All 3 years you will have a major Dust storm on Mars that lasts for weeks or months and reduces sunlight to 10% making solar energy almost worthless in this time.
While – of course – good batteries (that can withstand cold nights?) are important – the storms could be enough to turn a (sand dust powder and ice) robust wind turbine 🙂
Might also be a problem: According to experts – dry lightning can strike in the Dust Storms – so it is also important to have good a grounded-shielding equipment (Faraday Cage).
Also: It is not sand – these are very small particles that creep into technology and can contaminate technology/humans – it could go via lung to blood – not healthy. See Soil of Mars „oxicity due to the presence of perchlorates“
„The Ames group started looking at maximizing energy use efficiency and alternative methods to make power on a planet that is millions of miles away from Earth.
They turned to a hybrid concept combining two renewable sources: wind and solar power technologies.
Large surface temperature swings on Mars produce windy conditions; extreme examples are the frequent dust storms that can block nearly all sunlight. “When there’s a dust storm and the wind is blowing, the wind system could be the dominant power source. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is shining on the surface, photovoltaics could be the dominant source,” says Bubenheim.
To develop and test the wind power technology, Ames turned to a remote, harsh environment here on Earth: the South Pole. “The South Pole was a really good analog for Mars,” says Bubenheim. “The technology features for establishing a human habitat on Mars are very similar to the features needed to make something work at the South Pole.”
“NASA took the leadership on the team because we had the longest-term technology—a Mars turbine.”
Links and Documents:
Problems with Mars missions: Radiation and Dust Storms
„If there is a will – there will be a way“ – „if there would be more support/funding we could go quicker.“