Photovoltaic (PV) systems typically have no moving parts and require very little maintenance. However every system has numerous electric connections and periodic proactive maintenance is required to ensure your investment will continue to perform over its 25 year lifetime.
Is your photovoltaic system producing what it should?
A south facing, un-shaded, grid connected system should produce the following number of kWh per kw installed per year:
- System type
- Flush roof mounted
- Ground rack
- 2-axis tracker
- kWh per KW per year
- 1220 kWh
- 1235 kWh
- 1530 kWh
For example a 10 kW system on a $.802/ kWh contract should generate
10 x 1220 x .802 = $9784 per year
Much less than this will indicate a problem with your system.
Sources of the problem may include:
• Faulty micro inverters/ optimizers
• Improper string sizing
• Loose terminal connections
• Moisture in junction boxes
• Rodent damage
Maintenance Contracts and Periodic Inspections
Quantum offers long term service contracts and / or maintenance on demand.
Typically regular annual or semi annual maintenance will catch problems before they occur, resulting in more production time. Some racking and inverter manufacturers require documented annual maintenance in order to maintain your equipment warranty.
Annual / Semi annual inspections
Our PV system inspections cover 3 main areas:
1. Mechanical inspections of racking, conduit, and wiring
• Annual torque check on racking fasteners
• Inspect panel clamps
• Inspect roof flashings for possible leaks
• Inspect for rodent damage
• Inspect array wiring for insulation wear
2. Electrical inspections of all connections in the inverters and combiner boxes.
• Torque all electric terminations
• Inspect for arcing/ loose connections
• Test and document Voc of strings
• Infrared camera scans
3. Performance analysis, looking at instantaneous output as well as performance trends.
Comparing current year output to previous years, in order to uncover unseen issues.
With every inspection, we issue a written report summarizing problems that were found and work completed. This documentation is required for some warranty claims.
We can’t fix what we can’t see. Monitoring is the best tool we have to protect your PV system. We can provide web based monitoring systems, either off the shelf or custom built monitoring which will ensure that any issues are easily identified and remedied quickly.