Solar Power Systems – Frequently Asked Questions

What can we run on a solar power system?
There is a solar power system to run everything and anything; trailers, camps/cottages, homes and businesses. We can help you develop a solar power package to run anything.  Most people have a certain goal for their solar system. We can help you run lights, T.V., VCR, satellite dish, radio/stereo, water pumps, coffee makers, refrigerators… Basically anything that is electric……   but …. (did you guess there would be a but)… the larger the electrical power requirements the more equipment you will need and the more expensive it will be.
Can we use old or recycled batteries?
While you may discover a ‘diamond in the rough’ battery second hand or recycled; the common experience is disappointing. Automotive batteries do not have the capacity for deep cycling even when they are brand new and when used are even worse. Old batteries when mixed with new batteries tend to drain the whole system and have often ‘killed’ the new batteries. Remember that the batteries are the ‘storage’ of the solar system. Poor batteries leave a system with little reserve power for a rainy day. We match the storage capacity of the batteries with the power supply from the solar panels and add a safety factor to account for ‘rainy days’.
How difficult are solar systems to set up?
Solar power systems are a great DIY project. Maier Hardware is prepared to spend the time with you before, during and after the sale to help you do it yourself. We can pre-wire portions of your system and make custom sized cables for your installation. Contracted installation is available on request.
How much does a solar system cost?
We at Maier Hardware want to help you design a system that will do what you want and that is affordable. Keep in mind that the cost of a solar system has to be averaged over the life of the system. The estimated life of the panels is 50 years; batteries will last 5 to 20 years. While a generator may cost less to purchase you have to add in the fuel, maintenance and replacement expense over 20 plus years. Maier Hardware can help you with a graduated plan to implement solar power over several years with out having to ‘buy components twice’. We work with our customers and their budgets to meet their needs. Contact Maier Hardware for a custom quote on a solar system that meets your needs.

We will discuss your energy needs with you and provide a solar system that will meet your expectations.

Included in the cost the systems are pre-assembled and programmed for easy installation. At no extra cost we take the time to educate our customers on how to install the solar system, how to operate the equipment and proper system maintenance.  We are also available after the sale to answer your questions on operation and maintenance.

How long do the panels and batteries last for?
Quality solar panels are guaranteed for 20-25 years with an estimated life of 50 years. Batteries can last from 5 to 20 years, depending on the model, and with proper use and maintenance.
What maintenance is required?
Solar panels need to be kept clean and free of snow, leaves, dirt etc. Batteries require cleaning of the terminals and neutralization and cleaning of the casing due to venting of gases. Flooded (liquid acid) batteries also require replacement of the water lost in the cycling of the battery with distilled, water and regular equalization (a controlled over voltage charging at low amperage).
What happens to the system in the winter?
A solar power system is ‘winter proof’. Batteries that are fully charged are protected from freezing by their high acid levels.
Can we operate a fridge on solar power?
Yes a fridge can be run on solar power however it increases the cost of the solar system. A new electric high efficiency fridge will add some cost to your system, but a propane fridge of equal size to a standard electric fridge can cost up to $5000.00 and cost $60.00 a month in propane expense. All things considered we recommend an electric fridge on a solar system instead of a propane fridge.