We often see the 3 mistakes below being made on many solar projects. These mistakes have an effect on the long term operation, quality, and safety of the system. Perhaps since they don’t have an immediate effect on project closeout, it's not on the list of priorities for developers. Hopefully by pointing them out, you can get these on your radar.
1. Conduits in working space – The code is clear and so are Pure Power’s drawings... you must keep conduits out of the working space in front of equipment. Yet installers still take shortcuts, ignore the drawings and code, and install conduits in the working space of inverters and panels. This is a trip hazard for those working on the equipment. Enforce the design and codes and keep the conduits out of the working space.
2. Installers commission their own work – There are obvious conflict of interests with this. Even if the installer is 100% honest in putting the developer’s needs ahead of their own company’s, there are inherent reasons why they aren’t well suited to commission their own work. First, commissioning is a different skill set from installation. Second, if they knew they were making a mistake, they (hopefully) wouldn’t have installed it that way in the first place. Third, it is difficult for installers to objectively test and assess their own work when it will affect their budget and perhaps their own employment. If you need a third-party commissioning team, PV Pros is one of the best in the USA.
3. As-built stringing not accurate – It may not have an immediate construction or closeout, but it causes problems for anyone that does repair or maintenance on the project for the next 25+ years. This is a big deal, but it doesn’t get the respect it deserves since it’s not readily visible. Perhaps this is because the installers know they will be long gone before anyone notices, and the developer has other priorities at the end of the project. The time saved by not recording actual as-built conditions will be paid for 10x in increased O&M costs over the life of the system.
About Pure Power:
We are a nationwide engineering firm that designs commercial and utility scale solar PV systems (with or without energy storage). Our sophisticated clients know engineering isn’t a commodity and it pays in the end to have the best detailed, technically accurate, and well thought out designs. As a full-service engineering firm, our work is creating the drawings and calculation packages for bidding, permits, and construction, as well as supporting the lead up to the full engineering drawings, primarily interconnection support and electrical/structural feasibility studies. Whether you are a project originator, developer, or an EPC firm, we are here to take the difficult task of engineering off your hands.