Site survey drawing

This is a top-view layout includes a proposed location for the array, cable routing, string (DC) junction box, inverter(s) and AC junction box.  The data provided in a sketch helps to draw a formal layout of the site. In order to install an efficient PV system, a layout diagram with accurate configuration of the location of the array, cable routing, string (DC) junction box, inverter(s) and AC junction box and dimensions are extremely important.  

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Procedure for pre-sizing

To get the maximum output from an installed system, follow the suggested pre-sizing measures:     Points to consider while gathering data about the location: Shadow-casting features and shadow-free area Shadow-casting features and shadow-free area Location for mounting inverter(s) and AC Junction Boxes, typically on terrace/ roof Location for interconnection point (distribution panel of house/ building), typically on ground floor Location where earth pits will be installed (Check if distribution panel has extra feeder/ interconnection point of sufficient capacity)

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Lesson 6

Components of PV modules that are to be part of a PV system requires to fulfil the standard technical criteria to fulfil the expected performance objective for the plant. The sizing of PV systems may be based on may factors, depending on the type of system and its functional requirements. Some of them are: Local levels of sun exposure Orientation of the array (tilt angle) Plans for future expansion Product efficiency ratings Natural degradation of performance over the life of the warranty After the potential of solar energy was approximated, the next parameter is how much energy is required by consumers, it is necessary to know which consumers and how many of them would be included into the system.  

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Common areas for workmanship assessment

Mounting practices PV Mounting structures need to be strong enough to handle the module load as well as high winds. They need to be designed and installed as per the site conditions, which often is not the case. Some common issues faced on this front are: dissimilar metals that are not isolated from one another, leading to material incompatibility issues in the form of galvanic corrosion; deformation of the mounting structure while installation; out-of-position installation of the structure legs, leading to misalignment and later deformity; Inadequate quantity of steel and poor quality of galvanisation; insufficient clamps and fasteners; incorrect positioning of PV modules, resulting in reduced load-bearing capacity; the modified or wrong type of clamps result of inadequate spacing between modules; and damaged or tempered PV modules due to poor installation technique or transport. Quality of balance of system (BOS) Many rooftop solar plants face safety issues since the minimum required insulation values of the electrical circuit are not maintained, leading to an increased risk of damage. The Installers need to ensure that the electrical conduits for the outdoors should be able to withstand the action of humidity, rain, UV radiation, etc. The conduits should be properly sealed to protect the cables from water and dirt accumulation as well as from mechanical damage. Moreover, the entire system should be designed as per the wind load conditions at the installation site. Apart from conduits, proper cable routing, installation of Junction Box and Inverter on the safe location are also part quality […]

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What is quality assessment?

The quality of PV Modules and associated system components varies greatly with different manufactures. However, most smallscale PV owners especially residential consumers are unaware of the manufacturer of their PV system components, and subsequently the quality standards to which it was built. They are dependent on Implementing Agencies/Safety Inspectors etc. to verify the quality of components and workmanship. Therefore it becomes really important to understand the need for quality and implications if it is compromised. While cost is a major factor affecting the decision to purchase a PV system, the quality of the overall system is an extremely important component that is often overlooked by consumers in exchange for a more cost-effective PV system. Quality is usually characterized by two attributes: performance reliability. Quality affects the lifespan and return on investment of the system, which is vital to ensuring a successful solar PV system operations for its lifespan. Quality assessment Solar PV modules are designed to last 25 years or more. It is therefore essential that all system components and parts, including the mounting structures, cables, junction boxes, distribution boxes and other parts also have a life cycle of at least 25 years. Therefore all components used in the PV system should be of the highest quality. Purpose of quality assessment Aim of quality assessment is to ensure the completeness, quality and workmanship of the system. This principally includes: Inspection of system components Verification of compliance with specifications and codes of practice Evaluation of quality of workmanship Verification of safety […]

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Rooftop solar PV inspection activities

The overall rooftop solar PV inspection activity can be divided into two stages: visual inspection testing of the PV system Visual inspection is done to: verify Installation, interconnection, workmanship, warranty compliance, ratings of equipment, labelling, etc. Safety via over-current/ voltage protection devices, residual current devices, surge and lightning protection, disconnectors, earthing and other contingencies. Testing of the system id done to:  access performance of PV modules; check the functioning and generation parameters and overall output of the inverter. This also results in identifying issues with PV array and strings using inverter values; test the safety aspects as per standards and regulatory requirements for continuity, short circuit and open circuit, polarity, earthing, insulation, islanding etc.           The post ID for this chapter is 2984. For any suggestion or comment regarding the content, you may write to us at faqs[dot]solar[at]gmail[dot]com. Please quote the post ID in the subject, for better assistance.

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Basics of Rooftop Solar PV Inspection

Purpose of inspection of a Rooftop solar PV system could be: Inspection by the Quality assurance department teams of various installer companies for internal assessment and reporting; Installation verification and commissioning of a rooftop PV system by statutory bodies such as the  Electrical Inspector, Electricity Distribution Companies, State Nodal Agency, aligned to the regulatory and policy aspects, guidelines, compliance and financial assistance. Inspection by Lender/Bank in case of the loan; Verification of the quality of installation during a warranty claim. Some major aspects covered during a visual inspection are: Documentation inspection; inspection of the PV arrays, mounting structure, cabling and workmanship; inspection of DC cabling to the inverter; inspection of the inverter and DC/AC Junction boxes, including location and connections; inspection of the safety system and labelling, including lightning and overvoltage protection; inspection of interconnection points, earthing, roof bearing capacity etc. The post ID for this chapter is 3008. For any suggestion or comment regarding the content, you may write to us at faqs[dot]solar[at]gmail[dot]com. Please quote the post ID in the subject, for better assistance.

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Lesson 7

This goal of this lesson is to provide knowledge about Inspection, Testing & Commissioning a Rooftop Solar Power Plant. The key areas covered under this lesson are: Workmanship assessment Compliance with specifications inspection Protection inspection Testing Commissioning  

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Lesson-8

This goal of this lesson is to provide an understanding of the key performance indicators and their evaluation for detecting low performance in PV power plant operation. Performance indicators help in investigating issues in a PV power plant and setting up maintenance plans in order to minimize operational costs.  

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