook has been provided.
  • Battery Banks - nominal battery voltage above 115V d.c.
    • Charging source over-current and over-voltage is prevented.
    • Over-voltage alarm is fitted.
    • Batteries are installed in either a battery room, lockable cubicle or restricted access area
    • Ventilation is provided to maintain hydrogen concentration below 2% - refer to AS 2676 ( or AS 4086 ) for ventilation guidelines.
    • Cells are readily accessible for maintenance or removal.
    • Unobstructed access to the battery is provided.
    • Electrical equipment inside battery room has no exposed live parts.
    • Minimum clearances are provided.
    • Mechanical protection, insulation and identification is provided.
    • Lighting, switches and GPO’s are correctly positioned.
    • Insulated flexible cables are used to connect to the battery terminals.
    • Main Battery over-current protection and isolation is installed in all un-earthed conductors.
    • Battery voltage and short circuit fault current warning notice is fitted.
    • For un-earthed batteries – earth-leakage alarm is provided.
    • Isolation is provided to sectionalise the battery to ELV levels.
    • Fire safety and warning signs.
  • Battery Banks - guide for battery installation in buildings
    • Cells of unequal capacity are not connected in parallel.
    • Battery cabling can withstand prospective fault current for at least 1 sec.
    • Battery cables are effectively clamped and supported.
    • Battery cable minimum bending radius is not less than specification.
    • Busbars are insulated and do not restrict access to cells.
    • All switchgear is suitably rated.
    • Battery connections are resistant to corrosion.
    • The battery can be fully isolated.
    • The location is free from vibration.
    • The occurrence of extreme ambient temperatures is minimised.
    • Battery room
      • Notices prohibiting unauthorised access are posted.
      • Battery rooms or restricted areas provide access for installation, maintenance and emergency services.
      • Floor loadings are appropriate for the installed equipment.
      • Floors are non-slip and acid-resistant.
      • Containment is provided for electrolyte spillage.
    • Battery enclosure
      • Constructed of acid-resistant materials with adequate structural strength.
      • Clearance of 25mm is provided between the battery and the enclosure.
    • Battery stands
      • Load-bearing members support at least 33% of the cell base area.
      • Stand sections are rigidly joined.
      • Deflection of load-bearing members is no more than 3mm.
      • Base area of cells does not project outside the stand.
      • The battery installation height does not exceed 2 metres.
      • For tall cells - horizontal restraining bars are installed.
      • The stand is manufactured from, or is coated with, acid-resistant material.
    • Lighting is not installed directly over cells or exposed live parts.
    • Inter-cell connector shrouds are in place.
    • Suitable Personal Protection Equipment, such as eye protection, appropriate lifting devices and insulated hand tools has been used during installation.
    • Safety signage
      • Restricted Access signs are mounted at all entry points - open flame / no smoking / authorised personnel only / LV equipment.
      • Caution signs are mounted in prominent positions - battery warning with voltage and short circuit current.
      • Emergency Information are mounted prominently in a room or on an enclosure.
    • Fire extinguishers suitable for use on acid or alkaline solutions and electrical fires have been provided adjacent to the room / enclosure.

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