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Periodic Inspections: A Road to Success
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Specializing in Ground-Mounted Sub-100kW Solar PV Energy Systems
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As an OSHA-Authorized Construction Trainer, safety is important and the use of electrically rated head protection and should be in accordance with 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E and fall protection regulations.
On rooftops, safety is important and use of fall protection and with Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) should be in accordance with 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M. For students, volunteering is encouraged.
For ground-mounted systems there are various options for traditional string, micro-inverter and DC/DC converter solutions. Consider a solution to reduce readily accessibility for each option and CEC/NEC 690.31(A).
An example of poor workmanship with conductors on rooftop and and should be installed in accordance to the electrical code requirements for Service-Entrance Cable and Exterior Installations Article 338.
General requirements for wiring methods to be in accordance with CEC/NEC 338.10 to 334.30 at 1.4m (4.5ft) under the solar array and good workmanship CEC/NEC 110.12.
For rapid shutdown CEC/NEC 690.12, provide solutions for traditional string inverters as mounted on the outside near the array for ground-mounted near point of connection and for MLPE solutions.
If traditional string inverters, recommend a relative high V(oc) design - with advantages to reduce power loss,voltage drop and other things for long term operations, maintenance (O&M) and simplification.
As a licensed solar contractor, I'd suggest both new remote design and proven old school techniques and other instrumentation. For example, a solar location should minimize shade.
Installations should be in accordance with CEC/NEC 110.3(B) manufacturing instructions for correct torque values for the array. For instance, not just hand tighten.
Use of irradiance measurements during commissioning and inspections. Calculation of de-rate factors.
Use of IR camera during inspections for comparison of modules to each other.
In accordance with CEC/NEC 110.3(B) manufacturing instructions correct torque values for case and terminals.
Code compliant installations at the point of connection using the current 120% rule.
One key aspect of the new rules is guidelines about siting to avoid instances of glare, potentially dangerous reflections off of solar equipment. (78 FR 63276).
Solar PV low voltage systems instrumentation installation contractor (C-7) for comparison with actual energy values and degradation.
For very small use micro-inverters. Small and larger rooftops, consider a DC converters. For ground-mounted systems consider the use of DC converters or traditional string inverters.
A PV system should be cleaned for soiling by a qualified person once or twice a year or not at all? However, there's both a performance and physical impact in not cleaning modules.
For residential, I may use various tools for pre-installation or a third party inspection. For commercial systems, I use other software and techniques for a quick check to both qualify a location generate balance of materials.
Availability for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of PV Systems.
For photovoltaic systems, learn UL standards for best design,installation and support practices for PV systems including proper system grounded conductors, equipment grounding conductors and bonding techniques.
In addition to monitoring, a periodic visual inspection of the front, back, and sides of PV modules may avoid issues potentially impacting performance.