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Servicing the Systems

Monitoring the performance of the systems over a decade and a half has led TMDHA to the conclusion that they need a service contract. They are not solar technicians, or even homeowners who are living with the systems themselves. Although some of the TMDHA staff have been trained in PV maintenance, they have many other things to do. They now feel the solar lights are a valuable part of the hut experience. Now it is worth their while to have a maintenance/service contract to ensure top performance and high reliability.

SEI and SunSense are in the process of providing a maintenance and service contract for the hut's PV systems. It entails two trips a year to each hut to make sure the systems are working properly, tighten the

Above: Steve McCarney (former CMC Solar Professor) cooking up some dinner at the Estin Hut.

connections, and water and equalize the batteries. Not only does this guarantee that the systems are in top shape for the winter season, but it also allows SEI and SunSense staff to spend a couple nights in a beautiful remote setting in the Rocky Mountains.

The TMDHA hut systems have proven that PV systems can be made reliable and sustainable without constant monitoring. They have also educated tens of thousands of people about solar electricity. And they have made the back country experience of skiers from around the world safer, more environmentally benign, and a lot more comfortable.

Above: Skiing from hut to hut.

Above Right: SEI student Kerry Bell from Willits, CA solar cooking at the Skinner Hut.

Right: Author Laurie Stone enjoys a fresh snow at Margy's Hut.

Systems

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Author: Laurie Stone, Solar Energy International, PO Box 715, Carbondale, CO 81623 • 970-963-8855 • Internet e-mail: [email protected]

Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association, 1280 Ute Avenue, Aspen, CO 81611 • 970-925-5775

SunSense Solar Electric Systems, PO Box 301, Carbondale, CO 81623 • 970-963-1420

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

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