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 workmanship.

O&M practices

Usually, Installers do not evaluate the impact of cleaning on the PV module warranty. Several factors such as the materials used for the wipers, the type and availability of water, the cleaning methodology and cleaning intervals impact PV module performance over time. Soiling is site-specific and cleaning is performed based on this so that neither is there loss of performance due to under-cleaning.

 

 

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